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Turned into a cradle of talent, Altaroma has held its last edition from February 2 to 4 at the Cinecittà Studios. A very complete program in which more than one hundred designers and brands have had the chance to present their latest collections and make their creative universes known to the general public and the specialised press. And if Rome stands out in terms of fashion, it is for its solid and committed promotion of young talent and independent creatives, which is what has put them on the international fashion map. All this along with a plausible digitisation exercise which allowed all those interested to follow the fashion shows via streaming.

We already anticipated it when we attended Altaroma Fall/Winter 2020 season. There are many interesting talents to discover at this event, and this latest edition that has just ended reaffirms the premise. Unlike other European fashion weeks, focused solely on the big luxury brands and leaving aside the young promises of fashion, Roma Fashion Week puts the spotlight on all those projects that will make up the new generation of creators. These emerging brands now need more support than ever, projecting themselves internationally and sharing their speech and values.

After 2 difficult years as a result of the global pandemic, which has particularly affected Italy – we still find some well-known designers reluctant to present their collections physically due to the complicated circumstances –, Altaroma is already returning to normal. Of course, maintaining all the health protocols, including mandatory masks, safety distance and reduced capacity. And a unique location in the world converted into the epicentre of the event and hosting the fashion shows and the showcase, the Cinecittà Studios.
More than three thousand films were shot there, and some of the best-known names in the history of Italian cinema have been in the Cinecittà Studios. From Federico Fellini to Roberto Rossellini, among many others. Ninety of the films shot were warded with an Oscar nomination. Fashion and cinema met in this last edition, in a magical location where you can feel a special energy, where past, present and future coexist. Now in the form of fashion shows, which besides seeking international projection and attracting foreign buyers and press, keep their essence that we do not find in other parts of the world.

“Altaroma is an institution, a family, a travel companion to grow, overcome difficulties and achieve success. It is a role which we have helped to develop and which we have tenaciously defended, especially in recent years,” said Silvia Venturini Fendi, a great defender of the platform. A family that also includes international guests, forty international journalists from countries such as Spain, Ukraine or the United Kingdom in this season. In addition to nearly two hundred buyers, showrooms and concept stores registered on the digital platform. Access to information via streaming and through the Altaroma app is something to highlight. A format that facilitates the transfer of data and allows us to participate in the event even if we are not there, and through which more than seventy-five thousand users have followed the fashion shows.

But let's delve into the collections that we have been able to see during these three days. Alberto Audenino opened the event presenting his Fall/Winter 2022 collection, celebrating freedom and female empowerment and taking inspiration from the eighties. An essential decade in the history of fashion to which creatives continually turn in search of references. But it was not until Edoardo Gallorini went into the stage that the catwalk started to vibrate with emotion. An audience absolutely devoted to the show that, beyond the garments presented, became an experience thanks to one of the best soundtracks that we have been able to listen to during these days. Coloured feathers along with some of Raffaella Carrà's hits, dresses that we can imagine on red carpets and worn by celebrities at big events.
However, the most interesting collections were unveiled at the end of the day, on the Rome is my Runway platform. Gams Note presented a collection that presented extensive research and deconstruction of the world of men's uniforms, especially scouts' uniforms and outdoor clothing. Having talked to him, we can confirm that his project is one of the most solid of those presented in this edition of Altaroma. A recognisable logo, “Pride,” functional garments built on design and a vision of fashion perfectly adapted to the new times make the brand one of the most promising initiatives on the current Italian scene.

Then it was Francesca Cottone's turn, betting on the contrast of textures and patterns, just before The Silted Company presented their new collection. This was one of the most down-to-earth collections, market-oriented, which starts from traditional Italian tailoring and blends it with a surfer aesthetic. And John Zucca, the latest designer of the day to hit the catwalk, took inspiration from deconstructivism in a collection that pushes genderless and innovation. And of course, sustainability, which is one of the great pillars on which the vast majority of brands build on their proposals at Altaroma.

On the second day, we highlight Simon Cracker, one of the flag-bearing brands of design based on used garments that bets on the overlapping of pieces and the balance between design and meaning – it is worth noting the black and white images adhered to some of its garments. Although the most surprising moment of the day was led by Casa Preti, a brand founded in 2017 by Palermo-based tailor Mattia Piazza and by Swiss architect Steve Gallay, and their Naive collection. Although we should analyse who their audience it is and what market they are targeting, their unique personality and the daring shown on the catwalk deserve recognition. Special mention to the latest model, whose dose of energy materialised in the form of dance was greatly enjoyed by the public present there.
Then it was Gaiofatto's turn, just before Rome is my Runway took over again. On this occasion, we saw collections more aimed at the commercial sphere and where, despite the efforts of the designers to surprise, we intuit a certain lack of daring. The third and final day featured Italian Family, Gretel Z., Annagiulia Firenze, Maria Sapio, Orequo and Sartoria 74, before concluding the event with a fashion show starring young designers.

But if there is a brand that has aroused our interest in this edition of Altaroma, that has been Lorenzo Seghezzi. We had the opportunity to speak with him at the showcase, where dozens of brands have exhibited their work throughout the three days, including an Italian brand that makes bags with one hundred per cent made-in-Italy leather and craftsmanship and includes a patented modification of the “strap button” of electric guitars, The Guitar Bag. Seghezzi's designs, careful to detail and very personal, make the project one of the most promising on the current scene. Defending a discourse against toxic masculinity and breaking down the barriers of gender binarism, the Milan-based designer strikes a perfect balance between signifier and signified. And he is positioning himself on the international fashion map with a firm step, just like Altaroma does.

David Alarcón
Marc Medina

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