Discovering the first exhibition of ITS Arcademy, Museum of Art in Fashion

The first exhibition of ITS Arcademy, Museum of Art in Fashion, is officially launched, a museum dedicated to the creativity of young talents, students of the most prestigious fashion schools in the world who have participated in the International Talent Support (ITS) competition. on April 18 in Trieste, Italy.

The first exhibition is curated by Olivier Saillard, curator, fashion historian and designer who until 2017 directed the fashion museum of the city of Paris, the Palais Galliera. Since January 2018 he holds the position of artistic director, image and culture of the JM Weston brand. FashionUnited had the opportunity to preview the exhibition and museum, accompanied by Barbara Franchin, president and artistic director of the ITS Foundation.

The exhibition curated by Olivier Saillard is entitled “The First Exhibition – 20 Years of Contemporary fashion evolution”

Demna Gvasalia, creative director at Balenciaga, Matthieu Blazy, creative director at Bottega Veneta, Alithia Spuri-Zampetti, associate head of design at Alexander McQueen, Nicolas di Felice, creative director at Maison Courrèges are just some of the names of the finalists who year after year, paraded in Trieste to win one of the prizes available from the sponsors who have supported the competition over the years.

One name stands out above all others: Diesel. Renzo Rosso, currently chairman of the OTB holdings group, which includes the brands Diesel, Jil Sander, Maison Margiela, Marni, Viktor&Rolf, Staff International and Brave Kid, as Barbara Franchin explained to FashionUnited. “Rosso believed in ITS from the first moment.”

And the competition has done well, at least judging by the fact that it is already in its 20th edition and the interest that its candidates’ collections have generated. Talent that Franchin herself is looking for all over the world and whose creations are now available to anyone who wants to see them.

Until recently, portfolios, sketches and collections were kept elsewhere. However, given the sheer volume of clothing and material, it was no longer suitable for preserving them in the best possible way, nor for allowing the public to see them.

Demna Gvasalia (Balenciaga) Matthieu Blazy (Bottega Veneta): just some of the finalists who took part in the ITS competition

In its new location, ITS Arcademy has a 1400 square meter showroom, creative archive and training centre. The project was made possible thanks to the support of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, together with the CrTrieste Foundation.

The spaces, in fact, have been made available free of charge by the Fondazione CrTrieste. “We want to open the doors to the city of Trieste and its citizens, the young, the children and the elderly to allow them to talk with creativity, with the designers, with the history that the portfolios and projects contain,” he says Franchin.

Each portfolio tells the story of the student who made it, such as the Israeli Ahron Israel Genish who, through his collection ‘Lo tishtok. you’ll never shut up,” found a way to overcome a difficult childhood. Some of these portfolios will be on display, in rotation, to the public in the library display cases where all the works are stored. The objects belong to ITS but the copyright belongs to the designers who created them.

Deconstructing the usual clothing model in favor of an intimate vision that leads to introspection, invoking skin wounds, moral or physical, through the use of embodied and sometimes bloody materials, are the main characteristics of designers in this field. The bold colors used, the dark blacks, the drips and the asymmetries in the clothes, true mirrors of themselves, their feelings and moods. All this reveals a disturbing inner world enhanced by the authority of their art.

Matthieu Lavanchy – James Thom, Mikio Sakabe, Olesya Serchenko, Yong Kyun Shin, Heaven Tanudiredja, Aitor Throup and Cheng Zong Yu, on the other hand, are the protagonists of the “neo futurists” section. The extroverted shapes that provoke the clothes define a new wardrobe, sometimes without references to the past. Tones of steel grey, hard blues, the colors of stone or iron mines create dreamy, visual architectures. Jackets and coats become buildings of the imagination, clothes cultivate constructive imaginations, suits with an ordinary appearance portend a future of worries and at the same time hope, as the sense of reinvention in each sartorial creation testifies.

“I think if you can turn off the mind and just look with the eyes, eventually everything becomes abstract.” Ellsworth Kelly’s famous quote, a quote that inspired designer Kim Shui, is the perfect reference for the designers who compose the “abstraction lyrics” section: Nadide Begum Yildirim, Heather Blake, Louise Crawford, Valentim Manuel Estevão Quaresma, Susan Maria Dimasi_Chantal Louise Mcdonald, Silvia Noferi, Ruth Roberts Green, Carolin Holzhuber, Yijun Liao, Kin Yan Lam, Jae Woo Lee, and Shie Lyu, Joan Tarrago Pampalona_Karen Scholz, Katherine Roberts-Wood, Kim Shui, Michael Van Stein Hamst, Zoe Waters.

