It seemed like everyone in the city wanted to see the new collection by the Georgian designer Goga Nikabadze. It’s really no surprise - Nikabadze is somewhat of a long-time favorite of Moscow audiences, dressing many of the Russian capital’s wealthiest and most fashionable socialites and pop stars. Nikabadze was born in Georgia in 1986 and studied fashion design in Batumi, presenting his first-ever collection at just 14 years of age back in 2000. His career spans almost 18 years, with collaborations with such stars of Russian fashion as Slava Zaitsev.
This time, Goga showed us a slow and thoughtful show, with models slowing gliding on the stage in outfits that reminded one of the traditional dresses of the designer’s native country. Men in wide-brimmed hats and women in soft garments with dark veils covering their faces filled the stage with a somber atmosphere. The cut of the garments was especially beautiful and experimental this time around, with silky cardigans and floor-length dresses showing an unusually trim and geometrical silhouette. It was as if we were present at a traditional wedding in Batumi or Tbilisi, where Nikabadze first cut his teeth as a designer. Yet this was a thoroughly Moscow-looking collection also, with many of the dresses fit for a Russian countryside Summer or a dacha picnic.
Rumors of participation in today’s show by one of the designer’s famous clients were abound even before the runway started, but when a familiar female voice began to sing the Russian crooner Muslim Magomaev’s 1973 hit single “Za Vse Tebya Blagodaryu” (I Thank You For Everything), the audience knew their expectations were about to be fulfilled. The famed Russian singer-songwriter Larisa Dolina, who sang the cover especially for the show, appeared on the runway herself, cutting an imposing figure in a long black dress with a veil, to thundering ovations. Nikabadze himself appeared at the song’s crescendo, with people from the audience running onstage to - literally - shower him in roses and peonies, with one fan dragging an entire gold-colored suitcase of red roses, and dramatically flinging it open in the middle of the runway to the designer’s amazement. As always, it was an emotional night for Nikabadze, and he almost broke down in front of the growing mountain of flowers. A dramatic wake or a romantic Georgian wedding, it was hard to say, but it definitely was beautiful.
Author: Anna Dorozhkina