Countdown to ITS: competition finalists go on show in Trieste

Fashion / Design By Federico Poletti

The countdown has begun for ITS
- International Talent Support, which will be shown in Trieste on 11th and 12th July, in the thirteenth year of this highly creative contest. And this latest round is particularly packed with innovations, starting with ITS ARTWORK. This is a new area for free experimentation, set up in partnership with Swatch, for young creatives. It was the brainchild of Barbara Franchin, who devised and leads this project. ITS aims to give a voice, and support, to promising new talents in fashion. These youngsters come from all over the world, as we can see from the nationalities of the fashion finalists. Those selected for the “fashion” category have diverse backgrounds, but they all display a strong interest in experimenting with textures that have a high material and chromatic impact. These fabrics and cuts form dynamic relationships between the garment and the body.  

We were given a sneak preview of the finalists’ most representative pieces, so as to understand their collections and their vision of the fashion of the future.  
Alexander Benekritis, born 1977, trained at the Royal College of Art, UK. His collection is inspired by contemporary Africa, and China. Two distant worlds which are remixed in an urban-military style. Another former student from the Royal College of Art, Zoe Waters (born 1987) reveals a rock spirit. Leather biker jackets and various zips inside some of her outerwear pieces, giving them the option of turning into a different jacket time after time. Anita Hirlekar, born in 1986, studied at Central St. Martin’s College in London. Anita’s collection focuses on handcrafted elements, with a preference for clean lines and modern materials: a balance between glamour and comfort. Anna Bornhold, born 1982, studied at the University of the Arts Bremen, in Germany. Anna’s style is one in which colours are muddled, materials are combined, and what seem to be classic garments take on a new look. Katherine Roberts-Wood, born 1986, studied at the Royal College of Art, UK. She developed her own technique whereby she repeats a module in order to give shape to fabrics. Laser-cut pieces create structures of fabric which seem to be moving and changing colour, almost following the woman’s movements. Alison Tsai, born in 1981, is Taiwanese and graduated from Parsons The New School for Design in New York. Alison’s collections are always inspired by textiles, which are the true starting point for her: beads and embroidery, fringes and tassels create new fabrics, in her research into textiles engineering. Creatures and organic forms stand out in her designs; and that’s hardly surprising given that before studying fashion, Alison attended the school of Medicine in Taiwan, an experience which definitely inspired her work.

Yasuto Kimura, born in 1987, studied at Esmod in Tokyo. Yasuto’s collection is inspired by his Japanese cultural background, particularly the way businessmen dress. He set himself the challenge of developing an innovative style with a sense of humour, creating a strong look for modern businessmen in the City.
Jae Woo Lee, another graduate of Parsons The New School for Design, was born in South Korea in 1982. She works on hand-finished shapes, overlaid with modern, pop colours. The garment takes on a 3D, geometric shape, becoming a wearable work-of-art in the process. Leonie Barth, born in 1987, studied at the University of Applied Sciences in Bielefeld, Germany. Leonie’s collection starts off based on a quote from Jean-Paul Sartre’s play “No Exit” (Huis Clos), and continues with Jacques Lacan’s “Mirror Stage” theory. The basic idea is that our mirror image completes our identity. Her designs are developed through the reflection of their own image. Missing parts are added, and existing parts are reflected, to create completeness. Natalja Mencej, born in Slovenia in 1974, is a graduate of the Royal College of Art, London. Her collection combines two elements: Japanese sensuality and powerful Western masculinity. Her collection takes its cue from “Decotora”, the colossal metal trucks covered in twinkling lights, and from their bizarre drivers, who pour time and energy into customizing their trucks. Now all you need to do is stay tuned into ITS2014 to find out who the winner will be.