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Rome opened its doors to the new generation of young fashion designers and emergend brands, supporting their talent through a real marathon of fashion shows, presentations, talks and events. Without forgetting the artisanal tradition that has always characterized the Italian style, now AltaRoma celebrates the young side of Haute Couture.

From the end of January to the early March, fashion insiders know that every moment is dedicated to some event, because these are very busy months of various fashion weeks all around the world, starting with menswear, then Haute Couture and then again with the women’s ready-to-wear. 
This is the first moment of the year during which all the incredible machine of international fashion industry moves its giant wheels between a catwalk and another, top models and crazy designers, super-quick changes of outfits and thousands of photographic clicks. Newest clothes and accessories proposed on runways are minced in the media’s meat grinder at lightning speed in favor of an even more fast and absurd appetite of fashion addicted and curious public.

The spaces of PratiBus Distric for AltaRoma
Fashion world’s dynamics are becoming fast and furious. So much that someone is starting to ask the sense of existence of fashion weeks. In particular this concernes the role of Haute Couture, since its origins connected only with an elitarian class of clients that now could appear honestly anachronistic. Yet Haute Couture, even with many changes for adapting to the contemporary tastes, is trying to maintain its charm and heritage. Is this speech valid only for the French Haute Couture?
Could the Italian High Fashion still have a chance for surviving in a highly competitive context?  

The spaces of PratiBus Distric for Showcase AltaRoma
This is the great challenge that AltaRoma is trying to win, making something that other aren’t doing. A long-term investement of young talent. We can discuss for hours if this means that the most iconic traditional maison now have abandoned the circuit, or that the great fashion brands prefer being under other and maybe more renowned spotlights. Yes, we could speak for hours about all the difficulties of this project, but the truth is that AltaRoma made something unique and audacious.
During the 4 days of the event I was there to discover the most interesting young designers and independent fashion brands. This is the third part of my long report from Rome.

The future of Italian Haute Couture lives in Rome
Collaborating in synergy with their institutional partners and in particular with the Ministry of Economic Development and ICE-Agenzia (agency to promote the Italian companies worldwide), the most attentive talent scouts and supporters of young designers are making a great work with AltaRoma. I’m speaking about Silvia Venturini Fendi, President of AltaRoma, Sara Sozzani Maino, Deputy Editor of Vogue Italia and Head of Vogue Talents, and Simonetta Gianfelici, Head of the project “Who Is On Next?”

The President of AltaRoma Silvia Venturini Fendi visiting the exhibition of emerging brands at Showcase
I’ve already described their project “Portfolio Review” in the previous article, but the most important contribute these women are giving to AltaRoma is probably that of supporting the Roman fashion schools, bringing their students under the spotlight of international mass media. During all the event, 6 fashion academies presented the student’s final works through the graduate fashion shows, special installations and in-school exhibitions. In the third day of AltaRoma, two important and internationally recognized fashion schools were on stage.

The 22 students of Accademia di Costume e Moda at the end of the “ACM Talents 2019”
ACCADEMIA DI COSTUME E MODA presented “ACM Talents 2019”, the graduate fashion show of the 3-year undergraduate course of “Fashion and Costume Design”, with 22 capsule collections made in collaboration with many important companies of Made in Italy, and coordinated by Santo Costanzo (an old friend of mine) for the clothing collections and by Luigi Mulas Debois for the accessories collections. Among the 22 young talents, at the end of the graduate show two students were selected as winners of the event and rewarded also with the “Pitti Tutorship Reward”, a special prize made in collaboration with Pitti Immagine

Luca Rao and Alice Paris, the two winners of the “Pitti Tutorship Reward” after the presentation of their graduate collections at “ACM Talents 2019”

Speaking about the capsule collections, it’s possible to recognize some trends. Psychedelic pop colors and cutting-edge details for three young designers:  

    • Antonio Barraco brings on catwalk the future with cyborg heroins wearing shining multicolor  and multi-layers fringes and silver circuits stolen from some alien starship

