Strength and fragility in Day One AltaRoma shows

Greta Boldini was first to present their 'Like Moths' F/W 17/18 collection. Photo: S. Dragone - G. Palma / Luca Sorrentino

 ROME -- Opening day arrived Thursday for the January edition of the AltaRoma fashion shows, an artisanal and artistic four-day production in which time-honoured crafts and emerging talent meet to exhibit their collections in a celebration of both long-established and up-and-coming names in the industry.

 The first show to kick off this year’s extravaganza was the stunning Greta Boldini ‘Like Moths’ Fall/Winter 2017 collection. A former finalist of ‘Who Is On Next?’ (a scouting initiative organised by AltaRoma in collaboration with Vogue Italia), the haute couture brand was born by designers Alexander Flagella and Michela Musco in Rome, 2011.

 An exquisite fusion of the bourgeois splendour of the 1940s and the delicacy and purity of nature, a nod to Flagella’s hometown of Turin, the Boldini protagonist is a ‘leading lady’ who -- like a moth who flies close to the flame -- has no fear of braving life’s challenges yet still maintains her fragility and sensitivity. A woman, it seems, does not need to deny her femininity in order to conquer and achieve.

 Gracing the runway with pure silk, lace, chiffon and embroidered tulle, the models were the personification of sophistication in floor length gowns and pleated skirts, yet this elegance was adapted by the addition of wellington boots and Barbour jackets, pertaining to the authenticity of the natural world and, of course, the modern woman.

 Sticking to the theme of female strength and fragility (two elements which prove to compliment, not hinder, each other), Marianna Cimini, graduate from the Marangoni Institute of Fashion Design in Milan and winner of the Moda Riccione Italia Award, then took to the spotlight with ‘The Bamboo Theory’ F/W 17-18 collection.

 Considered by Vogue as among the best 200 emerging designers today, Cimini’s catwalk display centred around the Bamboo plant, a source of inspiration which symbolises ‘tenacity, vitality and balance.’ Like the moth, Bamboo appears delicate and frail, yet beneath the surface hides deep and extensive roots.

 The models donned bold graphic prints, often featuring the hummingbird as a symbol of hard work and positivity, alongside rich, vibrantly coloured velvets and cottons. Bamboo sticks also featured prominently, printed onto white quilted bomber jackets and even poking out of bucket bags clutched by the models as they strode by. Delicate ribbons and ties were added to ankles and wrists to soften the otherwise bold and daring ensembles, conscious of retaining wispy and delicate aspects to represent sensitivity.

 The closing applause for the designer signified the end of the short first day of shows. Stylists, journalists, designers and fashion addicts poured out of the auditorium, gushing with excitement ahead of the AltaRoma Grand Opening later this evening, complete with a cocktail party and DJ set.

 Held in the Guido Reni District of the Italian capital, providing a decidedly urban setting for the exhibitions, the shows continue until Sunday evening. The various events are categorised into three sections -- ‘Fashion Hub,’ dedicated to talent scouting and training, ‘Atelier,’ focussed on couture houses and artisan establishments, and ‘In Town,’ assigned to fashion projects and businesses who aim to promote useful contacts in Rome.


Model wears outifit from Marianna Cimini ‘The Bamboo Theory’ F/W 17-18 collection. Photo: S. Dragone - G. Palma / Luca Sorrentino