The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 6 May 2017

Fashion

Image: Getty Images

Dress code: smart

Tbilisi’s fashion week provides proof of Georgia’s tailored delivery.

Over the past five years, Tbilisi has been put on the international fashion map thanks to Demna Gvasalia, the Georgian who’s co-founder of Vetements and Balenciaga’s creative director. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi, which runs until Monday, aims to build on this momentum by shining a spotlight on Georgia's next generation of designers. The event is now in its third year and this season names to watch include knitwear specialist Lalo and experimental label Atelier Kikala, as well as international labels such as Italian-French brand TL-180 (“Tbilisi is an exciting creative hub right now,” says co-founder Tine Peduzzi of her decision to show here). The fashion week has some hurdles to overcome – including a lack of international buyers – but Georgian fashion also has a lot going for it. One positive is that in many ways it is a self-sustaining industry, with a huge number of designers manufacturing their clothes in the country.

Art

Image: Sprüth Magers

Has New York been Trumped?

European visitors to two of the city’s cultural gatherings have been lacking – and it might be a presidential protest.

Art dealers, collectors and art-lovers will be wandering the gallery-packed halls of Frieze New York on Randall’s Island this weekend. The contemporary-art show runs alongside the inaugural Tefaf New York Spring fair this year yet, curiously, attendance by European collectors is down. Perhaps it’s because the Venice Biennale begins next week – or maybe it has something to do with distrust of the Trump administration. In the meantime, galleries aren’t shying away from bold political statements. That includes Sprüth Magers, which has put Llyn Foulkes’ “Untitled Dinghy” (pictured) on display: a black man afloat in said vessel stamped Trump Lifeboat Co. But it’s not just the art that’s doing the talking: this year Frieze New York has partnered Americans for the Arts Action Fund to help save the National Endowment for the Arts, which Trump’s proposed budget cuts would eliminate.

Magazines

Blooming marvellous

A new publication focusing on all things flora and fauna looks set to blossom.

Pleasure gardens – those bucolic city-centre spaces for contemplation (and at times a little furtive naughtiness) – were an 18th-century obsession. They are also the inspiration behind a handsome new title called, appropriately enough, Pleasure Garden. John Tebbs is both the green-fingered genesis behind the publication and its editor in chief (he also founded online shop The Garden Edit in 2014), and has sought to tell a few pleasing stories on the theme. Leafing through the spring/summer issue reveals a bold arrangement of images, illustrations and musings: a profile of late photographer, teacher and gardener Valerie Finnis, an Alpine dash across Switzerland, a word with New York florist Brittany Asch and an interview with artist Ansel Krut. This is a publication that’s likely to find a growing audience.

Exhibition

Image: Alamy

Water treat

An annual show on the banks of a Milanese canal has a particularly fluid line-up this year.

This Sunday will see Milanese artists deck the Naviglio Grande, the historic canal that stretches 2km through the Ticinese neighbourhood, with their work. Arte sul Naviglio Grande began as a spontaneous celebration of painters from the neighbourhood; now, in its 27th year, the event will feature more than 200 artists and still promotes mostly local and up-and-coming names. Yet visitors can expect some changes this year: not only is it the first version to highlight photography alongside painting and sculpture but the event’s director, Ferdinando Franzini Tibaldeo, has chosen to give more experimental art forms an equal podium, such as live painting with street poetry from Milanese collective Artkademy.

From Monocle 24

The Cinema Show

Director William Oldroyd and actress Florence Pugh discuss gripping new drama Lady Macbeth and 50 years after the disastrous release of Valley of the Dolls, we look back at the soapy drama and assess the legacy of Sharon Tate. Plus: Kitty Green, director of documentary Casting JonBenet, reflects on our cultural obsession with true crime.

From Monocle Films

Taiwan’s second city

Discover the charming city of Tainan that is tempting people away from their high-paid jobs in Taipei and Hong Kong.

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