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its award trieste diesel otb 2019

The young designers who just won big at the ITS 2019 event

The annual event hosted in Trieste was this year judged by the likes of Y/Project’s Glenn Martens and backed by Diesel and more

Once a year, young designers from all over the world land in the Italian harbour city of Trieste with the hopes of winning big at the International Talent Support’s annual event. 

Founded by Trieste native Barbara Franchin in 2002, each year the initiative aims to offer support to fashion’s next generation of talent and is hosted in partnership with brands like Swatch and international fashion group OTB, the conglomerate behind labels like Maison Margiela, Diesel, and Viktor & Rolf

While previous panel members have included designers like Iris Van Herpen, Raf Simons, and Gareth Pugh, for this year’s event, it was the turn of Y/Project’s Glenn Martens (among others) to pick the night’s winner. This year, Chinese designer Daoyuan Ding took home the biggest award of the night – including a €15,000 cash prize and a chance to present his collection at Pitti Uomo in January 2020. 

“My collection is all about the discussions between dreams and reality. It was heavily influenced by the philosophy of object-oriented ontology,” the recent LCF MA graduate told us about his almost entirely monochrome collection, that featured shrouded models in garments that digitally combined clashing prints. “I recreated a pattern of the combinations to give a mixed feeling to the coats, suits, and bags.”

Elsewhere, Swiss designer Rafael Kouto’s sustainable collection ‘Suspended Bodies That Will Never Fall’ earned him both the Lotto Award and the Diesel Award. Inspired by his mixed heritage, Kouto combined couture techniques typical of western couture garments with African craftsmanship, to create what he described as a “hybrid aesthetic”. The collection itself consisted of tailored garments, such as blazers and jackets, with distressed embroidery detailing.“I really like to use unusual materials and giving them a different appeal and I hope it'll become like a tendency to understand it is possible to upcycle and use sustainable materials to create a new sense of luxury,” Kouto explains. 

Taking home the OTB Award was Australian designer and Parsons graduate, Annaliese Griffith-Jones. Talking to us about her collection, Griffith-Jones explained the inspiration came from a sense of nostalgia she felt about her grandparents home in Australia, after moving to New York. Starting with the design of the textiles prior to the shapes of the garments, the process of creating her graduate collection led her to develop her own technique of reverse painting. The end result included a series of looks with intricate colourful, floral designs with the texture of a jelly-like silicone. Her final look consisted of a hand-painted, quilted, white and violet ruffle coat, inspired by the patterned wallpapers and tiles found in her grandparents’ home.

Using her collection as a comment on the world’s cultural shifts towards becoming a homogenous society was Central Saint Martins graduate Moon Hussain. Winning two awards throughout the weekend, Hussain’s collection featured a series of traditional men's eveningwear as womenswear. Made from factory reject materials, the looks consist of tailored blazer and trouser ensembles, which were created with a yellow vinyl that expanded into a jagged texture after being placed under heat.