The eternal city offers endless inspiration to designers and creative minds alike. Just take, for example, the success of the work achieved by Alessandro Michele for Gucci or that of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino. It was, in fact, in this creative environment, where the tradition of couture ateliers met and clashed with urban subcultures, that the Foddis project was born. Umberto Foddis combined his wealth of sartorial knowledge, gained while working at his family’s workshop in the Castelli Romani, with his experience gleaned overseas while visiting clubs in Berlin and London. Silhouettes designed to flatter a woman’s curves, ruches, lace and embroidery reminiscent of the garments worn by stars of the silver screen, dressed, at that time, by the designers of famous Roman couturiers such as Le Sorelle Fontana, are freely revisited in a play of prints, pop colors and striking contrasts. Like modern-day Marie Antoinettes, Foddis’women battle it out in a kaleidoscopic ring of references that appear to conjure up the eccentricities of John Galliano. Voluminous dresses, either opening generously at the waist or contouring the body, shine in gold, pearl grey or red silk. The insertion of prints, borrowed from an eighties wardrobe, add a decidedly contemporary aesthetic. “For this leopard skin print on a red background, I drew inspiration from a pair of jeans that I found in London in the nineties”, says Foddis. Despite the intricacies and complexity of shapes, the introduction of inserts in tulle, see-through materials and lace alleviate the weightiness of puffed sleeves and embroidery, creating an aesthetic short circuit that has araison d’être. In terms of construction, the various elements of the dress are conceived to overlap one with the other, thus making them transformable so that they can be added or removed at will.