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.

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