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On the Fashion Graduate Italia 2021 runway, Istituto Secoli, excellence in the field of Italian fashion academies, brought once again its “Designer to Watch”, the best selection of young emerging fashion designer of the school. 

This year the participating designers of Istituto Secoli have created both eccentric and traditional outfits, linked together by an extremely contemporary research of design and style. 

The graduate collection range goes from sublime art to a concrete nature, passing through dreamlike world and fairy tales to get to the modern world. 

Istituto Secoli Designers to Watch (Photo by Daniele Venturelli )

The young talents presented 8 capsule collections, 4 women’s wear and 4 menswear, giving life to garments with strong personalities and bold contrasts. 


The capsule presented by Giovanni Notarnicola is an explicit complaint against stereotypes imposed by society and it recounts all the steps from the imprisonment to the rebirth and maturation. 

The garments convey the desire to innovate, modify and manipulate traditional concepts and old techniques.  

The idea of transformation is expressed by the modelling of the avant-garde garments, especially the outerwear, altering the more conventional codes.

Giovanni Notarnicola collection at Fashion Graduate Italia 2021

Giovanni modified medieval clothes and ancient shapes giving them a new life with a contemporary and modern touch, which is also achieved by hybridization and manipulation of fabrics and materials.


Thanks to this collection the viewers embarked on a futuristic journey, emphasized by the use of optical prints, which however always reminds them of the past and of their history. 

The fil rouge of this collection are the prints: extremely interesting, innovative, making the author recognisable in every single piece. 


Do women play important roles in the ecclesiastical world? 

Kaleem A. Iverson started from this provocative question to create collection inspired by feminism and more specifically the role of women within the Church. 

She brings on the runway, through her clothes, a representation of a woman who rebels against the system by distorting its origin and showing disapproval. 

Symbols and silhouettes reminded us the typical clothes worn by clerical men. 

Kaleem A. Iverson collection at Fashion Graduate Italia 2021

Feminist slogans are engraved on garments as if they symbolise wounds that mark the skin of the ones who wear them.


Marta Trabucchi’s collection is a tribute to one of her greatest passions: motorcycles. 

The young designer deconstructed the pilot protective suit and redefined a new concept by repositioning the padding, protections and protective soaps that generally are placed on the knees and elbows. 

Marta Trabucchi collection at Fashion Graduate Italia 2021

The metallic colours, the single parts and typical shapes of the motorbike are reinterpreted and inserted in a skilful and innovative way inside the garments.

Marta was able to combine her fashion knowledge and skills with the love for her motorbike, bringing a new vision on clothing and fashion on the runway. 


The collection created by Gianni D’aniello is his way of representing emotions and contrasts. 

Gianni D’aniello collection at Fashion Graduate Italia 2021

For the emerging fashion designer we are the projection of the elements we have seen, tried, experienced and denied. 

The cause of our action as an effect on something else, especially in relation to nature, sustainability and well-being of the planet. 

Gianni D’aniello collection at Fashion Graduate Italia 2021

Structures, lines and shapes are connecting the body to an organic nature that can dissociate from our inner part and associate with the material.

The fabric adapts to the body, falls on the shoulders, creates dynamism, generates energy and so the body can adapt and everything conforms to it. 

Gianni D’aniello collection at Fashion Graduate Italia 2021

Their bond is underlined first in a more abstract way by the perceived vibes, the colours and patterns, and secondly in a very explicit way thanks to the models carrying on the catwalk bags containing plants and flowers.


Anna Peretto created in her capsule collection the perfect balance between contrasting concepts, an harmony given by shapes, volumes, colours and fabrics. 

Anna Peretto collection at Fashion Graduate Italia 2021

Deconstructed lines are flanked by more sinuous wearability, the game of the shapes alternating large padded volumes and maxi lengths with those more adherent to the body.

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Anna Peretto collection at Fashion Graduate Italia 2021

On the runway we saw models wearing coats and outerwear with exaggerated volumes combined with corsetry and lingerie-style pieces. 

The game of contrasts is underlined by the use of neutral and basic colours together with a shade of bright red that emphasizes the femininity and gives a bold and strong character to the outfits. 


Ma Congyuan’s collection simulates and narrates the change that can occur in people who manage, after a long journey, to obtain the love of their loved one. 

Ma Congyuan collection at Fashion Graduate Italia 2021

The menswear capsule graduate collection is inspired by a love story and highlights how this feeling is mystical, magical, but at the same time difficult to achieve. 

Love is expressed as a real contact between two individuals, involved in a fusion process, like two atoms of a new organism that separate, tangle, block, collide and free themselves from their destiny, and then share a common one.


The collection conceived by Federica Passera deals with the concept related to changes in society up to the fusion with virtual reality and technologically deformed.

Through shapes, volumes, lines, prints and contrasting combinations, the fluidity of identity is described: soft padded volumes in relation to structured and rigid elements such as defined shoulders, flounces, ruches, particular cuts in contrast with cleaner lines, are some of the elements that characterise the outfits.

Mix and match of patterns and prints counterposed to monochromatic garments, futuristic elements in contrasts with classical features create a fluid balance that resembles the game of differences played in reality. 


A fantasy world: this is Jiajia Wei’s answer to numerous questions that the young designer poses about the universe and life: when are we born, how do we age, if we get sick and when we die and if everything was already established? 

Has the universe always been animated by the natural, emotional, physical and abstract elements that compose it? Has its conformation always been the same since the genesis and the advent of civilisation?

Jiajia Wei collection at Fashion Graduate Italia 2021

Between doubts and perplexities there is also the hypothesis that the context in which we operate could be an immense platform made up of programs and simulations.

Article by Federica Macheda

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