By Ava Gilchrist

Artist’s Eye: Carolina Altavilla

In an industry that is increasingly operating under a ‘high risk, high reward’ mentality, burgeoning fashion designers from all corners of the globe are adapting to our ostentatious desires with unanticipated reverence. GRAZIA commissions nine artists to chronicle fashion’s vanguard, those marking a ‘coup de théâtre’ for the Spring/Summer 2023 season


If the past is receding, does it not make sense for emerging designers to gravitate towards the work of maestros and grand couturiers? Fashion’s future is looking to the eras of yore, like Kaya Chié and her satisfyingly sculptural elegant womenswear that harks back to the pioneering pieces of Cristobal Balenciaga and Pierre Balmain.

In the skirmish between statement-making, gimmick-led design and sophisticated timeless creations, Chié expertly walks the line. Recalling a time of decisive refinement, Chié’s most recognisable silhouette embodies the tension that lies in our desire to command attention while still feeling part of a collective, literally manifesting this notion in her editorial-favourite orange cape.

Supplanting the concept of a conventional style, Chié presents a form of armour for women in her salmon-toned jersey variation.

Over the top of a dome-shaped structure, Kaya artistically plaits Australian woollen jersey to create a meticulously draped effect, a style that is literally and proverbially perfectly finished in four little bows. The protruding posterior of the cape almost seems to engulf the wearer, like the body becomes a haute couture spadix and the sculptural cape the blooming peach anthurium petal enveloping you in a cocoon.

It’s emotive, equally strong and soft, but most of all inventive. Chié is playing with a sense of time, going through changes by making something perfectly apt for now.

CAROLINA ALTAVILLA: Hailing from Lombardia in Italy, Carolina Altavilla’s dimensional and dynamic illustrations play with compositions and colour to unveil a diverse interpretation of the current cultural zeitgeist. Altavilla’s unique characters and surrealist designs have made her work one of the most
easily identifiable visual activists exploring themes pertaining to climate justice, gender rights and global identity.

Follow Carolina Altavilla @caroaltavilla