    • An electrifying mix of acid colors and sparkling embroideries defines the avant-garde structures made by Francesco Castaldo, who reintrerpreted the emphasized shapes of 19th century female clothing

  • Tania Cellini looks the world through the eyes of a little girl who plays into the grandmother’s house, wearing crochet family heirlooms and strange drawings halfway between sadness and joy

Fashion design students of Accademia di Costume e Moda at “ACM Talents 2019”


Four girls are in search of new volumes for their creations:

    • Agnese Balsamini rethinks the concept of bows creating rich layers of soft fabrics alternating more rigid volumes, playing with a warm and luxurious color palette

    • A mass of black raven’s feathers or a scratching graffiti-style print are for Alessia Romanazzi the perfect surfaces to build enormous round-shaped structures dividing as a wall the front and the back of the woman

    • The woman proposed by Annamaria Biasiol is strong, like the very big volume of her furs, and bold, as the contrast between the soft furry surfaces and the sadomasochistic leather

  • Sara Scascitelli, fascinated by the dilated times and the vastness of Nordic landscapes, enlarges and extends the normal proportions of each detail
Fashion design students of Accademia di Costume e Moda at “ACM Talents 2019”


Who said that tailoring is death? These young students now propose a “neo-tailoring” Couture:

    • A serious analysis of the past sartorial tradition is made by Giuseppe Maldera, who celebrates it amplifying the dimensions of the classic elements of tailoring clothing

    • Alessia Scasseddu creates a visual meltin’pot between eras and suggestions, transforming the details of 60s Couture into new iconic elements of a modern Dandy girl

  • Livia Viola proposes a body trapped halfway between the discipline of the tradition and the sentimental experimentation of old memories intertwined to the research of something new

Fashion design students of Accademia di Costume e Moda at “ACM Talents 2019”

The new “daughters of Anarchy” chooses Haute Couture to express their rebellion:

    • Benedetta Giunti is inspired by the messy and chaotic visionary of English Punk fashion and creates her outfits mixing randomly different pieces that otherwise should be worn with more order 

  • Eleonora Falchi brings us back inside a dance club of London or NY in the late 70s, with their weird, exuberant and exaggerated characters
Fashion design students of Accademia di Costume e Moda at “ACM Talents 2019”

Among the capsule collections, two proposes a new idea of menswear:  

    • Karen Papace is inspired by one of the most iconic artist of the last century and reproposes the strong colors and the bold patterns of Jean Michel Basquiat giving a touch of luxury to the collection

  • A 3-dimensional virtual effect of the fabric makes almost real and very emotional the faces drawn on the jacket,  that’s why Luca Rao, winner of the competition for the clothing category, earn the trust of who believed in his talent

Fashion design students of Accademia di Costume e Moda at “ACM Talents 2019”


One of the strenghts of the school is the accessories design, as we can see in these collections:

    • Alice Paris, winner of the Pitti’s prize for the accessories, is inspired by the submarine life treated as mirror of the soul, for her bags that mix leather and technical fabrics using minimal shapes and pure, clean colors

    • The famous Rorschack inkblot psychological test becomes prints on leather made by Chiara Donati, a kind of modern animal pattern in which the imprints are those born from our mind

    • Sporty lines and upcycling approach for the designer Diletta Caracci, who adds carabiners and rock climbing cords to the geometric lines of her bags

    • Simple geometrical shapes that crossing each other make other complex structures for Eleonora Di Girolamo, who experiment with color to emphasize the textures of leather bags and shoes

    • Federica Dominici
      designs unconventional boots that completely covers the legs like
      unusual leg warmers and geometrical bags made with precious exotic
      leathers like crocodile and python

    • For the nostalgic of Sixties revival, Olimpia Pediconi re-designs the funny and iconic movie posters,  dusting off the improbable robots and colorful rockets typical of the Space Age

    • The essence of nothingness and the extreme simplicity of the game between empty and full spaces is transformed by Sara Pacioni into accessories that almost disappeared, thanks to the holes made with laser-cut techniques

  • Sofia Scarponi uses the simple graphic aesthetics of luggage tags and the theme of the travel for creating ethereal accessories that pushing toward the extremes the meaning of minimalism
Accessories design students of Accademia di Costume e Moda at “ACM Talents 2019”

Almost 50 years are passed from 1970, when the Beatles announced their retirement from the scene as group, completely changing the landscape of music and opening the doors to a decade of rebellion and desire of freedom never seen before. The young students of ACCADEMIA KOEFIA reinterpreted the aesthetic codes of that incredible era, through 33 outfits complely handmade during their fashion design course. 

