The AltaRoma showcase is a fashion promotional platform conceived to celebrate the excellence and skill of the Made In Italy appellation. Taking place twice a year in Rome, the event selects young designers to be a part of the Who is on Next? scouting project – executed in association with Vogue Italia – set up to support collections that fit the Alta Moda bill. The applauded event also celebrates the diverse talent from the city’s universities and academies. Italian fashion may be synonymous with the glitz of the Milanese catwalks, but Rome can lay claim to the birth of its fashion system in postwar Italy, so it is no wonder that the project is celebrating its thirteenth year and is a popular and success-driven playground for emerging talent to showcase their work to business influencers.
Split up into three sections, the Fashion Hub promotes up and coming talent; the Atelier is designed for Rome based couture houses and specialists to promote their talents, and In Town focuses on fashion business, training and advice; all tickets are available to the public as well as Italian and international press.
Taking place in the scorching sun, the shows took place over four-days in Rome’s industrial Guido Reni (Garment) District, which gave an added edge to the emerging designers. Running alongside the shows in the vast industrial outbuilding were exhibitions from established couture houses, ateliers, and tailoring establishments.
The highly-acclaimed scouting project, Who Is On Next? was founded to nurture young fashion designers. Its aim to keep the endangered craft of couture alive by exposing the next generation to the traditional houses, is key in recognising the value that Italian’s put on fashion design and the importance of developing new talent. With local designers Pierpaolo Piccioli, Giambattista Valli and Marco Di Vincenzo sitting on the front row it is great to see that this talent is supported.
This season, the prize went to womenswear designer Act n°1. The label was founded by Luca Lin and Galib Gasanov, who are based in Reggio Emilia, Northern Italy, but take inspiration from their personal origins and feature imagery inspired by Chinese folklore and post-Soviet influences familiar to Gasanov. The resulting collection is a work of art, with deconstructed wrap jackets, exposed seams, ruffles and embellishment in a range of cashmere, denim, heavy cotton and brocade, giving history a modern twist.
The Womenswear prize consists of a partnership with multiservice brand Tomorrow, with the designers getting access to the showroom, distribution hub, marketing and digital representation in London, Milan, Paris and New York. And as Award Winners, Act n°1 will also have the opportunity to display the collection at the showroom during Paris Fashion Week in September 2017.
With the temperature rising, designer Erkan Coruh was an eye-catching designer. Choosing the orient to celebrate his Silk Road collection for SS18, it was a refreshing blend of silk separates, designed for a nomadic woman who values freedom and adventure. The deep purples, reds and yellows, carefully blended into mix and match, wrap dresses and sarong skirts in voluminous shapes, are ideal for exploring deserts in Morocco.
The I’M Isola Marras show was also eagerly anticipated, as the son of celebrated designer Antonio Marras, Efisio Rocco Marras was showing the sister line. He took inspiration from Japan, and main character Mathilda from Luc Besson’s Leon for his grunge-y show. Clearly, Marras Jr. took his new role in his stride as the show was a full-on fashion extravaganza. Using scaffolding as a backdrop, the young models engaged in a rebellious riot of fun. It resulted in them stripping off to their underwear… However, it was about the clothes, and these are clearly designed for boys and girls with attitude. Oversized bombers, and track suits styled with baby doll dresses in ochre, yellow, mint and dusty pink and florals were an eclectic mix. Worn with Buffalo platforms, the nineties influence was more than present.
In contrast, Korean designer Soocha used her collection to raise awareness of climate change and the impact that we are having as consumers on the planet. The loose-fitting pyjama suits, button down shirts and smock dresses might be easy to wear, but with the addition of the ‘caution’ symbol, they become a much more political statement. The Godzilla/Soochilla logo which cropped up on some designs, was a reference to pop culture, but also represents the essence of the fear caused by the excessive power of technology, which is a rapidly escalating dimension in 21st century life.
Discover more about AltaRoma here.