Young Italian designers know there’s no better place to launch a brand than at Altaroma’s Italian scouting competition Who Is on Next, which is responsible for launching the careers of Nicholas Kirkwood, Massimo Giorgetti, Marco di Vincenzo, Arthur Arbesser and more. And so, dozens of up-and-coming talents descended on Rome this January, along with previous winners, to present their collections before Milan Fashion Week. Here, 10 stand-out looks.
Edith Marcel’s designers Gianluca Ferracin and Andrea Mastato looked to the color palette of Francis Bacon’s swirling, distorted portraits for inspiration in their genderless, tailored collection. The end result included exaggerated volumes and silhouettes, artificially flattened trousers, and shirts with oversized cuffs in shades of black, bottle green and pumpkin.
Alexander Flagella, 31, of Greta Boldini imagined a woman “determined to conquer the world with her beauty” in his collection. His warrior femme fatales wore embroidered layers underneath a patchwork of mink, fox and Mongolian lamb mixed with mohair and wool.
Marianna Cimini’s “Bamboo Theory” collection, which was inspired by Wong Kar-Wai heroines from “2046,” was both romantic and complicated. The designer’s long, elegant silhouettes were made out of rich textiles like silk velvet and playful bamboo prints.
Brognano’s Nicola Brognano, the 26-year-old designer who won Who is on Next last summer, drew inspiration from his experience working on the couture collections for Giambattista Valli and Dolce & Gabbana. “This season I thought of ‘Hot Couture,’ a kind of fake couture, an unpretentious approach to high fashion,” he explained of the collection, which included a red hot bustier dress with a tiered tulle skirt worn with a coordinating baseball cap.
Italian American Jezabelle Cormio, 26, launched Cormio with the mission of creating an evening-wear line that’s “mystical, anarchic, and naively glamorous.” The result: unexpected combinations of tailoring, draping, delicate fabrics and embellishment that looks like a wild child had her way with mama’s finery. The young designer, who is based out of Italy’s Veneto, is now sold at Opening Ceremony in L.A. and New York.
Vien Atelier’s Vincenzo Palazzo took menswear classes, like the universal trench and plaid trousers, and reinterpreted them in supersized, beautifully tailored versions.
Sisters Lulu and Anna Poletti continue their family’s shirt-making tradition with Melampo Milano, a new label that mixes embroidered florals with stripes, plaids, and tapestries inspired by surrealist painter Dino Valls.
Morphosis by Alessandra Cappiello
Morphosis’ Alessandra Cappielo experimented with velvet’s range in her collection, by using it in almost every look, in a variet of colors, and mixed with transparent florals, tulle and ruffles. The designer’s customers–romantically inclined clients like pianists Katia and Marielle Labeque and violinist Viktoria Mullova–will certainly be pleased.
Miahatami’s Narguess Hatami left her native Iran to study and work in fashion in Italy for MSGM, and now has her own brand. Her new collection, “Oasis in the Desert,” was inspired by Iran’s Ghashghai and Bakhtiari tribes, and utilizes traditional techniques such as taspesty-style bouclé loop stitch knitwear, sculpted fringe and kilim carpet weaves.
Parden’s Daniele Giorgio layered fabrics and colors to create an assymetrical maze that looked like a moving painting.