Artisanal Intelligence @ Rome Fashion Week FW20/21

Lira Bekbolatova gets front row seats at Altaroma's Fashion Week last January 2020, highlighting the sustainable efforts from the participating designers.

Words by Lira Bekbolatova

It was loud and crowded as usual. The bustle of people socializing while drinking another gin and tonic, editors scurrying to find their front row seats and impressively commenting “this is TOP!” was like the rush before Christmas.

This season Rome, along with Copenhagen, is moving towards sustainability: the event calendar was impressive! In this sense, Altaroma organized several platforms to support environmental awareness such as “Artisanal Intelligence,” which proposed a reflection on the natural dimension of fashion creation and “Circle,” where people had a chance to take a part in the discussion devoted to sustainability and circle economy problems.

Speaking of fashion itself – collections were quite strong and innovative. We saw sexy haute-couture dresses by Sylvio Giardina, romantic Japan-inspired collections of Antonio Martino and Giada Curti, “daily luxury” sustainable women collection by Caterina Moro, several gender-fluid pieces and lots more. Among the standout collections were Federico Cina’s genderless  “I bei tempi”, empowering “Omnia” by GALL and extremely adorable “Zoomantic” by Italo Marseglia. Here are top-three moods we’re stealing from Italians:


Gall, in his latest collection entitled “Omnia,” used three primary colours of red, green and blue. The main idea is that these three colours usually coexist together in harmony, in balance with each other: feeding off each other’s characteristics to enhance one another.

Just like in nature. The practical functionality of items is always the key in each GALL’s collection: detachable pockets, retractable hoods and modular segments give space for transformability, comfort and easiness in both, everyday and extreme moments. “I want to support men and allow them to be prepared to unexpected situations,” commented Gall. And this stylish way of support made women also to desire to have a piece of this collection too. Including myself.


For the Fall/Winter 2020/21 collection Federico Cina draws inspiration from the photographic archive of Vittorio Tonelli – a writer and a passionate scholar of the history and culture of Emilia-Romagna region where the designer was born. Rediscovering the stories and testimonies of his beloved Romagna after World War II, Federico Cina decides to immerse himself in the atmosphere of that period. 

“I bei tempi” collection is a real journey through time, a nostalgic return to the past in search of a simple but at the same time romantic and refined beauty. This beauty is expressed by reinterpreting the understanding of “gender”. “I want every man who’s wearing my items to express his feminine beauty and finally to be free from social labels, including gender,” says Federico.

Models wearing pink heart-shaped earrings, long dresses in pastel colours and many more genderless items were created to allow men to feel energetically completed. And honestly, it was absolutely beautiful.


This season, Rome’s most loved designer, Italo Marseglia represents his collection as if it was a safari in the warm memories of childhood stopping at the playful passions of those carefree days.

Italo Marseglia is one of the first designers who followed a path in sustainability: this season he proposes a version of his iconic patchwork with digital sublimation printing on eco-sustainable seaweed fabric. Animal and flower prints on his extremely light and at the same time ‘flirty wild’ dresses were specially made to allow a woman not only to keep her natural feminine beauty but also to feel strong and powerful enough to survive in misogynistic social jungle. Thank you, Italo.

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