AltaRoma is twice-yearly proof that Italy’s eye for cutting-edge fashion extends well beyond the borders of Milan. In Rome, culture is unavoidable; the city breathes its history, brought to life through both its many monuments and the nearly three million people who inhabit it. This centuries-old spirit makes the Mediterranean capital an ideal location for established brands to exhibit — and a time-tested proving ground for the up-and-coming labels of tomorrow. Last week, Schön! travelled to Rome for the latest season of AltaRoma. Here are some of our standout selections from the event.
Our coverage begins with Jing Yu, a label launched in 2017 as a collaboration between designer Jing Wu and artist Wawa Shiqi Liu. This collection, entitled “In/Formal,” played on the balance of formality and freedom. Tailored jackets melded with asymmetric gathers and pleats, moving from business formal to intentionally chaotic and disjointed. Meshing these two feelings — formality and uninhibited exploration — demonstrates one of Jing Yu’s strengths as a label; the brand has proven itself as a subtle storyteller, bending the tropes of contemporary work culture to create a nuanced and cerebral collection.
While Gall founders Justin and Chaira Nardelli Gall may insist that the title of this collection — “Omnia” — comes from the Latin word for “all,” it might surely come from another Latin-rooted word: ominous. On its surface, Gall’s latest strikes the viewer as jarring, yet consistent; the three primary colours inform the collection, seen in monochromatic looks in red, green, blue and black. But a certain darkness lingers in Omnia, found across its balaclavas and vibrantly-coloured shells. As a vegan collection, Omnia comes across as a warning for the future, offering a path to salvation while simultaneously looking at what could happen if our ruinous behaviour continues. Gall says their collection is a “hope for society and coexisting harmony, which includes all of our human imperfections and inadequacies.” Even with Omnia’s occasional bleakness, Gall’s goal is achieved.
For Twins Florence, this season was all about destroying limitations. That means a disregard for gender, endless mix-and-matchability, and a clear break from seasonality. With all distinctions cast to the wayside, what ties “Minimalismo/Magnetismo” together — and the main inspiration for the collection — is what the label calls the “rock,” a natural representation of the knowledge and experience gained over generations. Earthy hues dominate the works on display. Beiges, browns and bronze reds broken up by deep ocean blues. A womenswear collection, the impact of menswear is prominently felt, owing to Twins Florence’s rethinking of traditionally masculine attire in both gender-neutral and feminine ways. “Minimalismo/Magnetismo” painted a fitting picture of Twins Florence, its values and the care infused into their work, and we look forward to keeping up with them in the future.
This season, Federico Cina proved that last year’s win at the Who Is On Next? competition was no misjudgement. The budding label’s collection was as beautiful as it was locally inspired; taking influence from the works of Vittorio Tonelli, a writer, photographer and scholar of Romagnan history, the breadth of Italian culture is on full display across “I bei tempi,” translated as “the good times.” While nostalgia’s presence was strongly and understandably felt across the works comprising “the good times,” Cina never becomes too enveloped by the past, instead using the stories of these bygone times to influence a delightfully modern body of work. The collection is a journey that we are more than happy to go on, and we cannot wait to go on it again next season.
“Daily luxury” was the stated inspiration of “Wood,” the latest collection from Caterina Moro. “Wood” is an exploration of the forest, utilising leaf motifs and plissé fabrics to produce a collection imbued with autumnal experience. Neutral tones abound under the command of a well-utilised sky-periwinkle, almost as if to simulate a late September walk through the towering forests of Italy. Like many other collections this week, “Wood” is sustainably produced, finally realising a dream the designer has had since entering the industry in 2015. Moro’s calm and ease are expertly conveyed across this collection, and when we inevitably return to AltaRoma, we cannot wait to see what Moro has planned for us next.
words. Braden Bjella