Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith at Georgian Museum
01 November, 2012
Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith at Georgian Museum

Recently, Georgian National Museum hosted an extraordinary exhibition. Together with the British Council and as a matter of fact,  on its initiative, the exhibition called “Reconstruction: Cultural Heritage and the Making Contemporary Fashion”. 

The display featured famous representatives of  global vogue: Hussein Chalayan, Peter Jensen, Sophia Kokosalaki, Marios Schwab, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood and Osman Yousefzada. This is a tour in Silk Road countries, and after Russia, Georgia is hosting it. It is really impressing to see live such bright names

of contemporary vogue. They all live in Great Britain, but are distinguished with individualism and differ from one another by religion, colors, signature and level of their interest in folk architecture and new technologies. They do not lose their links with their own ethnic and social heritage, and they research all this via their works. The exhibition aims to show that in spite of the tight link between fashion and personal identity it also comprises distinctions among histories and cultures, which is also revealed in the contemporary fashion.

“Reconstruction” shows that mode is not only the sphere of commerce but also art – means of fulfilling ideas and sharing them. At the opening of the exhibition, the show of several students studying on the faculty of design at the Tbilisi Academy of Fine Arts was organized.  It aimed to let the youth of Georgia to better realize those rich and deep traditions that Georgian nation possesses and to rely on this heritage while creating their own design.

“British Council has very rich programs in art. However, we have not implemented such a large-scale event within the last few years in the sphere of fashion. I want to thank the Georgian National Museum without which this cooperation would not be possible. The conception of the exhibition was totally based on the idea around which the patterns were created. Cultural heritage and vogue is also quite a topical theme for the Georgian fashion realm and from this point of view, it was really thrilling to engage the students of the design department of the Tbilisi Academy of Fine Arts in the project. I think that the project and the exhibition are successful, as it evokes a huge interest among the professionals as well as in a wider audience,“ Zaza Purtseladze, Director of British Council Georgia noted in talks with Georgian Journal.

The Georgian National Museum has never ever been so active in its history. However, there still are some people who tend to be conservators in the not very best sense of this word. In my opinion, if something has been done in terms of getting close to Europe in culture, is this process of destroying the old perception of museum, which was very static and nothing ever happened there but for the permanent exposition of ancient artifacts. Of course, it is not bad too, but for those who still go to the museum to discover only the remnants of the ancient Georgia, which for some nations is a real miracle and I gladly respect their interest and don’t stop taking pride in our antiquity, Zaza Purtseladze has quite a nice answer that I totally share: “Museum in my opinion today is the place for science as well as for culture. Therefore, this project was liked by its authorities. We wanted it to be educational, as well as depict the arts and latest fashion trends.”

According to Maia Darchia, Arts Project Manager of British Council, the primary aim of this exhibition was to attract new audience to the museum. This aim was achieved. People could see that even at National Museum, contemporary expos and even more, in the realm of vogue, is possible, which was a real discovery for people who re-discovered or discovered the museum for the first time. “Reconstruction: Cultural Heritage and the Making of Fashion” was accompanied by a number of very interesting trainings, meetings and master-classes. The exhibition will last until November 20.

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