It wasn’t hard to find Lasha’s house. Number 29 was the only one on his street covered with beautiful flowers. So, we weren’t surprised to find ourselves inside an interesting mix of a small botanical garden and a workshop when we walked in.
Tell us about yourself. Why did you choose fashion design as a career?
Lasha: Completely random. I don’t even remember what my first inspiration was. I loved to paint ever since I was little, but I have no idea why did I choose fashion design. Probably because I was painting people quite often. That said, I got my degree in Costume and Scene Design from the Theatrical University and earned my Master’s from the Academy of Arts.
Can you tell us about the road to getting where you are now?
Lasha: I started working for different designers as an assistant, illustrator or a tailor when I was a second-year student at the university. I’ve also worked in France and since theatre and movies are my main profession, I have experience in that area as well.
After collaborating with different designers for a while, I slowly reached the point where I started to work on my own projects. It has been already three years since I have my personal workshop and showroom and I have my creative freedom – painting, and tailoring whenever and whatever I want.
I create only what I am inspired to create.
I don’t need to obey the demands of the market. My main platform for presentations and sales is social media. Apart from that my clothes are sold at pop up showrooms in different cities like London, Tokyo, Rome… I also have a quite interesting partnership with a concept store in Mexico, Tulum:
When was your first success?
Lasha: My first Tbilisian success came with the Tbilisi fashion week – Newcomers. Well, I didn’t win the contest, but one of our famous designers, Demna Gvasalia (the current creative director of Balenciaga) was also attending the show and he really liked my work. So, I got a special prize from him, inviting me to Paris for an internship. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to Paris at that time because of paperwork and financial problems, but I slowly returned to the fashion industry and started participating in different contests. I won free courses in Florence, an internship in Paris – but this time with Demna’s brother… nevertheless, I still went to Paris. I’ve spent some time collaborating with different designers such as Guga Kotetishvili, and then I took off on my own. So far everything has worked out splendidly.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Lasha: In my opinion, I’m more of a textile designer. For me, the texture, character, colors, and patterns of the fabric are very important. Every item I have produced has its own story, its origin, and character which are connected to my biggest love – Asian culture. I use Indian, Chinese, Japanese textiles. Inspiration comes mainly from discovering new fabrics during my travels. The fabric literally stares at me in a store and tells me what it wants to become, which inspires me to work on a new collection.
Do you include Georgian details?
Lasha: We are located on the intersection of European and Asian cultures, and that’s exactly what I’m doing as well. If I have a very Eastern material, then I create the pattern in Western-style. For example, my Kimono does not follow the standard Japanese pattern. But apart from that, unfortunately there no longer exists the production of Georgian material but it is still possible to get your hands on archaic textiles and vintage fabric which I gladly use when I can.
What is the most interesting part of your work?
Lasha: For me, the most interesting part is the creation, and even more important than getting it sold, I would say. Choosing textiles, coming up with the design… But I need to be completely free in this! It’s really hard to follow instructions when you don’t want to do what you’re told…
Do you only make one type of clothing?
Lasha: I mainly design western types of clothing like morning gowns, Kimonos, etc… but occasionally I do create something different.
What do you want people to feel when they wear your clothes?
Lasha: I don’t know what they feel, but what I personally feel is happiness and freedom. I don’t design tight clothes to accentuate body parts, actually, it’s vice versa, I only make oversized clothing.
Freedom and comfort are essential to me, and I believe that there should be some space between clothing and skin so your soul can move freely.
Your creative, meditative space?
Lasha: Here in my workshop. Generally, I live a quiet and peaceful life. During the day I don’t take many guests and mostly spend my time in peace. Sometimes I go out and enjoy nature. I guess the most important thing in my life is music, which is turned on even when I’m asleep.
You must really love plants?
Lasha: Karma is a belief that what you do in life comes back to you. For me, it is important to take care of nature and I enjoy taking that responsibility. Besides that, plants give you enormous energy, and if we consider the fact that there are almost no plants left in our city, I always feel happy every time I enter my private Amazon forest.
Your future plans?
Lasha: My only goal is to stay in the state of inner peace that I am experiencing now. No other future plans at the moment.
By the end of our interview, two tourists dropped by his place. They seemed like they were happier to see Lasha than his collection. So, we said goodbye to Lasha and left him with these interesting people.