“This is my message, this is my fashion.” These are the powerful words used by the Italian bred Carlotta Actis Barone. A woman who is not just a fashion designer, but an exceptional artist who has created a brand that doesn’t just bear beautiful clothing – it is also a proud exhibition of her strong political and social views.
Carlotta was born with a paintbrush in her hand, so to speak; the daughter of Manuela Corti, a well-known visual artist and Gianni Actis Barone an established author, she literally has artistic blood flowing through her. From a young age she was introduced to many forms of art and self-expression. But it wasn’t until she was 24 that she had found the right medium to express herself through fashion. She moved to London and graduated from the Central Saint Martins College and began working for Stella McCartney, Balmain and numerous others. She gained invaluable insight into the fashion industry and compiled enough experience to establish her own brand. Carlotta is professionally skilled at pattern cutting, fabric manipulation and figure drawing – all of her garments which have graced the catwalk impressively started off as a doodle on paper. She debuted and launched her collection at London Fashion Week in 2010, and to date,still continues to impress.
But there is much more to this brand than first meets the eye; it has a deep sense of awareness because of Carlotta’s interest in ethical issues that exist around the world. She uses her clothes as a platform to inspire others and this is the clever angle behind her brand. Her graduation collection was themed around feminism, especially during the suffragette era. The collection paid a great deal of attention to liberation, strength and variation of shapes and forms of the female body. Carlotta’s later collections have explored other contentious issues in the world such as cruelty against animals, past slavery and modern racism and high-classed prostitution.Her SS13 collection was based on the opera “The Magic Flute” composed in1971 by Mozart. The line was flocked with an amalgam of colours and materials – from rigid skirts to fluorescent rain coats, the designs are a celebration of happiness, protection, love and sisterhood.
Barone’s collection displays her dynamic headstrong personality – she is someone who wanst her views to matter. And cleverly, she has tied together the glamourous side of life such as lavish fabrics and beautiful fashions to the less glamourous – social immoralities. With her brand being centred around such controversial topics it is no doubt she is a compassionate woman – who thinks outside the box in terms of communicating this message to her audience.
With each collection having more mysterious allure than the last,Barone continues to fascinates with her endless charismatic creations that are bold, exaggerated and intricately shaped to create expressive silhouettes with slogans and symbols. Carlotta demands that not only should women look stylish in her clothes but they should also be bearers of her message – one she hopes that they can relate to.
The fashion designer has received a lot of praise from industry insiders and Press with some of her pieces featured in Vogue UK, Vogue Italy, Glamour UK and more. For more, visit Carlotta Actis Barone’s site here to view her full collection.
Written by Naomi Muhammad