We may be eagerly awaiting the famous Milan fashion week, but as we creep towards February, the lesser known Alta Roma Fashion Week, in the southern Capital, is already fixing Italian design on the map. Markedly different from the other major fashion weeks, this more youthful runway has a narrower focus. The organization seeks to spotlight upcoming designers rather than just the big traditional houses, and platform independent artists, allowing them a piece of the international market and media.
Rome has definitely been authenticating its standing in the fashion world with this more recent addition to the fashion calendar. However, the level of design and image-making we have seen flourishing from Rome is anything but immature or artless. Collaborating with many leading design academies, and having a rigid focus on the upcoming, Alta Roma has developed itself into a hub of newness and avant-garde enterprise. The innovative Rome is my Runway format has become an appraised feature. The unconventional idea of staging collaborative runways has been pivotal in broadening a fashion week, and allowing it to be infiltrated by independent designers, to whom previously such exclusives arenas were inaccessible. This set up sees designers alternating in the same runway show, giving smaller collections the same potential and visibility as that of larger, established brand names.
Loose from tradition, and unburdened with decades of expectation, the Roman runway is arguably one of the most liberating canvases for creating anew. The clothes are inextricably linked to the craft, design and individualistic idea, they aren’t entrenched in brand name, celebrity association, creative direction or the pressure of show making. This is more of a naked fashion week, and in being stripped-bare, some fascinating textile trends have come to light. In this article, we are pointing a finger at some key trends the GLITCH team loved from the Alta Roma event that has helped to kick off prêt-à-porter month.
1. ARCHITECTURAL CLOTHING
Fabrics seemed to become bigger and better, and injected with an indefinable sense of vivacity on the Rome Runway this year. Textiles became raised and important with the help of ridges, ruffling and pleats, as the clothing seemed to be more constructed. Shifting, bending, extending and varying the lines of traditional silhouettes was a key diversifying focus for many of the looks. Below are some of our favourite pieces, from sharp pleated dresses, to inflated tailoring, to rippling contoured fabric that almost seemed animate.
2. URBAN EXPLORER AESTHETIC
Combat style, buckled and pocketed pieces, and military shades have infiltrated our fashion trends over the last few years. Boxy uniform silhouettes, combined with a certain obsession with athleisure, has certainly been à la mode. And whilst these aesthetics aren’t dropping out of taste, there was something interesting in their development on the Alta Roma runway. Practical pieces, from jackets to hoods to hats, certainly had their centre stage, but were being reinvented with a certain modernity. Trainers and outerwear sets were re-stitched with more electric prints, patterns, and materials. Whilst much of Mokoo’s “Descent of Warriors” show alluded to images of moon walkers and cosmonauts with models bundled in iridescent suits, other designers used trench coats, canvas, and denim fabrics remodelled with abstract detailing. Below are some of GLITCH’s favourite looks that gave this nod to adventuring, and forged this trendy portrait of city wanderers and urban explorers.
3. BEAUTIFULLY BEJWELLED
Alta Roma certainly dramatised the jewels this year. Chains and pearls dripped over chests and shoulders, and earrings flowed into chokers and masks. Jewellery seized to be the accessory, and instead became the primary ocular focus in some runways. Perhaps this is a suggestion of how metalwork accessories and headpieces will become more innovative and iconic this year, as detailing snatches hold of the limelight.
4. NECKLINES and NUDITY
Experimental necklines were a key feature that the Alta Roma designers beautifully played with throughout their shows. The runway trialled numerable different cut-outs, slashes, knotting, sleeves, and ties. Chests and midriffs became exposed in different patterns and shapes, piecing together to form slinkier silhouettes. Many of the looks even toyed with the boundaries of nudity and exposure, revealing segments of bare body and female figures. This summer, straps, chiffons, light lace and barely-there dressing will most definitely have their moment.
Unorthodox and ultramodern, the Alta Roma fashion week, although not yet having the same celebrity status as the iconic big 4, should not be underestimated in its role within the fashion machine. A key leader in platforming new talents, new names and new ideas, the capital’s bi-annual involvement should now become a keen watch for fashion enthusiasts looking out for the next best thing.