The invention of silhouettes follows geometric shapes, sometimes limited to the simplicity of a circle or a parallelogram. Flat colors give even more dimension to clothes that are nothing but volumes. A true textile tectonics is created on the body, tailored to form a transparent costume, a solution for the future. Big shoulders, cube skirts and dresses, and contrasts of hues form a radical aesthetic coherence.

A new emotion folklore motivates creative methodology shared by Maria Bika, Matthieu Blazy, Paula Cheng, Emma Chopova_Laura Lowena, Daniele Controversio, Nicolas Di Felice, Mark Goldenberg, Demna Gvasalia, Chau Har Lee, Anita Hirlekar, Cecilia Juarez Laura Balta, Matthieu – James Thom, Amélie Marciasini, Slobodan Mihajlovic, Cat Potter, Anni Salonen, Hana Yagi and Yunqi Zhang, artists gathered in the “raw and unique arts” section.

Developed in yarn, mesh, chenille, knit or patchwork, the garments reflect a renewed interest in forgotten craft techniques. Textiles, whether modest or sophisticated, tend to be obsessive, so much so that the threads, those that are tied, those that are loose and those that are tied, challenge the material. Instead, the shapes are urban, sometimes even recognizable as the humble man’s wardrobe.

Superficially, these garments of flesh and expression weave a utopia of phenomena, hidden and impersonal, in conflict with the world and the way its excesses have been revealed.

Details and portraits characterize the self-portrait section by creators Mason Jung, Shinhwan Kim, Yasuto Kimura, Han Chul Lee, Eleanor McDonald, Ichiro Suzuki. Like the people we meet on the street and the people we approach, these costumes are a reflection of society. In the area of ​​the free figure, the dress is the interface with the other person, with his gaze and with himself. It is what is inside the investment, what carries it and supports it. These are the designers gathered in the “free renderings” section: Tianan Ding, Aitor Goicoechea Aburuza, Courtney Mcwilliams and Syna Chen. Through their printed images, contrasting colors and other-centric photographs, the clothes trigger a cross-eyed look that is also experienced from within. The goiels section includes pieces by Margherita Abi-Hanna, Shilpa Chavan, Yun Sun Jang, Hazuki Katagai, Asumi Maeda, Masaki Shimizu, Takahiro Ueno and Arnaud Zill.

Finally, the contemporary photography collection of Its Contest includes 80 authors and 700 prints, analog and digital.

Franchin: ITS Arcademy represents the evolution of international creativity “The ITS Arcademy collection is unique in the world because it collects the first works of designers who later wrote new codes of contemporary fashion. It is a twenty-year archive in continuous development that represents the evolution of international creativity in its most innovative, radical, artistic and experimental expressions,” explained Franchin, emphasizing that each year’s competition trend reports represent valuable tools for predicting trends years in advance.

Just to give an example: ITS noted the genderfluid trend as early as 2008 and wrote about it in its 2013 trends report. In ITS projects in 2016, 31 percent of collections were designated by candidates as “ agender’, while in 2015 the figure was less than 1 percent. Data like this is important to brands and the fashion industry, which, starting in April, will have a new place to conduct research and analysis on the trends and behavior of today’s and tomorrow’s generations. It’s no surprise, then, that some of the collections on the catwalks these days resemble the designs and collections nominated for the ITS competition in years past.

Seiran Tsuno, Massimo Gardone photo for ITS Arcademy
Credit FashionUnited
The library, photos: Massimo Gardone for ITS Arcademy
Richard Quinn, photos: Massimo Gardone for ITS Arcademy
The ‘Wunderkammer’, photos: Massimo Gardone for ITS Arcademy
arcade, photo by Massimo Gardone for ITS Arcademy
Barbara Franchin, ITS 2022 competition. Photo credits: Giuliano Koren
The entrance to ITS Arcademy. Photo Credits: FashionUnited
One of the ITS Arcademy workshops. Photo Credits: FashionUnited

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.IT. English translation and editing: Veerle Versteeg.

Leave a Comment