Watch a Fashion Show of Swirling Silk in Samarkand, Uzbekistan (VIDEO)

Watch a Fashion Show of Swirling Silk in Samarkand, Uzbekistan (VIDEO)

In Uzbekistan, the art of silk making has been practiced for well over a millennium. The country is the world’s third largest producer of silk, and many artisans there still make it the traditional way, dyeing and weaving the fabric entirely by hand. It can take almost a month to produce just a few feet, but Uzbek silk is some of the most exquisite you can find, with its bold colors and beautifully detailed patterns.


Silk Road Patterns: Worldwide PopularityWhile it’s beloved throughout Uzbekistan, it’s also recently gained worldwide popularity – Oscar de la Renta, Dries van Noten and Gucci are just a few of the famous fashion designers that have featured handmade Uzbek silks with melting ikat designs and delicate suzani embroidery in their collections, weaving it into everything from clothing and shoes to pillows and furniture fabrics.

A Modern Take On Traditional Silk Road PatternsIn Samarkand, one of the legendary Silk Route caravan cities, internationally recognized fashion designer Valentina Romanenko is creating original modern fashions of her own. Born and raised in Russia, Romanenko moved to Samarkand over 30 years ago, where she fell in love with the silk produced there.

Inspired by the array of fabrics and styles she saw, she began combining traditional Uzbek techniques with those she learned in her native country. Each of her pieces is handmade and uses natural dyes made from materials like pomegranates, mulberries and onion skins to produce a variety of unique, vivid colors.


Moscow-trained designer, Romanenko has transformed her traditional Uzbek home into a workshop and display area and opened it to the public. In this intimate setting, decorated with brilliant Uzbek carpets and wall hangings, she creates and shows her elegant modern fashions made with traditional fabrics and techniques.

Today, she hosts intimate fashion shows to display her luxurious designs. It’s a feast of color, fantasy and artistry watching Romanenko’s models stepping out robed in billowing, intensely-hued fabrics, augmented with the elaborate beading, detailed embroidery and hand-painted art she employs in all of her amazing creations.

Enjoy this short clip from Romanenko’s studio, featuring her sophisticated fashions.

Travel to Uzbekistan with MIR MIR has 30 years of travel experience to Central Asia and was the first American travel company to open an accredited office in Uzbekistan.

You can see a fashion show in Romanenko’s studio on a visit to UNESCO-listed Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on MIR’s small group tour, Journey Through Central Asia: The Five ‘Stans.

You can also opt to travel to Samarkand on a hand-crafted private journey to Uzbekistan, based on your interests and your schedule.

(Top photo: Internationally recognized fashion designer Valentina Romanenko shows her dramatic silk creations at her studio in the Silk Road oasis of Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Photo credit: David Parker)

 

PUBLISHED: August 12, 2015

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