Discovering the first exhibition of ITS Arcademy, Museo de Arte en Moda

The first exhibition of ITS Arcademy, Museum of Art in fashion, a museum dedicated to the creativity of young talents, students from the most prestigious fashion schools in the world who have participated in the International Talent Support (ITS) contest, will officially open 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 has held the position of artistic director, image and culture of the JM Weston brand. FashionUnited had the opportunity to take a prior tour of the exhibition and the 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 evolution of contemporary fashion”

Demna Gvasalia, Creative Director of Balenciaga, Matthieu Blazy, Creative Director of Bottega Veneta, Alithia Spuri-Zampetti, Associate Design Director of Alexander McQueen, Nicolas di Felice, Creative Director of Maison Courrèges are just some of the names of the finalists who, year after year, they have paraded in Trieste to win one of the prizes made available by the sponsors who have supported the competition over the years.

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

And the contest has done well, at least judging by the fact that it is now in its 20th edition and the interest aroused by the collections of its candidates. Talents that Franchin herself has been exploring all over the world and whose creations are already available to anyone who wants to see them.

Until a while ago, portfolios, sketches, and collections were kept elsewhere. However, given the sheer volume of clothing and material, it was no longer suitable to preserve them in the best possible way, nor to allow the public to view them.

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

In its new location, ITS Arcademy has 1,400 square meters of exhibition space, a creative archive and a training center. 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, to young people, children and the elderly to allow them to dialogue with creativity, with designers, with the history contained in portfolios and projects”, says Franchin.

Each folder tells the story of the student who made it, like that of the Israeli Ahron Israel Genish who, through his collection ‘Lo tishtok. you will never be silenced’, he found a way to overcome a difficult childhood. Some of these portfolios will be on display, in rotation, to the public in the library’s glass cases where all the projects are stored. The objects belong to ITS but the intellectual property belongs to the designers who created them.

The deconstruction of the ordinary clothing model in favor of an intimate vision that leads to introspection, the evocation of wounds to the epidermis, whether moral or physical, through the use of red and sometimes bloody materials, are the main characteristics of the designers in this section. The stark colors used, the dark blacks, the drippings and the asymmetries in the clothes, true mirrors of themselves, of their feelings and moods. All of these reveal a haunting inner world amplified by the authority of his 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 stars of the ‘neo-futurists’ section. The extroverted shapes that the garments evoke define a new wardrobe, at times devoid of references to the past. Shades of steel grey, harsh blues, the colors of stone or iron mines create visually dreamlike architectures. Jackets and coats become constructions of the imagination, the garments are cultivated constructive fantasies, the suits under an ordinary appearance presage a future of concerns and at the same time of hope, as witnessed by the feeling of reinvention in each of the creations of locker room.

“I think if you can turn off your mind and just look with your eyes, eventually everything becomes abstract.” The well-known quote by Ellsworth Kelly, a quote that inspired designer Kim Shui, is the perfect reference for the designers that make up the ‘lyrical abstractions’ 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, David Steinhorst, Michael Van Der Ham, Zoe Aguas.

The invention of silhouettes follows geometric shapes, sometimes reduced to the simplicity of a circle or a parallelepiped. Flat colors give even more dimension to garments that are nothing more than volumes. A true tectonics of tissues is created on the body, adapted to form a manifest suit, a solution for the future. Oversized shoulders, cubical skirts and dresses, and contrasting tones form a radical aesthetic coherence.

A new folklore of emotions motivates the 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 Balta, Matthieu Lavanchy – James Thom, Amélie Marciasini, Slobodan Mihajlovic, Cat Potter, Anni Salonen, Hana Yagi and Yunqi Zhang, artists who come together in the ‘raw and singular arts’ section.

Developed in yarn, webbing, chenille, knitwear or patchwork, the garments reflect a renewed interest in forgotten craft techniques. Textile work, whether modest or sophisticated, tends to be obsessive, so much so that the threads, the tied ones, the loose ones and the knotted ones, provoke the matter. Instead, the forms are urban, sometimes even identifiable as the wardrobe of humble people.

On the surface, these clothes of flesh and expression weave a utopia of appearances, covert rather than personal, in conflict with the world and the way its excesses have been revealed.

Details and portraits characterize the section of self-portraits by creators Mason Jung, Shinhwan Kim, Yasuto Kimura, Han Chul Lee, Eleanor McDonald, Ichiro Suzuki. Just 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 her gaze and with oneself. It is what is inside the lining, what carries it and supports it. These are the designers gathered in the ‘free representations’ section: Tianan Ding, Aitor Goicoechea Aburuza, Courtney Mcwilliams and Syna Chen. Through their printed images, variegated colors and photos focused on the other, the garments trigger a cross-eyed look, which is also experienced from the inside. 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, Its Contest’s contemporary photography collection is made up of 80 authors and 700 prints, both 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 constant evolution that represents the evolution of international creativity in its most innovative, radical, artistic and experimental expressions,” Franchin explained, noting that each year’s competitive trend reports represent valuable tools for forecasting trends years in advance.

Just to give an example: ITS tracked the genderfluid trend from 2008 and wrote about it in its 2013 trend report. In ITS projects in 2016, 31 percent of collections were defined by candidates as ‘agender’ , while in 2015 the percentage was less than 1 percent. Data like this is important for brands and the fashion industry, which from April will have a new space to carry out research and analysis on the trends and behavior of today’s and tomorrow’s generations. It is not surprising, then, that some of the collections shown these days resemble the designs and collections nominated for the ITS contest in previous years.

Seiran Tsuno, photo credit to Massimo Gardone by ITS Arcademy
Credit FashionUnited
The Library, photo credits: Massimo Gardone for ITS Arcademy
Richard Quinn, photo credits: Massimo Gardone for ITS Arcademy
The ‘Wunderkammer’, photo credits: Massimo Gardone for ITS Arcademy
The corridor, photo credit to Massimo Gardone by ITS Arcademy
Barbara Franchin, ITS 2022 contest. 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.

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