“Winds from the east…
Mist comin’ in…
Like something’s a brewin’, about to begin…
Can’t put me finger on what lies in store…
But I feel what’s to ‘appen, all ‘appened before…!” – Bert, Mary Poppins



A few evenings ago, I had a chat with Lavinia Caldani – main column of ALTAROMA. I had just arrived in Rome but I already knew how to start the review for the edition I was about to attend. It was the sui generis location that inspired me, of course. The Prati Bus District: an old Vittoria depot of ATAC (the Municipality Public Transport Company). I thought about arrivals and departures, people who come and go, all the ones come in and out of our lives.

Perhaps, the Disney masterpiece of 1964 is the best metaphor to crystallize the emotion of an unexpected arrival and a painful departure. It also represents the best way, mine, to start this story made of events and fashion shows, presentations and performances, mainly made up of people. I tried to look at everything as the observer inside a station or an airport. I saw the overview of the brands at the SHOWCASE, the shows of the interesting designers and the hopeful students. I saw movies to be watched and interacting exhibitions. I met people, laughed and talked a lot. All this in a very fast sequence, four “dense” days of life, and finally the greetings. A goodbye to the people, the team of ALTAROMA and Lavinia who welcomed me then and says bye now.

ALTAROMA is a human experience that determines the quality of the event itself, not to be forgotten.




FEDERICO CINA – #romagnamia

The designer from Romagna tells the story of the Italian province through a nostalgically fun collection. His are “compound” garments strongly characterized by a never-vanquished intellectualism. Dad’s coats become refined elements of an unconventional wardrobe. The draperies – that are the common thread – are the tribute to Plautus, the playwright of the Ancient Rome born in Sarsina as our Man.


LEO STUDIO DESIGN – #popclastic 

Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Pop Art: for the AI 2019 the designer Leo Macina gets inspired by the movement that exploded worldwide in the 70s. He deconstructs and enriches it with brutally witty elements. His boys are sons of Stan Lee desecratingly fashionable. Their knitwears evolves around black and white jacquard with macro drawings. High-impact graphics turn into optical designs bringing back Swinging London in full swing.

The logo print and comics theme graces and decorate sweatshirts, bags and sneakers as loud as comic books pages.




This edition marked the third edition of the Showcase project, an initiative organized by ALTAROMA thanks to the support of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and of the Italian Trade Agency.

The many independent brands involved in the project alternated during the four days of the Rome fashion week to show their latest clothing and accessories collections.

As usual, we have chosen the two we consider as the best ones.

Dream YourselfTM – #dreamyourself

The label created in 2014 by the brothers Lorenzo and Emanuele Manta is in fact a substantial project, eco-friendly, resilient. The simple and direct “I’M A DREAMER” slogan printed in white on black t-shirts remains etched in the mind and makes us think. The Brand is for people who strive for self-improvement, who live in the present while creating the future, for DayDreamers and NightTinkers.

SPENDTHRIFT – #followtheflow

Spendthrift is an Italian Brand born in 2013 from the idea of two young guys, Federico Cancelli and Marco Cuccagna, who wanted to use t-shirts, the most casual garment ever, as a white sheet of paper on which to draw their passions.

Their garments are arrogantly urban and religiously devoted to a democratically niche street-culture. The strong point is the sweatshirts but it is the attention to the details of the outerwear – over and minimal – that honestly has caught my attention.




A.I. Artisanal Intelligence – #interacting

Curated by Clara Tosi Pamphili and Alessio de’NavasquesThe artist’s or artisan’s table is the place where a work is created. It is a bit like a surgeon’s operating table. It is scientific, because every tool has its own role when working on a material. It is the stage where manual creation is performed.

The 16th edition of A.I. Artisanal Intelligence focuses on the table as a symbol, to attract people’s attention to the act of making something and on the activity that generates skill.

Making a dress or a fabric, building and restoring, treating someone are all specific acts which define roles and identities, such as the ones listed in the Encyclopédie, or Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts, by Diderot and d’Alembert. This work is rightfully considered as an important exposition of the Enlightenment ideals. The same spirit inspired this project, which rediscovered the empiricism of the Enlightenment, according to which our knowledge derives from sensorial experience.

The exhibition celebrates this idea through two videos by Turkish artist Ali Kazma, which have been made available by the Galleria Francesca Minini in Milan. Crystal and Calligraphy focus on two forms of making as the expression of the human will to go beyond time and to leave signs like instruments to be shared, i.e. writing or a precious glass object.

The space of Basement Roma, the venue hosting this initiative, has been divided into a gallery and a workshop. Over three days, Clara and Alessio invited people to gather around a table, where a “master” taught them how and when to do things, to use their hands like tools, with a very practical approach and without pointless celebrations.

Andrea Anastasio (master of ceramics) is the “master” of the first day, followed by Paolo di Landro (tailor’s workshop) on the second day and by Livia Crispolti (master of yarns and fabrics) and the boutique Sorelle Antonini on the third day.




LOVE, CECILE – #passionforpassion

Through an engaging and dynamic documentary, ALTAROMA pays a tribute to Cecil Beaton, the eclectic Oscar-winning photographer, painter, director, stage and costume designer.

The protagonist’s many facets and charming personality are wonderfully immortalized by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, who had previously directed Diana Vreeland: The eye has to travel. By combining the information in Cecil Beaton’s famous diaries with archival footage and interviews with his closest collaborators, the director skilfully presents Beaton’s life and complex, rich career – from the Academy Awards for Best Costume Design for Gigi and My Fair Lady and his collaboration with Vogue to his prestigious role as the Queen’s official photographer. The iconic dresses, unusual combinations and ironic and innovative photos are the thread that runs through the documentary.

LOVE, CECIL portrays the complex and unparalleled creative force of its protagonist and his peculiar sense of visual beauty. The film pays tribute to a personality and style that have influenced – and keep on influencing – international standards of creativity and inventiveness.