Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent – these names are known around the world. Famous fashion designers and couturiers, “style icons” had a great influence on the development of fashion and the tastes of a generation.
In the Turkmen fashion industry, stars of such magnitude have not yet been highlighted, since such a goal has not existed yet. But here there are many bright and distinctive fashion designers who create trends in national fashion – a phenomenon that is so unusual from the standpoint of, say, European views, yet so traditional from the viewpoint of local fashionistas.
Ashgabat men’s clothing designer Shalar Rakhimov, in an interview with ORIENT correspondent, told how it feels to create clothes for a strong half of humanity, what features are present in this “not easy” business. And also, why exactly the national style is still in favor among consumers of Central Asian countries.
Shalar warmly welcomes guests in his exclusive clothing store, surrounded by “concert” jackets of deep colors, sheathed with sparkling stones, traditional Turkmen patterns that adorn collars and sleeves. All clothing is exclusively for men who want to look stylish not only at a gala event, but also in everyday life.
– Still, as a student of the faculty of textile design, where they primarily study the structure of the fabric, I thought about the fact that in our country there are practically no exclusive clothes for men, says the designer. – While I was studying, I watched how the fashionable clothes market in Turkmenistan was developing, attended fashion shows, and even took part in them as a model. I drew a lot, among my first sketches for the most part were women’s dresses. But guys also need a personal fashion designer, they have their own preferences. And honestly, men are more selective than girls in choosing a stylish bow.
In 2018, the young designer presented at the Ashgabat fashion show, demonstrating 25 suits from the collection, combining ornaments inherent in five regions of the country – Mary, Lebap, Balkan, Dashoguz and Ahal. Patterns borrowed from the old decor, originally fit into men’s suits, each of which is designed exclusively by hand.
– I was very pleased when the popular Russian singer Sergei Lazarev chose a costume from my collection for his performance at the Caspian Forum, which was held in Avaza in 2019. I think this is just connected with the style that I use. All clothes, although modern, have a historical response, an appeal to the traditions of their ancestors. Patterns adorning camisoles and robes of soldiers, elements of wedding rituals, rhytons of Nisa – all this is a historical heritage of Turkmenistan, therefore it will never lose its relevance. “Gochak Ygit” – clothes for young horsemen, as I call these exclusive things, and in the future I plan to make this name my brand.
According to Shalar, when he was just planning to become a clothing designer, all of his closest relatives were against such a hobby, they say, this is not a man’s business. And at first Rakhimov worked in the red, he didn’t even have his own workshop, and he could only dream of a store. But in two years the guy achieved good results, now the designer has his regular customers, among which there are many Turkmen pop stars.
– My store is like a small podium for men who want to be dressed stylishly and tastefully, including in national color. You can rent any costume you like here. European, Asian and Turkmen styles, in my collection are men’s suits for every taste. Many students, leaving abroad, buy shirts with national symbols, they are also issued in a single copy.
Today, the designer is actively developing a new collection of clothes – “male-female”, in which there will be a single color scheme and matching patterns. Customers often ask the designer to dress them so that the couple look harmonious and complement each other in style. In May, a new fashion show is planned, where several exclusive lines from Shalar Rakhimov will be presented. It remains only to wish him good luck and new ideas for creativity.