La Maison de l’Ouzbékistan is a way to introduce Uzbek culture to a European audience

03 Dec 2021

For Lola Tillyaeva, opening La Maison de l’Ouzbékistan in the heart of Paris, is a passion project to promote the rich cultural heritage of her homeland. During her time as the Former Permanent Representative of Uzbekistan to UNESCO, Lola witnessed how first-time visitors were stunned by Uzbek art, culture and traditional forms of dress. To bring this rich culture to a European audience, Lola founded La Maison. Lola Tillyaeva has said the gallery serves as “a cultural bridge between Europe and Central Asia, providing a singular portal to Uzbekistan right in the heart of Paris. It is a way of introducing Uzbekistan’s rich cultural heritage to a European audience.”

la maison de l'ouzbekistan

Stocked with a selection of hand-made homewares, finely crafted silks, fine timber furniture and unique ceramic pieces, Lola’s team at La Maison works hard to display each item in its correct cultural context. The gallery feels like a museum which offers visitors the chance to learn about Uzbek culture and take home a few items. Staff from Galeria Joseph who visited La Maison said, “Just push the door of La Maison de l’Ouzbékistan in the heart of the French capital to be transported to a fascinating country. An open window to this country’s rich culture and artisanal ways, the Central Asian gem offers a total change of scenery through the objects and books it offers”.

A highlight of any visit is the extensive display of fashion spanning thousands of years of Uzbek history. Contemporary Uzbek fashion reflects a myriad of cultural influences – “a story that unfolded as the Uzbek people mingled with neighbouring nations in a rich pageant of human evolution.

Added to this are regional variations which further contribute to the diversity of Uzbek culture.

The story that Lola’s fashion display at La Maison tells is one of evolving tastes reflecting the evolution of Uzbekistan itself. One example of this is the prominence of cotton fabrics, which is indicative of the country’s long tradition of cotton production. Another constant presence in Uzbek fashion is silk – if anything can encapsulate the story of Uzbekistan, it’s silk. For thousands of years Uzbekistan lay at the very heart of the Silk Road and everything it entailed. Empires, religions, traders and thinkers were all drawn to the trade of this timeless commodity.

In the gorgeous diversity of silk garments displayed at La Maison de l’Ouzbékistan, visitors can see echoes of this long and complex tale. In a way, the gallery tells the story of Uzbekistan itself – how it is and how it came to be.