Grand final of the graduate fashion show of the students of ACCADEMIA KOEFIA

Intentionally excluding almost any kind of decoration and the embroidery art that always characterizes one of the strong point of the fashion academy, the students focused their attention on one important element of design, the use of color. The contrasting chromatic palette becomes incredibly vibrant, evocating complex suggestions in the public’s mind, yet if applied to the extreme simplicity of the shapes. 

Grand final of the graduate fashion show of the students of ACCADEMIA KOEFIA

Color redifines the lines of the classic wardrobe, mixing male and female in a unicuum that turns this collective collection into a very wearable assembling of beautiful coats, trousers, skirts and shirts, mini dresses and jumpsuits. Wearable not in the sense of simplicity, but with a more deep meaning that looks to a democratic way to intend fashion design. Working on color’s symbolism and without marked borders between genders and generations, this collection brings us closer to the real significance of the Seventies: the freedom of being ourself in our truest essence.

Grand final of the graduate fashion show of the students of ACCADEMIA KOEFIA


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Combinations of almost complementary color for:

  • The mysterious and dangerous masked girl by Angela Lucci 
  • The breathtaking silk coat with contrasting frings and the sexy jumpsuit made by Agnese Tagliolini 
  • The empire line long dress which mixes the elegance to the sporty lines designed by Laudy Mignemi 
  • The beautiful combination of orange silk with violets tones knitwear made by Livia Cerruti 
  • The 19th century revival color-changing taffetas blouse made modern by the contrast with ochre and burgundy in the outfit by Marina Saltarelli 
  • The Rococo puffed short dress who Urszula Maria Drozd combined with a orange turtleneck sweater to lighten the too dolly mood
  • The incredible color-match of saffron, magenta violet and cocoa choosen by Zhang Jiayuan for her outfit.
Graduate fashion show of the students of ACCADEMIA KOEFIA

Violet and purple, with all the nuances of colors that are around them are used by the students:

  • Chiara Maggi, who cancelled the distances between male and female in two outfits with the same color combinations
  • Giorgia Magliano, who exaggerated the proportions of the patch pockets to emphasize the silhouette of her beautiful coat
  • Mariarita Nazzari, who played with layers of different fabrics going from the lightness of a pleated chiffon to the crispy texture of lurex knit
  • Roberta Elena Buema, who decorated her coat with naive floral embroideries and expertly mixed the purple with warm brown shades
  • Valeria Cappellano, who used a light tone of purple for a skirt combined inan unusual way with a luxurious eggshell tone.
Graduate fashion show of the students of ACCADEMIA KOEFIA

Red and pink in different shades are chosen by: 

  • Antonietta Iacona for her bold tailored suit with contrasting lapels and pockets
  • For the trench coat designed by Anxhela Nebillari, who mixes the sweetness of pink to the modernity of technical fabrics
  • For the Rococo-style short puffed dress which mixes dusty pink brocade and mauve violet made by Cecile Roingeard Islasse 
  • For the stately bi-color trench coat in sugar pink and grey designed by Martina Neroni 
  • For Nikki Squara, who matched together these two colors to create an outfit with interesting couture details.
Graduate fashion show of the students of ACCADEMIA KOEFIA

It’s not very easy to correctly match the neutral tones with touches of other colors, but the Koefia’s students made a very good work, like in these cases: 

