Text By: Alessio de’ Navasques

For Italian fashion designer Marco Rambaldi, fashion is a social message and declaration of love that can be used to celebrate and elevate civil rights.

The runway show opened with the voice of Italian actress Monica Vitti, taken from Ettore Scola’s 1970 masterpiece Jealousy, Italian Style. It was a moving show that made an impression on everyone present through its forceful emphasis on a hymn to life and love, underlining the diversity and aesthetics of discomfort. Rambaldi’s fall/winter 2018-19 collection, “Vogliamo anche le rose” (We even want roses), can be put together piece by piece, each of which tells a story, and has a message to share with the world. The young designer’s vision is becoming increasingly precise, transforming signs and words into clothing as weaponry, amid seduction and civil commitment that abandons the idea of women as objects in order to make them active subjects in the construction of his world. DRY met with Marco Rambaldi in Rome at Altaroma, where the designer presented his third collection.

What does “We even want roses” mean for you?
“Vogliamo anche le rose” is an urgent request, a cry of joy and pride. After having won – through battles and suffering, time and patience – rights that should be awarded women and everyone, now we’ve had enough. These rights have to be truly for everyone. Now we even want roses, because we deserve to have it all.

In this day and age, what does it mean to launch a political or social message through your clothing collection?
Right now rightwing parties are gaining ground all over the planet. Fear of strangers and people who are different is making greater and greater inroads in public opinion, especially in Italy, where immigration is viewed as an invasion rather than an opportunity for growth. We believe that right now there is a duty, a need, to launch a political message through our work.

Who is Valérie? Why did you decide to use women of different ages and transgender people as models? What were you trying to communicate?
Valéie Taccarelli is a friend, mother and companion of many adventures. After having worked as an actress, an activist for LGBTQ rights, a prostitute and the queen of Bolognese nightlife, today she’s living her life fearlessly, unafraid to show the world who she is and who she has been. She’s an example for all women, and not only women. The idea of putting her up on the runway has been bouncing around in my head ever since I started designing the collection. I wanted women of different ages, ethnicities and sizes, because for me they’re all “WOMEN,” even when they’re a size larger, or have a few more wrinkles…even if they were born as men and then changed identity.

How was this collection born?
My vision was born of an investigation into the 1970s: books, photographs, old LPs, publications from that era, porn magazines and even stories from those years told by people who experienced them firsthand. It’s a collection in which the taboos of the period – still valid today – are exalted and literally printed on the clothing. It’s a reminder of that moment of sexual revolution during which everyone, and especially women, felt free to express and be themselves. From coats with fur to the “ADULT ONLY” scarves, from vinyl miniskirts to trimmings applied to different articles of clothing, the collection expresses a woman who is at once fickle and faithful to herself, celebrating her revolutionary spirit.

What do you feel is the most representative piece in the collection?
That’s a tough question. Maybe the crocheted suit, or the jacquard knitwear…or maybe the wide-ribbed velvet outfit. I don’t think I can choose just one. Every piece represents a totality of that which we’re trying to express. In one way or another they are all essential pieces for any woman’s wardrobe.

Do you feel there’s space for young designers here in Italy?
The space is there. Sometimes we lack opportunities and money. Altaroma is doing important work. Without them I don’t know what the Italian panorama for emerging designers would be like, and they were a fantastic opportunity for us, making it possible for us to hold our first runway show. But I have to admit that the hard work, weekends spent in the studio, sleepless nights, the unending search for materials and shapes, all produce results that are making us really, truly happy.