Francesco Scognamiglio

MILAN — Francesco Scognamiglio is gearing up to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his namesake fashion house with a couture show to be held in Rome on Sunday night, the closing day of the city’s Altaroma haute couture fashion week.

The designer, who was born in Naples in 1975, launched his label in 1998 in Pompeii, but actually made his runway debut in 2000 with a show at Rome’s Palazzo Barberini.

“This couture show is a comeback, a sort of tribute to my origins,” said Scognamiglio, who also expressed his gratitude to Alta Roma president Silvia Venturini Fendi, who offered him the opportunity to host his anniversary runway show at the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in the Italian capital.

“Hosting my anniversary show in Rome, I also want to pay homage to my country,” he added, revealing that from July he will return to show his couture collections in Paris. The designer was admitted to the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in 2016, a key year for Scognamiglio as he also moved the brand’s headquarters, design studio and atelier into a space inside an ancient palazzo located a stone’s throw from Milan’s Duomo Cathedral.

“During the last 20 years I focused exclusively on my brand. Looking back, I realize I didn’t pay any attention to my personal life, but all my efforts have actually enabled me to establish and grow a credible fashion house,” Scognamiglio said. “I was never guided by the ambition to become someone, I just wanted to have the freedom to do what I wanted and I fought for that. I think my clients actually see how much of myself is transferred into my creations. And they like this personal aspect.”

To celebrate the anniversary, Scognamiglio will host a runway show, which won’t only unveil his new couture creations for the spring 2018 season but also feature 13 couture dresses from his archives. These will include, for example, the flamboyant crystal and feather gowns worn by Beyoncé at the MTV Video Music Awards event in 2016 and the jacquard coat sported by Björk in a W editorial shoot by Tim Burton last year.

A look from Francesco Scognamiglio Spring 2018 Couture collection.

A look from Francesco Scognamiglio spring 2018 Couture collection.  Courtesy Photo.

The 13 new couture dresses were inspired by the reflections of the ice and the aurora borealis. Playing with sheer materials, the designer created featherweight dresses, including a fluid draped style with tulip cuffs embellished with hand-stitched antique lace inserts and a jersey gown revealing precious crystal embroidery on the bodice and a cutout detail on the back. The lineup also includes a see-through frock punctuated by flamboyant feathers and separates, such as a sculpted skirt matched with a Fifties bralette, both decorated with precious decors.

The show, which will feature a set with intermittent neon lights in the designer’s signature aqua green, will close with a crystal mesh grown recalling birds-of-paradise.

According to Scognamiglio, couture accounts for a growing percentage of the brand’s total business with clients coming especially from Italy, Russia, the Middle East and China.

Asked about his goals, the designer revealed he is looking for a licensing partner for the development of the women’s ready-to-wear and accessories lines. He also said that he might introduce men’s wear in the near future.

“My goal is to be able to have someone managing the ready-to-wear business, so that I would possibly focus more on creativity, especially on couture,” the designer said.