Kazakh designers demonstrate collections at London’s Silk Road Fashion Show

ASTANA – Young Kazakh designers Zhanar Kainarbayeva and Aizhan Salimbayeva presented their works in London at last month’s Silk Road Fashion Show. The event introduced modern Central Asian elegance to the British audience.

Photo credit: Martyna Saternus

Photo credit: Martyna Saternus

“Kazakh designers make their special contribution to fashion, as they have unique style and bring something quite unfamiliar to the local audience. Therefore, our mission is to promote them,” said event CEO Dr. Alma Farmer.

Fashion experts, designers, the media, buyers and diplomats from all corners of the world were immersed into the Silk Road culture, enjoying collections from eight designers on the catwalk and in the showroom. Before the show, residents and guests had an opportunity to explore a yurt, a traditional Kazakh mobile house, and play a dombra, a national folk instrument. The runway opened with a Kazakh dance.

Speaking to the audience, Kazakh Ambassador to the U.K. Erlan Idrissov noted the Silk Road is particularly relevant and politically, economically and especially culturally interesting.

Salimbayeva presented her collection of leather accessories.

“We have a lot of interesting things to show the public. One example is our accessories, as not many produce them. Besides that, we applied sophisticated techniques and I hope the audience greatly values the collection,” she said.

Kainarbayeva demonstrated her collection of dresses and cardigans produced from felt.

“I believe foreign audiences will like our felt garments made in Kazakhstan. Eastern culture has always been especially interesting to Europeans,” she noted.

“The designers have unique taste and that is what I appreciate. It does not mean that they are better than designers from Europe, but it is interesting to look at collections that stand out,” said fashion expert Vesna Petkovich.

The inaugural show also featured designers from Hungary, Iran, Portugal, Russia and the U.K. and organisers promised to hold the event on a regular basis.