By  on September 20, 2007

Now in its third season, the Who Is On Next contest organized by Italian Vogue and Alta Roma has become a tried-and-true measure for new talent. Here, a look at the winners of this year's edition, a crop of young and not-so-young designers with varied backgrounds. Who Is On Next will be presented next Thursday from 9:15 a.m. to noon at Milano Moda Donna, Spazio Presentazioni.

Carta e Costura

This six-month-old line hails from the on-the-set encounter between costume designer Alessandra Carta, 40, and makeup artist Rita Fiorentino, 32.

In fashion terms, the pair blend different aesthetics, historical periods and silhouettes that can range from Joan of Arc-style dresses to black coats à la Tilda Swinton in "Orlando."

"My background is designing costumes from past eras, but I've always wanted to try my hand at more contemporary looks," said Carta. "With this new line, we want to bind the fascination of the past with the practicality of the future."

Spring focuses on short silk dresses with ruches and tucks in dusty gray, taupe and mauve.

Carta e Costura has already grabbed some attention from buyers and editors, and the duo also plans to stage a presentation during Paris Fashion Week. Final prices were not available at press time.

Sara Lanzi

When Sara Lanzi, 37, decided to strike out on her own in 2004, she wanted to do it as an independent.

After earning a degree in the history of contemporary art in 2000 in Viterbo, Lanzi garnered her experience designing for Carpe Diem, a high-end ready-to-wear line based in Perugia.

"I wanted to start a project that represented me in the best way possible and the desire to create a compact closet for women," she said.

Lanzi says her vision is rigorous but not rigid. Her fashion philosophy revolves around seasonless pieces, especially basics like sleek jackets and dresses that maximize Italy's sartorial tradition. She typically shuns glitzy embellishment and embraces minimalism.

Spring highlights include lots of cotton gauze and reed matting for everyday pieces, while silk voile and organdy give substance to more elaborate eveningwear.Wholesale prices run from $140 to $550.

Soft Core

Born in Cairo to an Italian father and German-Croatian mother, Sergio Zambon grew up between Cairo, Rome and London. After graduating from the Institute of European Design, the designer was tapped by Fendi to spearhead its Fendissime diffusion line.

In 2005, he made his solo debut with Soft Core, which he describes as "classy streetwear.

"As the name implies, the line joins the softness of chic clothes with the harshness of function," said Zambon, who is based in Rome. Cases in point are mixes of contrasting fabrics like cotton, silk and cashmere with denim, nylon and fleece.

For spring, he revisited the Sixties and Eighties via graphic silhouettes, invisible closures and fastenings, and a color wheel filled with black, khaki and flashes of sunflower yellow.

The line is carried by Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong, Baycrew in Tokyo and Degli Effetti in Rome. Wholesale prices range from $104 for a blouse to $416 for a jacket and $200 for a dress.

To access this article, click here to subscribe or to log in.

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus