AltaRomAltaModa reached a special milestone this season: celebrating its 25th anniversary, the festival brought artists and designers together, creating an art mosaic nestled in the breathtaking architecture of the old world of Rome.
It has been 10 years since AltaRoma partnered with Vogue Italia to create an outlet to mentor and offer guidance to new designers, as well as help them gain exposure in the industry. This year’s winners included Piccione.Piccione in the ready-to-wear category, Corion in the accessories category for their handbags and Daizy Shely as a prize winner for its womenswear collection.
It was also the fourth anniversary of the International Trade Centre (ITC) Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI) Beat of Africa fashion show. Continuing its collaboration with Stella Jean, which began a year ago, the fashion show featured new African and Haitian accessories. Three other designers — Duaba Serwa, Mina Evans and Lisa Folawiyo — showcased their spring/summer 2015 collections on the Italian runways, presenting Nigerian and Ghanaian influences in their designs.
Not to be outdone, multiple art exhibits were set up with international artists showcasing their work, reflecting overarching themes of Rome as artistic inspiration.
But let’s not forget about the fashion! Here are a few of the key AltaRomAltaModa shows.
A newcomer to the AltaRomAltaModa and the Roman Haute Couture runway, Rani Zakhem presented his autumn/winter 2014–2015 collection, “Metamorphosis.” A play on the different stages and special moments of a woman’s life (from dawn till dusk), indicating representation and transformation, the colours ranged from pale pink and nude, to dark red and gold hues.
With very short skirts, long trailing gowns with draping details and sequined mermaid silhouettes, a constant motif was the use of lace — a very feminine fabric. Other details included plunging necklines, short hemlines and high slits, which added a touch of sexiness to the looks.
The pieces evoked the theme of AltaRomAltaModa — a blend of art, modernity and classicism.
With a distinct earthy palette (a departure of the pastels and floral motifs usually seen in spring), the models for Fabio Quaranta’s spring/summer 2015 collection walked down the runway in deconstructed jackets with large billowy sleeves, or in short and tight jackets, paired with voluminous pants, and with an emphasis on oversized pockets in almost all looks. These contrasting shapes — with a definite utilitarian and androgynous feel — echoed the dichotomy of the collection with inspiration pulled from characters in art and literature of the past 50 years, including William Burroughs, Joseph Beuys, Marcel Duchamp, Michael Gira and George Harrison.
Despite being a spring/summer collection, it did not include many shorts; rather, we saw coats and pants, an interesting take and a different look for this particular season.
Endeavouring to continue its mission to nurture young talent, third-year students of Accademia Koefia presented 40 different outfits inspired by “the world of images,” including comics, subliminal images, childhood images, media and graffiti. It was one of many Rome-based fashion schools to walk the runways, which also included Accademia Italiana and Accademia Altieri.