Vahan Khachatryan vs. Dolce & Gabbana: The Imitation Game

Vahan Khachatryan

On March 18, Vahan Khachatryan, an Armenian designer, presented his collection before launching his shop Biayni in Dalma Garden Mall. Kamo Tovmasyan, a blogger, was leading the whole event, well-known young singers were performing, as the “models” took off the runway.

Now that I fulfilled the requirements of a journalistic piece and stated the most important facts from the event, let us proceed with a “piece of cake” waiting for us on the runway.

While preparing the camera to make the best noisy photos, I noticed something familiar in the atmosphere of the event. Familiar to the point where the image of Dolce & Gabbana’s 2014 Alta Moda collection appeared before me, out of blue. Until the end of the event there were certain nuances reminding us of a high Italian fashion brand that we considered worth sharing. Instead of trying to reveal what came first – the chicken or the egg, we should, first of all, appreciate the hard work of our Armenian designer on teleportation of the Dolce & Gabbana collection into the Armenian market with more affordable prices.


The spring garden full of flowers is what best describes the setting of Vahan Khachatryan’s show. The bridge around the first floors’ fountain was decorated with pink artificial flowers and a golden birdcage located right on the little bridge. The whole aura was inspired by baroque and rococo, making the place colorful and beautiful. Hence, the setting was more than a background picture set on the wall; it was an illustration of the collection and designer’s inspiration. 


In 2017 for its ready-to-wear collection, Dolce & Gabbana decided to diversify the list of the models by inviting millennials along with their clients to present the collection.

“The character of people is the important thing to us,” said Stefano Gabbana to Vogue magazine. “We’ve had an attraction to this from the very beginning—our first show in the mid-1980s was on real people. The message is: You need to accept yourself as you are. That’s it!”

Dolce & Gabbana Fall/Winter 2017-18

Vahan Khachatryan implemented the same approach while choosing the models for this event. Kamo Tovmasyan with the words “It is not going to be an ordinary catwalk show” declared the presence of mothers, teens, and children as the main models of the show.Little did Vahan Khachatryan know that we were quite informed about the latest fashion news and that at some point, it would become apparent that this collection was imitative of Dolce and Gabbana. This brings us to another aspect that Vahan Khachatryan professionally took control of — raising awareness about high fashion through his own “ingenious” collections (this is not the first year).


The young performers’ list included Maggie, Mika, Angelina Gasparyan, Elina Cholakhyan, and many others. With the latest popular songs choice, teens did not let the audience stand still. It is no news transforming the catwalk show into an actual show with performers and a bigger audience. Since children are our future, Vahan Khachatryan decided to gather more than a single singer to perform during the runway show, while Dolce & Gabbana’s performer during its Spring 2017 collection was a well-known millennial Austine Mahone. This is a bloody battle. But even here, unfortunately, Dolce & Gabbana tried to throw a shade on a performance. How come?  


As for the collection itself, gowns, pajamas, and sweatshirts dominated the runway. Colorful prints combined with accessories in a form of flower headbands and bows. Following the trend of fur and ruffles, Vahan Khachatryan included those details into his looks. To show the overall sublimity, we have shiny crowns, laces, and pastel chokers decorated with stones. Dior is softly weeping in the corner.

Left: Dolce & Gabbana Fall Winter 2012, Right: Biayni

Left: Dolce & Gabbana Fall Winter 2014, Right: Biayni

Left: Biayni, Right: Gucci


Finally, let’s wish that someone will come up with a “unique” idea of creating Chanel dresses in Armenia. We hope that fashion in Armenia will also strive for the uniqueness and high quality, and not for imitation. 

Tatevik Avetisyan

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