Rome’s native son Fabio Quaranta took to the runway at the Complesso Monumentale S. Spirito in Sassia, just around the corner from the Vatican, on the second day of Altaroma. Quaranta lives and works in Rome and his sophisitcated blend of tailoring and workwear for men (and women who like to borrow their clothes) reflects the laid back cool of this city. He street cast the show including one of his customers, an organist at a nearby church who played a morning service beforehand. Quaranta zeroed in on the timeless high/low style of artists, a mix of dressed-up and dressed-down that takes them from a dusty atelier to dinner at a trattoria in Rome’s Monti. Quaranta’s store, Motelsalieri (162 via Giovanni Lanza/ http://www.motelsalieri.com/) in Monti stocks his label, Carol Christian Poell, Comme des Garçons, Junya Watanabe, and also doubles as a performance space for the musicians and artists he loves.
As Quaranta describes his look in the show notes: “It’s the aesthetic dichotomy found among certain names in art, music and literature, the protagonists of the last fifty years of international culture.” He name checked a few of these strong identities: William Burroughs, Joseph Beuys, Marcel Duhamp, George Harrison, the more contemporary Michael Gira and Billy Childish, and a few more obscure names including Little Annie (aka Little Annie Anxiety Bandez, a New York City singer, songwriter, painter, poet, writer, performing and recording artist, pastor and stage actor) and Douglas P. (aka Douglas Pierce, an English folk musician, record label owner, photographer and actor who records under the name Death in June).
The collection’s tailored jackets and coats in workwear fabrics and square cut vests with workwear zippers showed in natural colors and interesting mixtures of silk, fine cotton and Italian denim. Quaranta opted for a roomy fit inspired by 1940s workwear and used mini camouflage for jacquards that gave his southern Italian country gentleman look a dose of pop.
Altaroma is traditionally for women, but Quaranta showed both. And it’s not that he’s added a women’s collection. At least not yet. Right now, the label’s female fans just take what they want from the boys. “Many women wear my clothes, so it seemed natural to show menswear on both,“ he said backstage. “So far, the only thing we’ve had to do specifically for women is the shoes.”