Representing the creative future

ACM BA 2024: Celebrating the beauty of craftsmanship

Discover the collections of the 2024 Accademia Costume & Moda BA graduates

The 2024 ACM BA graduating class in Costume and Fashion presented a compelling showcase of the Italian industry’s diversity and commitment to craft. Despite varied themes and references, all 20 students’ collections adhered closely to ecological practices that promote fashion sustainability. Leveraging the “Made in Italy” label, some graduates partnered with brands like Clarks, Stelio Malori, and Majotech to drive innovation. Others developed personal upcycling systems, scavenging through Rome for materials of Italian origin.

By drawing from their backgrounds and cultural heritage, designers used fashion to explore and preserve their roots. Eleonora Moreschini’s collection, “Mantè/Memoria Ad Accesso Casuale,” merges the Coperta Abruzzese textile tradition with modern silhouettes, showcasing a deep commitment to storytelling. Giorgio Natti Raineri, Tobia Setten, and Delvin Nosakhare Ekhator used fashion for healing and self-expression, challenging gender norms and advocating inclusivity. Raineri’s delicate garments, adorned with floral embroidery and sheer fabrics, promote genderless fashion and counteract violence. Ekhator’s collection joyfully retells his immigration journey, described as a “painful return to memory lane.”

Sabrina Raus and Alice Ercoli drew inspiration from human nature. Their projects question how to establish individual identity within a community, proposing human connection as an antidote to an emotionless industry. Like the rest of their colleagues, the designer’s collections read as powerful manifestos for human craft. Ekhator expresses a concern shared by his peers: “I fear we’ve become too robotic.” Tommaso Chini echoes this feeling, dreading a shift towards profit over creativity: “Everything is geared towards profit and industry, forgetting the beauty of art, culture, and innovation.” Despite these concerns, the class of 2024 remains hopeful. Giorgio Natti Raineri encapsulates this sentiment: “Fashion is a strong means of communication. We have a responsibility to put a message into the world.” And they certainly have.

Tommaso La Sala 

Tommaso La Sala’s collection, named “Iruka”, is an ambitious narrative project. Born and raised in Erice, a small town on top of a Sicilian mountain with 90 inhabitants, the young designer made his hometown the starting point for his womenswear graduate collection. “The mythical origins of Mount Erice are intertwined with the story of Iruka, an imaginary character who ventures beyond Sicily’s stereotypes.” Aiming to break away from conventional depictions of the region, La Sala engages with Sicily’s often neglected imagery. “Ruffled folds in pink, red, and black pay homage to Sicilian mantles, reflecting a new spirit breaking free from stereotypes and embracing the heights of Mount Erice.”

Federica Cosimelli 

“RE-BIRTH” is, at its core, a practical collection. Federica Cosimelli’s accessories project finds inspiration in its purpose. “I had parameters to develop the concept. It had to be bidirectional gender-wise and multifunctional as a product,” she explains. Her entire collection, including its aesthetic, abides by these principles. “The colour palette was made according to the materials found since half of them were upcycled.” Values like sustainability and functionality not only govern the production of the collection but also inspire its references. “My research started from studying worker’s clothes. By analysing the wars in the 1900s, I paid attention to the periods when women were tasked to step into traditional men’s roles,” Cosimelli notes. With an interesting take on the past and a consciousness of the future, “RE-BIRTH” is permanently current.

Matilde di Tommaso 

Matilde Di Tommaso’s accessories collection, titled “Parallel Passions”, speaks for itself. From the recent graduate’s point of view, human dichotomy is embraced as a natural concept. “Passions are key to having a better understanding of who we are,” Di Tommaso says. For her, passion is the force that propels our complexity. Through her two biggest passions, skiing and fashion, the young designer envisions a multifaceted client. “I used skiing equipment to create a collection designed for a modern, practical yet elegant man.” The inspiration is taken literally— “skiing boots transform into sneakers, backpacks with strap boosters are used as braces.” Her commitment to sustainability led Di Tommaso to work with Rossignol, a leading French manufacturer of Alpine gear. “I was able to use products that couldn’t be used anymore because of safety reasons and give them a second life through my bags and shoes.”

Alessio Mussati 

Inspired by Umberto Boccioni’s second triptych in the “States of Mind” series (1911), Alessio Mussati’s collection delves deeply into the theme of departure. Titled “Quelli Che Vanno”, translating to “Those Who Go”, the collection draws inspiration from Termini train station. Complemented by a photographic project that complements the garments, Mussati’s collection centres around the anonymous figures that constantly traverse the station. “Rigid, distorted, and bursting forms evoke a sense of closure, acting as a shield or shell.” “Quelli Che Vanno” emanates a sense of optimism. “The collection encourages viewers to progress, overcoming barriers, fatigue, monotony, and stagnation, rooted in a culture of positivity. Embroidered petals, leaves, and poppies symbolize hope, akin to a speeding train or a bee carrying earth and seeds, knowing that one day, amid those barren and lifeless tracks, flowers will bloom anew in spring.”

