During Yerevan Fashion Week, an exciting competition, Fashion Scout was held, where 8 finalists showcased their collections. Fashion Scout Armenia is an exceptional opportunity that aims to illuminate the extraordinary talent of emerging Armenian fashion designers on a global stage. In collaboration with the esteemed Fashion and Design Chamber of Armenia (FDC Armenia), the task for jury was to evaluate the collections of Armenian fashion students, recent graduates, and emerging designers, determining which among them were ready to take the next step in their careers. This was no easy feat given the remarkably high level of talent on display. The stakes were high, as the prizes for Fashion Scout Armenia ranged from a three-month internship at a renowned fashion atelier in Florence, a sponsored study trip to London Fashion Week in September 2023, exclusive one-on-one mentoring sessions with Fashion Scout experts, and the opportunity to be featured on Fashion Scout and FDC Armenia’s esteemed media channels. With such incredible rewards at stake, it became apparent from the outset that each designer brought their own unique flair and showcased remarkable potential which might one day gain them a coveted spot on the Yerevan Fashion Week schedule. Now, let’s delve into a captivating rundown of the Fashion Scout Armenia collections.
Alla Dawson has seamlessly incorporated captivating storytelling into her avant-garde collection under her brand, Admery. The brand’s Instagram showcased a previously handmade dress, highlighting her evident design expertise. Her collection, titled “Dove from Sevan,” draws inspiration from the mystical history of the Hayravank monastery.
Knarik Karapetyan unveiled one of the more contemporary collections which captivated the audience as her models confidently strode down the runway. Her brand, aptly named Boldness, truly lived up to its name, with a vibrant colour palette and striking silhouettes that commanded attention.
Mane Melikyan's MM2NINE’s “Lost Memory” collection drew inspiration from Armenia’s magnificent architectural legacy and the country’s traditional costume, the Taraz. This captivating collection transcended time, weaving a narrative that celebrated ancestral heritage while showcasing the prowess of modern craftsmanship. The inclusion of horned headpieces paid homage to the iconic Afrikyan’s Club Building, which once graced the heart of Yerevan. Through these striking elements, MM2NINE provocatively explored the intertwined nature of shared histories and the often-controversial removal of historic relics to pave the way for a dynamic and ever-evolving culture.
Anahit Khalatyan’s brand Tihana serves as a valuable example from which larger brands can draw inspiration. By utilizing solely recycled denim, which she sources from her friends, Tihana has successfully crafted a collection that truly aligns with the elusive sustainable objective that so few brands genuinely fulfil.
Lucciana Karabajakian, the founder of the brand Lily and Orchid, has already achieved significant success in the real world, and her expertise is evident in her latest collection. Through the utilisation of various techniques, her collection showcases versatility, sustainability, and above all, relevance. Additionally, her incorporation of felt-work adds a notable artistic touch to the collection, while her distinctive skirt woven belts demonstrate her keen eye for styling and attention to detail.
Gayane Ghazaryan’s collection was a testament to the fusion of Armenian architecture and avant-garde fashion. Inspired by the captivating colours and architectural elements of traditional stone buildings, Ghazaryan skilfully incorporated these influences into her colour scheme, creating a visually striking collection. However, it was her ability to draw inspiration from more contemporary surroundings that truly set her apart. One of her designs paid homage to the Karen Demirtchian Sport/Concert Complex, infusing a modern edge into the collection.
Mari Airapetyan, the talented designer behind Mariko Design, emerged as the grand prize winner with her exceptional collection that seamlessly melded elements from the past and tradition with a contemporary twist. The boldness of her collection was evident in the expertly crafted shorts, jackets, dresses, accessories, and printed shirts that graced the runway. It was evident that Mari had invested considerable effort and research in conceptualising this remarkable range.
Nana Metajanyan, the visionary behind the esteemed brand Alenkie, showcased her exceptional talent in her upcycled collection. Employing a diverse range of techniques, Metajanyan breathed new life into old creations. One particular standout piece that captured everyone’s attention was the striking two-tone trench coat. Through the clever use of illustration and patchwork, the collection exuded a playful yet rebellious edge, making it a perfect fit for fashion-forward individuals who exude confidence. Sustainability was at the core of Metajanyan’s collection. To add a touch of ingenuity, models adorned headdresses constructed from pull tabs sourced from tinned drinks, further emphasizing the brand’s commitment to eco-consciousness.
The inaugural Fashion Scout – Yerevan Fashion Week showcased an exciting array of budding designers all of who displayed a level of talent far beyond their years. We eagerly await what lies ahead for all designers and feel assured that in their hands, Armenia’s future within the fashion world could very well be FAULTless.