ITS 2022: Charlie Constantinou wins the Trieste fashion competition
International Talent Support 2022 was an exciting competition. This year the fashion competition, which was able to be held in person in Trieste (north-east Italy), after two years of being held digitally due to the pandemic, highlighted technique, the research of materials and manual mastery in particular, as evidenced by the victory of British designer, Charlie Constantinou, who was awarded the ITS Academy Award.
He will receive 15,000 euros, as well as a six-month mentorship, promoted by the trade show organizer Pitti Immagine. The Cypriot-born designer, who also won the second prize in the ITS Sportswear Award powered by Lotto Sport alongside Hin Fung Jesse Lee (1st) and Edward Mendoza (3rd), seduced the jury with an intelligent and generous collection with great work within materials, through the creation of a stretchy quilted nylon, adaptable to all morphologies and climates.
Inspired by the clothes made by the Inuit from their own resources to protect themselves from extreme climates, the designer created basic knitwear outfits (knitwear, gloves, tights) and inserted stretchy parts around the elbows and lower abdomen, to be worn with puffy vests for a warrior-like look, and flared pants, ribbed with laces or zips, designed to shrink the garment to the body.
A graduate of London's Central Saint Martins, Constantinou, age 24, also impressed with his palette of deep greens, mauves and blues, shades he creates himself, and tie-dye effects.
"Color and textiles are my passion, but my favorite part is when it comes to making the collection with all the elements," said the designer, who already displays a certain confidence behind his apparent nonchalance. After some time at Edward Crutchley, one of the new names on the London scene, the winner of this 20th edition of the ITS competition refined his training with Savile Row tailor Clothsurgeon, and has just started to retail a small selection of pieces via Ssense and H Lorenzo.
Another passionate textile researcher and knitwear enthusiast is Martina Durikovic, age 27, from Bratislava, Slovakia. Durkovic won the €8,000 ITS Media Award with a flashy and extravagant collection for galactic princesses, made entirely from a gelatin-like material that is totally biodegradable. Remembering that her grandmother used to water plants with potato starch water, which formed a gelatinous substance, the creative thought of transforming it by cooking, drying and crystallizing it into a kind of bioplastic, which she cut into threads so she could knit them.
"It's biodegradable, resistant and 75% waterproof. It can be treated with wax to make it totally waterproof, and by adding flavors, like strawberry, lemon or mint, you can even eat it," she explained with a big smile. Durikovic also graduated from Central Saint Martins, and since 2019 has relocated to Paris to work at Chanel, in textile research and development.
Brussels-based Lili Schreiber, age 26, won the OTB Prize, one of the most coveted awards, with a prize of 10,000 euros. Trained at La Cambre and also having relocated to Paris, she was recruited in 2021 by the house of Lemaire as assistant designer for women, after an internship at Kenzo.
Under a seemingly more classic appearance, the wardrobe she created revealed her ability to play on several fronts with great consistency and a beautiful mastery of cuts and finishes. It was an elegant and graphic collection brilliantly mixing colors and geometric patterns in multifunctional clothes.
The ITS special mention prize promoted by Vogue Italia was awarded to Eva Heugenhauser, age 25, who stood out with her innovative textile research by creating water-soluble clothes from a kind of latex obtained after countless tests in her kitchen. The Austrian designer, born in Sankt Johann in the Tyrol region, moved to New York to study at the Parsons School of Design. She currently works for Thom Browne, having took men's suits as a starting point, working on the notions of value and duration, as well as on the concept of disappearance of clothing.
Finally, with his object-bags of great plastic beauty without necessarily being functional, French creator Victor Salinier, age 26, won the ITS Responsible Creativity Award promoted by the Camera della Moda (CNMI). Leather and ceramic accessories with a strong media potential intended to be seen on red carpets rather than in stores. What could be more fashionable?
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