Alice Ercoli 

“’Maquillage’ originates from a reflection on the theme of identity.” Alice Ercoli’s accessories collection explores the intricacies of individuality. “Through fashion, cosmetics, and packaging design, various personalities can be expressed.” In a collection that ranges from leather goods to women’s footwear, the young designer manifests her inspiration in clever ways. “My research began by studying the shapes of cosmetic packaging and its interlocking mechanisms.” Resisting the temptation to create products limited to their inspiration, Ercoli built a collection of items that fit “like a puzzle.” “The intersections of the cosmetic packaging are made up of different units that fit together.” While each piece has its own identity, together they “compose a puzzle.” The metaphor is clear: despite our idiosyncrasies, we’re all meant to fit together.

Sabrina Raus 

Sabrina Raus was born and raised in Rome. Growing up in the Italian capital made her a witness to the subject of her accessories collection. Titled Melting Pot, her work directly references the by-products of globalization. Cultural heterogeneity is explored in intriguing ways, all stemming from what the recent graduate calls a “journey that investigates the combination of different elements interacting with each other into a single product.” Visualizing her concept merely through her explanation might be challenging, but one look at her collection makes the inspiration clear. “The contamination between a mix of folkloric and unusual elements evokes the concept of the multiculturalism of the ‘melting pot’.” Her shoe selection is a standout in the collection, taking her theme literally by melting tops and soles of different natures to create new identities.

Alice Rotoni

Translating is a complex endeavour. Concepts such as the Japanese “Komorebi” are nearly impossible to translate into a few words. Directly translated as the moment sunlight passes through tree leaves, its actual meaning lies in the beauty of simple moments. Inspired by this concept, Alice Rotoni based her graduate collection on the term. “In the course of the creative process, I investigate the textures woven in the greenery, in the lands, in the wind, in the light that penetrates the leaves.” Leather accessories and footwear translate the concept in ways words never could. Monstera-like shapes, folds and cuts that let light through, and leather knots are beautiful materializations of the concept. After all, for Rotoni, nature isn’t just a point of reference; it’s a source of admiration. “Nature embodies a perfect balance between function and aesthetics.”

Beatrice Bartolocci 

“Aline revolves around a balanced tension, a constant dialogue between geometry and fluidity, between linearity and asymmetry, between opaque fabrics, transparencies, and stratifications,” explains Beatrice Bartolocci, perfectly encapsulating her collection. Taking inspiration from the Japanese design studio Nendo’s collection titled “Thin Black Lines,” Bartolocci extrapolates the concept, using black piping to trace relaxed yet sensual silhouettes. The black line is more than an interesting design choice; it’s the through line for the young designer’s collection. Through the neutral palette of her garments, ranging from white to grey to black, the young graduate displays a unique mastery over complex techniques.

Tommaso Chini 

“For those who belong to this world, it is more than a simple call; it is the moment when adrenaline and the desire to ride the perfect wave are generated.” Tommaso Chini describes his collection by its title. AKAW is a word that encapsulates the feeling of seeing the perfect wave. “AKAW is not just a word; it represents a state of mind.” But surfing isn’t a mere aesthetic reference point for Chini’s project, it’s the engine behind its creation. “Thanks to my passion for surfing, I have been able to visit unknown places where nature is still uncontaminated. Because of it, I chose to approach the collection sustainably, making upcycling the starting point.” Through collaborations with leading companies like ION, GA Sails, Clarks, and Stelio Malori, the young designer was able to repurpose discarded wetsuits and shoes.

Michael Di Giovanni 

Michael Di Giovanni’s collection has an appropriate name. Titled Sui Generis, the project is truly one of a kind, exploring the intersection of the cyborg world and parametric architecture. The collection’s peculiar reference points make up Giovanni’s unique design language. From typical tailoring fabrics, the recent graduate builds impressive structures. Speaking of his collection, Di Giovanni claims, “Apparently distant worlds enter into symbiosis and give life to a form of design made up of experimentation on fabrics, moulage, and the development of new volumes, fluid and sculpted, tight-fitting and oversized, which communicate with each other.” The young designer pushes fashion’s boundaries through this apparently remote yet somehow obvious connection.

Viola Marchiori 

Through her graduate collection, Viola Marchiori reflects on the quintessential fashion choice: what to wear in the morning. “The concept of this project comes from a reflection on how clothing can help one feel strong, powerful, can identify, and at the same time connect with the masses.” While exploring how our bodies speak for us, Marchiori finds her aesthetic references in the power dressing typical of the 1980s. For the young designer, the power suits of the decade are a perfect example of a “type of clothing that communicates the social and economic power of the individual.” Marchiori complexifies her approach by introducing elements of grunge. While her collection stems from classic men’s tailored silhouettes, unconventional textiles, prints, and transparencies make a clear statement. “Usually, fashion that communicates power must cover the body, especially the female one. However, here I wanted to try to reveal it instead. The body is discovered, revealed, and regains its power.”

