Keeping Up With The Karkashadzes -- Fashion's Newest It Girls
Despite a linguistic similarity to a more tabloid-friendly set of sisters, Natuka and Likuna Karkashadze share little in common with America's most infamous family. The Karkashadze sisters are, however, garnering a devoted following of fashion fiends in their hometown of Tbilisi, Georgia -- and beyond -- with their matching Anna Wintour bobs and bold fashion choices.
"I love to experiment, but at the same time I always try not to overload my looks," says Natuka Karkashadze, a Tbilisi-based stylist and fashion journalist, who dresses mostly in Chanel, Stella McCartney and Celine. Thanks to her blog, Wardrobe Mistress, and her and her younger sister Likuna's regular appearances on the international fashion-week scene, the former Soviet Republic of Georgia might just have its first fashion stars.
Natuka remembers loving to dress up as a small child. "I changed my outfit several times a day," she recalls. Natuka's parents (their father is a lawyer, their mother, a doctor) actually encouraged her by keeping Natuka supplied with hard-to-find fashion magazines. (Natuka says that her own two-year-old daughter is less enthusiastic about sartorial experimentation.)
Luckily, Natuka, who studied at Central Saint Martins in London, has her best fashion sidekick in her sister Likuna. Four years her younger, Likuna is an auditor at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. She joined Natuka for their first international splash this July during the Paris couture shows. Natuka was photographed in a super-chic zebra-print jumpsuit by Georgian designer Avtandil that got the blogs buzzing, and that same week, she was spotted sporting a floor-length blue gingham gown of her own design.
In addition to her blog, Natuka works for several Georgian publications and last season was on the board of Tbilisi Fashion Week. Although she says the Georgian style scene is quite underdeveloped, the Karkashadze sisters and their friends -- bankers, journalists, designers -- are fashion-obsessed and shop at the city's chic boutiques like Prive and Pierrot le Fou.
"Georgia was part of the Soviet Union for a long time, and of course there was no fashion for that period," Natuka explains. "But there's always been something special in how Georgian women dress. The Georgian woman has style in her genes."
(L-R) Natuka and Likuna