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Georgia on our Mind


Nino Sanaia was born in Tbilisi, Georgia and lived there until she was seven, before moving to Walkinstown in Dublin. Sanaia was always creative and artistic, but it wasn’t until college that she realised her true calling.

“I was always interested in art, and I spent a lot of my childhood drawing and painting,” she says. “I always made little clothes for my dolls but I never really considered a career in fashion. My portfolio when I applied to the National College of Art & Design was very fine art-orientated, and it wasn’t until halfway into my first year that I realised I wanted to study fashion.”

Sanaia completed her joint honours in fashion design and history of visual culture at NCAD, where her striking graduate collection explored the concept of binary masculinity.

“Identifying uniforms to be the pinnacle of masculine dress, the primary influences are the traditional dress of a Georgian warrior, called a Chokha,” Sanaia explains. “I was also influenced by more modern military uniforms from the 1900s. The collection also mimics the performative nature of gender in relation to sex through the exploration of attachment, detachment and transformability.”

Sanaia adores researching her designs and finding inspiration from the historical and cultural contexts from different eras.

“I also get a lot of inspiration from art and design,” enthuses Sanaia, “especially designers like Jean Prouvé and Jacques Adnet. The research dictated everything: the mood, the silhouette, the fabric and the construction.”

The result is a beautiful collection that is strong, controlled and functional, with the masculine energy softened by screen printed fabrics and tactile textiles such as shearling. It was met well-deserved praise, and Sanaia was awarded runner-up in the Brown Thomas Designer to Watch Competition. She was also shortlisted for Persil’s Irish Fashion Awards, the River Island Bursary and Young Designer of the Year. One of the outfits from Sanaia’s graduate collection was purchased by L’Oreal.

This critical acclaim allowed Sanaia to walk into incredible, high-profile design jobs, and she has worked at Proenza Schouler for the Spring 2016 show and again last season for Fall 2017. Sanaia is currently in New York City working for The Row and is finding herself flooded with new inspiration and a desire to challenge herself.

“Since I left college and started working for Proenza and The Row I’ve been so inspired by the amazing designers I’m getting to work with. Their process and passion is amazing to see and be a part of. This industry has some of the most intelligent and talented people in the world. The way they think and work is so interesting to me.”Read more at:cheap prom dresses | evening dresses