Friendly fashion reminder: There are more fashion weeks on planet earth outside of those that take place in New York City, Paris, and Milan. And sometimes, they’re really, really great. Case in point: AltaRoma, Rome’s annual fashion week, which just wrapped. And we were there. There specifically meaning AltaRoma’s main hub, Cinecittá Studios, the largest cinema studio is Europe. (Fun fact: iconic filmmakers, from Fellini to Scorsese, have shot films here in the past.)
Unlike New York Fashion Week’s surrounding environs—honking taxis and strange-smelling litter—Cinecittá Studios offered a borderline-breathtaking aesthetic orgy. There’s nothing quite like models pumping down the runway with (outdoor sets and replicas that felt like) Ancient Rome as the psychotically surreal, magical backdrop. It’s a no-Photoshop-needed backdrop Nirvana for street style photogs. And selfies. (Meanwhile, AltaRoma’s kick-off press conference took place in the actual Coliseum…!)
Thankfully, we can happily report that there was also major magic happening on many an AltaRoma runway. We’re always here for an exciting, emerging designer, and that’s why we couldn’t miss AltaRoma’s scouting contest show, Who Is On Next?. The AltaRoma contest, which is in partnership with Vogue Italia, puts a spotlight on Made In Italy designers (and awards a cash prize), connecting the promising talents with international buyers and press. Created 14 years ago by the legendary Franca Sozzani, Who Is On Next? has launched talents like Marco De Vincenzo, Stella Jean, MSGM, Nicholas Kirkwood, Aquilano Rimondi and more. This time around, five womenswear and four accessories brands participated, with the main prize, the Franca Sozzani Award, aptly being shared between Simona Marziali of MRZ and Maria Turri of MTF. MTF’s collection was sleek and simple (and often sustainable — vintage fabrics were used to create a few pieces), albeit with a splash of apocalyptic. MRZ was a bit more zany and way more colorful, but in a really good way — it was inspired by vintage plane tickets, after all. We were huge fans of those massive tote bags.
At first, we thought the two collections couldn’t be any more different. But then, while reviewing our favorite look from both collections, we noticed a major sartorial-slaying similarity. Hint: It’s Britney, bitch. Call us crazy, but MTF’s closing look—a deconstructed draped skirt replete with exposed raw seams and a killer corset top—gave us total Brit Brit circa that iconic time when she wore a (denim) deconstructed draped skirt replete with exposed raw seams and a killer corset top (albeit with bling), matching the denim-drenched look with her then boo, Justin Timberlake.
As for MRZ’s funky flight attendant collection? It all felt very Brit Brit rocking that sexy Jeremy Scott flight attendant number in the one-and-only “Toxic” music video. Dear Vogue Italia, it’s about time to give Britney a cover, please. Until then, click through our gallery to check out the highlights from the Franca Sozzani Award-winning need-to-know-NOW designers. Prego!