Fashion forward: can Kazakhstan become a designer capital of the future?

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From distribution in massive concrete structure, to the wide boulevards and smoked traffic outside the geometric pattern of stretching the past ili we set at the foot of the mountain, almaty, kazakhstan former capital – with real proved more difficult western snubbed graphics. In fact, with the economy booming, a series of sharp Celine handbags and black suvs are turning it into an Instagram Xanadu.

In 2012, I went to the high-end six floors of Esentai mall, aiming to create an international atmosphere. For any booming country, the arrival of the new Louis vuitton is a sure sign. Thanks to oil, the economy is expected to grow by nearly six percentage points year on year by 2020. But how did the many independent labels in the former Soviet republic of central Asia fit into its business future?

In November 2015, I spent two days with 10 almaty, a fashion designer, to help them find the answer. As part of “British Fashion Days”, the British Council is working with the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Almaty to develop skills for emerging talent. In samar, tower (17 layer of high-rise buildings, mirror, blue Windows package) 11 floor bright white room, stylist sit quietly before the orbit of different heights, ready to speak through their own collections. The intergenerational dynamics of post-soviet kazakhstan are obvious. The local fashion world lingers between the old and the new. From the work of most mature designers across the country, they remember that there was no consumer choice, and there was a sense of untimely luxury. Only millennials, who have brand fashion and digital world, are eager to destroy the status quo.

The contemporary kazakh style is as nuanced as the rest of the world. The designer’s look and Instagram account is filled with an international elan. Danilo Kuchumov shot his brand Khan Kuchum’s 2015 spring/summer collection on the basketball court, with models wearing loose cotton shirts and orange pipes in pants. Pentatonica – a label by two friends Maysheva and gera Saule Dzhamil design – is the hotel, they say, concentrated in a woman’s material: they only use natural fabrics such as silk and cotton, and “clothing should emphasize complex all aspects of human individual.” Loyal customers keep coming, because their transformers can be worn in many ways.

A handful of brand-name boutiques – particularly those run by Sauvage group and online retailer Sprezzatura – are among the pioneers who have introduced avant-garde and independent designers into the market. But fashion education is new. Bloggers in kazakhstan institute of fashion makeup, beauty, today’s students, AIDS center of democracy in Russia, quickly said himself in peach and jade green, two transparent black dress, talking about her passion for clothing and Marilyn Monroe. Kamila Kurbani showed off her collection of digitally printed neoprene sweatshirts depicting local landmarks; Aidana Kozhageldina collects black paraffin wax for her and the former chief executive, Lariya Dzhakambaeva, defends her taste for superwomen while clenching gold and black Lurex to separate her own designs.

The designers face challenges from kazakhstan, which borders Russia, China, kyrgyzstan, uzbekistan and the closed Caspian sea. This is the largest landlocked country in the world, so the local textile manufacturing industry is developing slowly. The designer relies on low-quality fabrics imported from the neighborhood, and support for local talent is still disappointing at the retail level. When she graduated from the London school of fashion in 2012, she said: “what do you think?” she said, introducing a range of international girls’ jeans, lapels and button-down coats. She asked. “The girls in these clothes are not in kazakhstan.”

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