  • Alessandra Ventriglia, who transformed the classic light blue and the greige in an unusual duo of skirt-overalls and 70s style shirt with big cuffs and pointed collars
  • Chiara Carrubba, who realized a very contemporary outfit with a color-block sleevless trench coat adn contrasting details in blue
  • The “nouvelle” Marie Antoinette created by Diletta Gallo with precious eggshell tone brocades and white organdie
  • The new business-woman created by Fabiana Migliori wearing beige, grey and azure (and a wonderful bag!)
  • The pale yellow organdie short dress with eye-catching butterfly sleeves designed by Silvia Tonucci 
  • The most eccentric and avant-garde outfit of the show, which mixes the Seventies mood with heritage coming from the 17th century, made by Valerio Velleca.
Graduate fashion show of the students of ACCADEMIA KOEFIA

Despite the almost total absence of hyper-decorative elements, some students decided to add to the collective collection a contribute in terms of prints or textures: 

  • Elena Cupelli, who used lurex stripes on transparent fabric and a ruffle collar in contrast with a contemporary bomber jacket
  • Elisa Felice, who took inspiration from the most protester side of the Seventies with graffiti messages written on her jumpsuit
  • Maria Grazia De Gregorio, who used zig-zag lines to frame heraldry-like embroideries on the minidress combined to a shirt with puffed sleeves
  • Marusa Batista Da Silva, who created a theatrical dress mixing the simplicity of the striped and pleated empire-line skirt to flaomboyant tulle ruffle collar and sleeves
  • Sara Di Stefano, who created the effect of multi-colored stripes assembling different fabrics into a very sexy empire line long dress
  • Sveva Colli, who matched together jemstones embroideries, tartan and a unusual landascape print.
Graduate fashion show of the students of ACCADEMIA KOEFIA

Among all these colors what happened to dark shades? They didn’t disappeared as demonstrated by:

  • Dora Cuccaro, who creted a very sensual outfit mixing a precious black lace with a modern parka and contrasting gloves
  • Giulia Setteposte, who was inspired by the Punk period of the late Seventies for her oversize jackets and destroyed wool sweater both for men and women
  • Valentina Castellani, who has choosen different shades of dark and electric blue for her male outfit with a bomber that can be worn as a backpack.
Graduate fashion show of the students of ACCADEMIA KOEFIA
Famous Ateliers and new names on runway

In continuity with its DNA, AltaRoma brought under the spotlights both new emerging designers,  traditional ateliers and iconic brands.

Angelia Corno, the 26 years old designer coming from Istituto Marangoni Milano, presented her 5th collection of her label ANGELIA AMI, inspired by the elitarian world of the most famous fashion icons in the cosmopolitan New York of the 90s.  Her woman is energic, self-confident and able to translate the instances of the Nineties fashion into a contemporary speech, cool and strong. 
The Nineties’ silhouettes, with the oversize proportions of the outerwear, sweaters and male trousers, play with the particular use of the fabrics, alternating the classic textures of Prince of Wales and Japanese Gingham to leather, technical fabrics and the animal print transformed into a jacquard pattern.

Fashion show by ANGELIA AMI

The return to the essence of Minimalism is clearly visible in the beautiful collection by ASCIARI, brand founded in 2016. The collection, inspired by the rarefied atmosphere of the Antartic land, proposed a serious reasoning about the relationship of human species with a so beautiful but fragile enrvironment. With a careful research of sustainable and natural materials, the designer Federica, who collaborates with her family, visually expressed the peculiar elements of the glacial surfaces through an extreme simplicity of lines and a delicate color palette that alternates to the classic and snowy white, some touch of delicate colors. 

Fashion show by ASCIARI


ITALO MARSEGLIA made an extraordinary event entitled “Zinaida & The Trojan”, conjugating the presentation of his new fall winter 2019-20 collection with a show that mixed fashion, art, music, literature and theater. A fantastic journey of a modern heroin inspired by the interconnected stories of two strong women, the poetess of Russian Symbolism Zinaida Nikolaevna Gippius and the Queen Hecuba, character of the Euripides’ poem “The Trojan Women”, both forced to the exile from their lands. 

