11 posts tagged "Silvia Venturini Fendi"
Each July, fashion—the made-in-Italy kind, at least—moves south to Rome. The destination? Altaroma fashion week, Italy’s answer to haute couture, where acting President Silvia Venturini Fendi and Vogue Italia‘s Franca Sozzani pick the womenswear winners of Italy’s annual Who is On Next young designer competition. (The men’s half of Who’s Next was held last month at Pitti in Florence.)
The prestigious international jury, including Suzy Menkes, Saks Fifth Avenue’s Terron Schaefer and Harvey Nichols’ Averyl Oates, spent last Saturday in a sizzling-hot Rome reviewing the work of seven ready-to-wear labels and four accessories lines for the seventh edition of the prize, which rewards winners with a feature shoot by one of Vogue Italia‘s photographers and a fashion-show slot during Milan fashion week in late September. (Yoox.com, Mercedes-Benz, and Alcantara offered their own supplemental prize.)
Angelos Bratis (left), a Greek designer producing his collection in Italy, won first prize for his sleek, bias scarf-cut pieces inset with stars, while second prize went to Stella Jean, a Caribbean-Italian designer born in Rome, who created Euro-African mix of crisp pinstripe shirts and wax prints in modernized fifties hourglass shapes. Alessio Spinelli, whose eponymous shoe collection debuted in Rome this year, won the accessories prize for the innovative details of his Neon, collection like stiletto sandals with glow-in-the-dark-edged soles, or interchangeable shocking satin laces. Marta Ferri, who did a bright, floral-filled remix of fifties glamour, received the jury’s special mention.
“It’s really amazing to participate in a competition like this,” said Bratis, who spoke during a private evening tour of the Vatican with the jury and journalists assembled for the prize, a rare treat negotiated by Silvia Fendi using all her intra-Roman connections. “All of a sudden you’re in a room with some of the people who you have always dreamed of showing your collection to. So there’s 15 minutes to explain what you’re doing. And then you realize that they understand everything and that an explanation really isn’t necessary.”
Puglia native Corrado di Biase started his career ten years ago designing shoes for Fendi in Rome. And after clocking time in the shoe departments of some of Europe’s best houses—including YSL (where the Tribute was introduced his second season) and John Galliano—he struck out on his own. Di Biase returned to Rome last season to present his first couture collection as a special guest of Sylvia Venturini Fendi, the newly appointed president of Rome’s Haute Couture syndicate. This season, di Biase is debuting his first ready-to-wear collection at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris on March 1.
How did you get your start?
After my studies, my dream was to go to Paris and do ready-to-wear. I sent a ton of letters—everyone said it was easy to get an internship there, but it wasn’t. Valentino and Fendi were the only two truly international houses in Rome at the time, so I sent my CV there. Frida Giannini was designing bags for Fendi at the time, but she had no room on her team, so she passed me along to the shoe design team. So I didn’t choose shoes, they chose me.
How does shoe design inform your process for ready-to-wear?
Not to sound pretentious, but when you are a shoe designer you can design anything. There’s not the same range of possibilities with bags—you can make them in precious leathers or nylon. Shoes require a special mix of technique and creativity. If you pick up on clothing details, they have to be concentrated on such a small space. And then there’s the practical side—you have to be able to walk in them (even if at Galliano we do crazy shoes just for the show).
You have to have a beautiful object and a proportion that is really, really perfect—it’s almost like watch-making; all the pieces have to work together perfectly. When you buy clothing from H&M and you put it with an Alaïa belt and a beautiful jacket, no one knows it’s H&M. Shoes are a different story. To look beautiful, you have to have beautiful shoes. And it gives confidence like no other piece of clothing. It’s amazing when you do shoes; you realize how much they can change a person.
Knowing shoes makes things easier, because it makes you more of a perfectionist. You look at all the little details. My coat with a whalebone shell (pictured) was the first thing I did for the collection, and I instantly zoomed in on the stitching and zippers because the slightest variation jumps out at you. You see everything. Continue Reading “Meet Corrado Di Biase, Paris’ Next Designer To Watch” »
One of the highlights of a Fendi show is always the accessories, and Silvia Venturini Fendi’s bags for her family’s house are deservedly adored. But don’t miss the jewelry this season—if you ask us, it’s the must-buy from Lagerfeld and Fendi’s strong new collection. All the action is on the wrist this time around, with oversized, chain-link bracelets piling on top of colorful, graphic watches, and F-clasp enamel bangles. Blink and you might’ve missed them as they sped down the runway-which reason enough to give a close look through all of our runway details. Click here to see close-ups of the Fendi jewelry, bags, and shoes, and click the details tab here for all of the Spring 2011 detail shots we’ve run so far.