Visa Fashion Week Almaty 2023 (Visa FWA) has been growing as a showcase for domestic talent to attract foreign buyers and media. By and large, the organizers focus on connecting the local market with international trends. Metamorphosis inspired the latest version of the event. Bauyrzhan Shadibekov, the event’s General Director, also stated, “It’s hard to imagine something more constant and changeable than fashion. In fact, variability is exactly what defines fashion today. We invited our participants to reflect on variability, cyclicality, and tireless development.”
The Next Designer Award (NDA) by Visa FWA is a new initiative to empower young designers and Asel Shingisova from MicroniQ was the winner this year.
As a matter of fact, Visa FWA plays a crucial role in establishing and nurturing a professional platform for the growth of Kazakhstani designers, alongside the education of new talents. Its core mission is to advance Kazakhstani fashion and elevate its global presence, championing style and cultural heritage. The Spring and Summer 2024 collection was presented in the Ritz Carlton ballroom. The backdrop for the runway was redesigned in white, resembling a cocoon, which symbolizes the chrysalis for emerging beauty and change.
All in all, there were seven Kazakh brands and three designers from Ukraine, Turkey, and also the neighboring Kyrgyzstan. With this variety of talent, Visa FWA has then become a fascinating week of fashion. The designers are innovative and unafraid to experiment with their looks. Overall, the designers brilliantly showcase the country’s culture altogether.
Recognized designer in the global fashion industry. Tatyana Yan has a subtle sense of beauty. In her work, Tatyana combines design, theater, performance, and the dynamics of the human body into a fluid performance. Her work emphasizes the versatility of female nature. The loose cut of Tatyana’s clothes personifies freedom and comfort with bright colors and flowing fabrics; she embraces feminine curves.
At the start of her journey, Tatyana created a unique and inimitable style of jewelry, which consequently became her calling card. This is not the first time the designer has participated in VISA Fashion Week Almaty, each time surpassing expectations. Editorials throughout the world present her whimsical jewelry. In summary, her ready-to-wear vision for this runway relies on the dynamism of our physical performance in sports, on stage, and in everyday life. There is joy in unapologetically free movement.
Cut a Dash
Aizhan and Saya, sisters and third-generation Kyrgyz artists founded Cut a Dash with the promise to promote traditional Central Asian crafts by utilizing them in their beautiful contemporary designs. The sisters consequently explained, “Only by remembering and honoring our roots is further development possible.” One can see their gorgeous and exotic nomadic culture in their designs. Finally, from a design perspective, the brand collaborates with different artists to create original prints. The result is beautiful and recognizable wearable art.
Designer Victoria Nadeina first graduated from Istituto Marangoni London. After graduation, Victoria focused on styling before realizing her true passion and launching her “conscious consumption” brand. She describes her ethos as a mix of elegance and audacity, an upcycled grunge vibe infused with an interest in metaphysics. Vilemore Garments crafts all their fabrics from textile scraps, making each pattern unique. The brand also retails in local luxury stores as part of the prize for the new designer award. Victoria utilizes upcycling and high-tech textiles to help preserve rare and exceptional craftsmanship in her designs. Vilemore was one of our favorites in this Visa Fashion Week Almaty 2023.
Designer Liliya Mamiyeva from Kirpi draws inspiration from Kazakh family dynamics. Like many other cultures, Kazakh families are close with multiple generations in close contact. She calls her collection Ainalaiyn, which is a term of endearment. Its literal translation means “I circle you.” Kazakhi people feel an enormous affectionate connection to the expression. In summary, Liliya’s garments reveal multiple layers, fascinating textures, and complex traditional elements upgraded for the proverbial here and now.
Designer Asel Shingisova from MicroniQ was the winner of the Next Designer Award during Visa Fashion Week Almaty 2023. Her collection was inspired by water conservation, a pressing subject for a landlocked nation with a history of environmental disasters: the tragic Aral Sea saga, the urban encroachment onto the Taldykol lake system, and the pollution of Lake Balkhash. Asel also conveys her emotional message of sustainability using only recycled or natural textiles such as linen, hemp, or nettle.
Zhannas is an entrepreneur and a stylist who combines their commercial and fashion skills to make bold statements with Zadorzi. Zhannas stated, “Where there is a dress, there is always a reason.” The Armaniya collection is a play on words: the Kazakh term for “dream” and an homage to Giorgio Armani. All in all, ambition connects the desire to preserve handmade craftsmanship with the trendiest aspirations.
Designer Gaziza Shabdarbayeva started working with highly customized tailoring for fifteen years before branching out and creating her brand. Consequently, she created her eponymous brand during a prêt-à-porter week in Paris in 2022. Inclover combines pret-a-porter and boutique collections and is characterized by femininity, individuality, elegance, and functionality. In addition, the brand focuses on quality, handmade pieces, emphasizing Gaziza’s focus on the high-end market.
The brand’s foundational elements are luxury hand embroidery, unique fabrics, and tailoring. Gaziza states, “The new spring-summer collection Inclover is inspired by the brand’s history and its clients – over 15 years of work in the atelier, hundreds of outfits, patterns and silhouettes were created. In essence, the collection will serve as a declaration of love for the craft and those who inspire the brand.
The basis of the collection will be dresses for any occasion – every day, cocktail, and evening elegant.” Three exciting facts highlighted Gaziza’s presentation. First, her outfits on the runway included lace, crepe, eco-leather, taffeta, and sequins with uncluttered silhouettes. Second, her colors were emphatic, including gold, pink, red, and turquoise. Third, the collection included the brand’s first foray into menswear.
Fashion entrepreneur Saltanat Begaliyeva from SLT Addict dedicated this collection to the designer’s mother. It is an anti-ageist manifesto and study of timeless design elements inspired by nomadic minimalism. The designer stated, “Eco-shedding, eco-leather, organic cotton, innovative Scuba fabric will marry each other right on the catwalk.” As a matter of fact, it is a beautiful, forward-looking collection from a designer that has been steadily gaining notice on the worldwide stage.
Skrigel Sabutaj is a self-described “Serbian-born designer of Bosnian-Albanian origin.” Skrigel created a collection made of a mix of denim with custom-designed textiles and knitwear. All things considered, Selfmadé’s inspiration was “transforming you into the person you want to be with self-acceptance embodied in clothes, accepting oneself, declaring oneself.”
Kristina Bobkova, a Ukrainian designer, graduated from The Kyiv National University of Technologies and Design. After graduation, she founded her clothing line, focusing on trend knitwear with skew cuts. Above all, Bobkova is a critical member of Ukrainian Fashion Week with her pret-a-porte collections.
First Lady Olena Zelenska chose Bobkova’s clothes for foreign state visits. Bobkova is a regular feature at European fashion weeks. Now, the brand is venturing into the emerging Central Asian market with its gender-neutral aesthetics, Japanese tailoring, and traditional Ukrainian elements like the mallow flower woven into hair or garments for protection.