Eleonora Moreschini 

For Eleonora Moreschini, globalization poses as much of a threat as it does an opportunity. “Undifferentiated mass culture is rapidly erasing wonderful differentiations, continually offering us visual equivalents of the annihilation of such individualities.” Her graduate collection, “Mantè/Memoria Ad Accesso Casuale”, aims to be a “point of reference for rediscovering, remembering, and preserving one’s cultural identity.” By combining the textile tradition of the Coperta Abruzzese, a traditional blanket made in Abruzzo, in Southern Italy, with sportswear, Moreschini walks new grounds. The designer sourced five blankets, each reflecting a family’s history. As she describes it, “five looks, five blankets, five completely different stories.” The deep commitment to tradition is mediated by modern silhouettes inspired by backpacking. “The goal is to create a continuous dialogue between the uneven, intricate and personal history of each blanket and the use of technical fabrics, through paths of meaning found in the imaginary path of backpackers.”

Giorgio Natti Rainieri 

For Giorgio Natti Raineri, his collection was a healing process. “My project aims to mend the fracture of gender identity by using clothing as a tool for healing.” The young designer’s work reads as utopian, projecting a future where gender isn’t a constraint and violence isn’t a solution. Raineri proposes, “The garments are delicate, adorned with floral embroidery, chiné prints, and sheer fabrics, embodying beauty and fragility as means to counteract violence. Soft shapes and elongated volumes create a gentle aesthetic, presenting a vision of queer, genderless fashion worn by liberated individuals embracing the entire spectrum of fashion.” The making of his collection was an arduous yet meditative process, from hand-cutting and shaping sequins to meticulous embroideries. The young designer’s project isn’t just a utopian reflection; it’s a material manifestation of his healing. “This long process became a form of active meditation, of healing. Having done all the embroidery myself, I gave myself the time to think a lot between every stitch, the time to heal my wounds.”

Delvin Nosakhare Ekhator

For Delvin Nosakhare Ekhator, the making of his collection was a highly emotional process. “The most challenging aspect about making this collection was returning to the memories that I’ve blanked out for years for fear, insecurities, pains, and heartbreaks.” His menswear collection is sectioned into three parts – “My Immigrational Journey,” “The Urge to Escape,” and “Final Satisfaction/ Appreciation.” Through the medium of fashion, the young designer narrates a complex story. “Transparencies symbolize human vulnerability, while volumes draw from Nigerian ‘Egungun’ masks, and fabrics echo my desert journey. While the blindfolded eyes recall my imprisonment in Libya.” Despite the heavy subjects Ekhator explores, the collection reads as joyful, a fact the designer states he made sure to emphasize. “It’s a collection inspired by the refuge I found in cherished memories, at a time when I desperately needed an escape.”

Letizia Sarasso

“Robert Lax’s question, ‘What should you draw: big flowers? Straight lines?’ serves as the catalyst for Letizia Sarasso’s collection. The young designer takes this source of inspiration literally, reinterpreting typically masculine garments to exude a romantic charm. Drawing inspiration from details and volumes found in kids wear, Sarasso sweetens serious silhouettes such as tailored jackets and heavy coats with transparent fabrics and floral embroideries. The continuity of the line, as spoken of by Lax, is tempered and evolves into curves and swerves that mimic the shape of flowers. According to Sarasso, her collection serves as a simple metaphor, demonstrating that rigor and softness, maturity and girlhood, can coexist in harmony.”

Tobia Setten 

“’Otto Noni’ was born out of a need to experiment, to express ideas, and to enhance a personal vision by intuitively seeking the path to make it concrete,” describes Tobia Setten, reflecting on the collection through which he graduated from Accademia Costume & Moda. Named after the ancient Egyptian term for “square of the circle,” the collection is based on the concept of creation itself. “This concept has been proposed again in this creative mode because its starting point is the theoretical concept of creation.” Through the concepts of space, form, and matter, Setten proposes an intellectual collection. “At the end of the creative process, you will get a concrete idea, and it will be ready to be inserted into a space, to have a form, and to be composed of matter.”

Martina Trimboli

Titled “With Eyes Closed,” Martina Trimboli’s collection balances romance and functionality. Drawing inspiration from traditional workwear, the native Roman’s design expands the functionality of practical clothing. “The fabrics are infused with a romantic narrative that expresses the passion of craftsmanship.” The remarkable dyeing of fabrics was achieved through a blend of techniques, from digital printing to hand painting. The designer confesses that the process was both exhausting and rewarding. “It requires time and passion, but witnessing a garment come to life makes it all worthwhile.”