Home » Rome tries to keep the flame of high fashion alive. But with too many references to the past

Rome tries to keep the flame of high fashion alive. But with too many references to the past

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Rome tries to keep the flame of high fashion alive.  But with too many references to the past

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Small signals, big intentions. The desire to keep a flame lit waiting for it to shine again. The collective fashion show “Roma Couture” organized in Rome by Spazio Margutta, created by Grazia Marino and Antonio Falanga (already organizers of fashion-related events in the city) under the vaults of the former church of the Conservatorio della Divina Provvidenza, now part of the hotel cinque stars Palazzo Ripetta, was a sort of happening, a meeting place in the etymological sense of the term, for those energies who would not want the legacy of Altaroma, although difficult to manage, to be thrown to the wind.

The designers protagonists of “Roma Couture”, on February 28th in Rome: from left, Michele Miglionico, Giampaolo Zuccarelli, Nino Lettieri and Giada Curti

After years of complicated management, but of substantial activity, Altaroma saw its last edition close on 2 February last year. A few days earlier, the liquidation of the company, owned by institutions such as the Municipality of Rome, the Rome Chamber of Commerce and the Lazio Region, had been established. This was followed by the announcement of a forthcoming relaunch, in the form of a Foundation which should have been created in July, but of which there is no news yet.

The willing and optimistic first councilor for Fashion (but also for Major Events, Sport and Tourism) that the city has ever had, Alessandro Onorato, is working to relaunch a platform of events dedicated to Roman fashion. Who, opening the evening at Palazzo Ripetta, reiterated his commitment: «We want to understand how to re-propose the Altaroma formula in a different key. Of course we cannot ignore his legacy, the great names of his past (Onorato also announced that an event is being studied to remember Renato Balestra, who passed away in November 2022, and that during the year some brands will open their foundations in Rome, ed.). But above all we must find a way to enhance the new generations, starting from the weight of schools and academies, without getting caught up in victimhood.”

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Let’s go back for a moment to the evening, which featured around 40 looks from four names born and raised in Altaroma, namely Giada Curti, Giampaolo Zuccarello, Michele Miglionico and Nino Lettieri. Some have their ateliers in Rome, and their main reference is the glorious past of Roman haute couture and its masters, Pino Lancetti, Fausto Sarli, Lorenzo Riva, Lettieri’s mentor and teacher: Zuccarello, who has the atelier in via Calabria, a short distance from Gattinoni’s in via Toscana, evocatively described the sensation of walking in that neighborhood in the evening (a stone’s throw from via Veneto) and perceiving the echoes of the Dolce Vita. Now, the point is precisely this: how much can it still work to evoke the Roaring 50s and 60s of Rome, Fellini and Mastroianni, Liz Taylor and Ava Gardner, Cleopatra and 8 and ½, as the key to the future of the city?

The origins of the organization of high fashion in Rome date back to 1954, exactly 70 years ago, when the capital’s fashion names abandoned the fashion shows organized in Florence by Giambattista Giorgini at Palazzo Pitti to found the “Roman Center for High Fashion Italian”, criticizing the excessively “modernist” turn (towards pret-a-porter) in Florence. Since its birth in 2002, Altaroma had progressively left the path of Roman high fashion, over which the shadow of Paris extended ever more powerfully, to undertake an interesting yet challenging path: presenting itself as a scouting platform for young talents, which gave character and a new identity to the event. In the absence of the attractiveness of large and solid names, more creative and economic support would certainly have been needed in a context of proliferation and growing competitiveness of events dedicated to fashion.

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