In a sophisticated atmosphere, the designer presented “Rubeido”, third collection inspired by alchemy, according to which the metals are fused to become precious like gold. And effectively the materials he used, starting from industry’s waste, with particular techniques of recycle become new wonderful  fabrics. A creative patchwork of precious laces, given to the designer by the famous Maison Sofie Hallette, technical fabrics, crocodile leathers and metallic jacquards. At the performance collaborated the students of the 3-years course of “Fashion Styling and Editor” and of the specialized course of “Fashion Styling” of the school IED Roma.

Performance by ITALO MARSEGLIA

In the recovered space of Ex-Mattatoio SYLVIO GIARDINA presented “Vertigo”, halfway between an artistic installation inspired by the “Shadow Art” and a performance, with models wearing the first five dresses part of the spring summer 2019 Haute Couture collection. As always, Sylvio surprised his public with a powerful vision that mixes the evanescence and delicacy of his sophisticated style to a clear, vivid love for the aesthetic purity of the lines and for experimentation. 

The five white dresses are real masterpieces that combine the apparently simplicity of the silhouettes to an incredible work made on textures, that become stratificated layers and inlays of tulle and organdie, giving life to a geometric simmetry and to a wonderful game of lights and shadows.

“Vertigo”, fashion installation by Sylvio Giardina

The last fashion show of the day was that of SABRINA PERSECHINO, who presented the collection “Dynamic”. The designer took her inspiration from the principles of geometry and in particular from the concept of lines that, through games of parallelism and dynamic perspectives, becomes curves. 

Aesthetically, these reasoning is translated using laser-cut techniques, pleats and geometric patterns that create movement into the rigorous surfaces and transforming the simple silhouettes, with a beautiful color palette made of neutral shades, into a pleasant contrast of empty and full spaces that emphasize the woman’s femininity.

Fashion show by Sabrina Persechino

Minimalism, sustainability and sadomasochism at Showcase

The experience at Showcase gave me the possibility to meet for the first time very interesting emerging designers and to speak with them about their labels. 

Among the brands present at Showcase my attention was immediately captured by the strong accessories of 0770, label founded in Naples by Enzo Pirozzi, a familiar faces since the time at Accademia di Costume e Moda in Rome were we both graduated, and Irene De Caprio, graduated at Institute of Photography and Integrated Communication in Rome. 
Inspired by Haute Couture shapes, in particular the sensuality of female corset, and by the cutting-edge world halfway between sadomasochism, Punk Rock and Avant-garde fashion, this design duo is specialized into laser-cut leather accessories with an aggressive but very captivating look. Corsets, collars, belts, jewellery and bags captured my heart, recalling to my memory certain lines made by great masters of Couture like Gareth Pugh and Thierry Mugler.

Accessories collection by 0770, label founded by Enzo Pirozzi and Irene De Caprio

Completely different is the mood of the sustainable bags collection designed by MARIA LAMANNA, who founded her emponymous brand in 2013 in Florence. At Showcase the designer presented her collection number zero, because for the first time she worked with eco-leather, made with the waste of corn industries and treated without the use of chemical solvents, mixed to Alcantara. 
The minimal and very contemporary shapes of her bags have the extra value of practicality. Enormous to contain everything all the necessary stuffs for the day and transformable from shopper bags into comfortable backpacks or from delicious small handbags into shoulder bags. How you can have just one?

Sustainable bags collection by Maria Lamanna

The young designeral ALESSANDRA MICOLUCCI has a particular story. After starting as designer with a first collection in 2016, she made the voyage of her life in Congo meeting personally different people and being impressed by who made the typical tribal masks and by the sewing technique called “Minganji”, a sort of patchwork made with handmade unrefined stitches. 
From this journey the designer returned with a renewed respect for the Heart and people, trying to start a new path toward a sustainable approach to fashion design through the complete control of the entire process. The fabrics she used come only from direct manufacturers near Turin who cultivate the plants and produce the fibers. The collection has a raw but strong spirit, with garments hand-painted with tribal graphic motifs and interesting effects of opaque and bright surfaces.

Sustainable fashion collection by Alessandra Micolucci

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