Review of AltaRoma AltaModa

Industry insider Victoria Wyatt reviews AltaRoma AltaModa

Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a fashionista quite like an invitation to an Italian fashion festival. After much scrutiny only four outfits were deemed "fashion event worthy" so thank goodness AltaRoma AltaModa is only a four-day event.

Any foreigner who has visited or is lucky enough to live in Rome knows that many events here are advertised in an almost secretive manner, and AltaRoma is no different. A festival that would appeal to many keeps its attendance only to the elite few, which is nothing but shameful as the young designers featured deserve to have their names splashed about town. AltaRoma has quite the troubled history, namely because it aspires to be on the level of big brother Milan Fashion Week but emerging and newly-established designers perhaps warrant a more thoughtful and creative approach to exposure rather than simply catwalk shows and stuffy parties.

The best thing about any catwalk show is the lead-up and of course Rome did not disappoint. The fashionable eyeing up the more fashionable, everyone on edge when one of the many press cameras is pointed anywhere near their direction and otherwise '"elegant" folk tripping over the lip of the catwalk as they cross to air-kiss "friends" on the other side. It really is people watching at its finest.

On 31 January, the title of showcase designer of the day goes to Salvatore Piccione. Since graduating from the European Institute of Design in 2008 his career and collections have surged forward at an incredible pace, and his new collection shown was simply breathtaking.

Piccione's goal is "not to change the woman, but to improve her, make her recognisable, beautiful and intriuging. His love of graphics shone through in this effortlessly chic collection full of stunningly embellished details placed on top of art deco prints in pop art colours. The contrast between the mostly delicate silks and the heavy beading was jaw dropping in that it was so obviously meticulously planned and placed and yet nothing looked forced.

The wearability of the collection - albeit to events that most of us would only ever dream of going to, shows wisdom far beyond Piccione's years as not only was every piece a walking work of art, but high-end stores such as the renowned Harvey Nicholls are sure to keep snapping him up.

Bring on the next round of shows!

Victoria Wyatt