LFW: Tata Naka inspired by the world of ballet for AW23
For Tata Naka’s autumn/winter 2023 presentation during London Fashion Week, they invited guests into the world of ballet with a wonderful performance from dancers from the Masters of Ballet Academy.
Taking inspiration from ballet rehearsals, Tata Naka explored classical studio dance wear, from leotards, floaty chiffon skirts, leg warmers, and warm-up pants, and mixed with off-duty looks, including cosy knits, tweed blazers and oversized coats.
The presentation was a behind-the-scenes view of the ballet, combined with a live photoshoot, with Elena Glurjidze, the former lead principal ballerina of the English National Ballet choreographing the magical performance.
For the clothes, highlights included sporty sweatshirt-style jumpers showcasing Tata Naka’s interpretation of Giselle, Romeo and Juliet and The Swan ballet posters, alongside vintage-style florals often seen on leotard designs used on cut-out dresses in various colourways and adorning soft cashmere pieces.
There were also several statement outerwear pieces, from colourful herringbone tweeds with knitted detailing to Tata Naka’s signature padded print bombers.
FashionUnited speaks to Tata Naka co-founders Tamara and Natasha Surguladze
Speaking with FashionUnited ahead of the presentation, Tata Naka co-founders Tamara and Natasha Surguladze shared their creative process, the inspiration behind the AW23 collection, and their advice to aspiring fashion designers.
How would you describe your brand’s aesthetic?
Fun, eclectic and colourful. We want to create pieces that have personality and a sense of humour. Something you can treasure for a long time.
How do you begin your creative process?
Always with a concept or a story. It could be something we’ve seen or read about, and we start brainstorming together. Then we start researching this theme and see where it takes us and what kind of story we want to tell. Research is our favourite part.
What was your starting point/inspiration for autumn/winter 2023?
The collection takes its inspiration from the world of ballet rehearsals, looking beyond the magic one sees on stage.
What’s your approach to sustainability?
Our main approach is not to waste anything, whether it’s materials, trims or garments. We order exactly what we need, and we never produce extra stock. We also always reuse old leftover materials, either in archive capsule collections, home-wear soft accessories or for toiling. Plus, we mainly work with local small-scale manufacturers.
What is it like working with your twin?
It’s great, we can’t see it any other way. Tata Naka is a complete collaboration between our two personalities. If we were to do it separately, it would be two very different brands.
Also, running your own business is hard. Having someone who gets you completely helps a lot. We also have different strengths which complement each.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give a student fashion designer starting out?
We would say it’s very important to stay true to yourself. Create your own brand only if you really love creating, because it’s a challenging business.
If you could be the creative helm of any luxury house, which would you choose?
It’s a huge responsibility going into an existing House where a designer has created a legacy and continuing that legacy with your own vision and style, while at the same time respecting the vision of the founding designer whose name is still on a label.
But in terms of design aesthetic, we feel it would have to be Elsa Schiaparelli.