The end-of-year fashion show of a fashion school. Strong emotions for the life that will be

Music, makeup, hairstyles and clothes worn by students, models for a day. Among them some disabled, protected, helped, involved. Moments full of meaning that cannot be translated into a simple explanation

There are images that have an irresistible symbolic power, as if they were able to show and reveal the time we live in or even what has not yet arrived, but which is pressing from the future. I think of Marcello and Anita at the Trevi Fountain, apotheosis but already in decline of a world that seemed happy forever, or of course. the city of “Blade Runner”, very high technology and rubbish, crosses of real and fantastic populations, men and replicants lost in the smoke of Chinese stalls: we’ve all seen that movie and in for a moment we understood how it would develop next time, how it would wear out. And I tried something like this a few days ago, attending the headline fashion show of the professional fashion school where I have been teaching for several decades, Pertini Falcone, located in several places between Torre Spaccata, Torre Maura and the Borghesiana, southeast of Rome.

It is customary for the school to show the work done during the year to an audience of parents, family and friends: for a few days now the preparation is in full swing, there are those in charge of the music, some of the making . upstairs and hairstyles, some from the platform, and teachers and students finish the clothes the students will wear, models for a day. This year the location (now they say, little to do) of the parade was not the school. Stefania, a very talented and ingenious teacher, got in touch with Maam and the “event” took place there (another term that cannot be ignored now). But what is Maam? It is the Museum of the other and the other place of Metropoliz, and this name already intrigues, produces precious expectations. In short, it is a kind of ruin of industrial archeology, an old pig slaughterhouse, which for many years has been transformed into a kind of reception center for the displaced, immigrants, families in difficulty, who have occupied and live in those unlikely spaces.

What is surprising is that this huge and dilapidated building has also become a metropolitan museum, thanks to the intuition of Giorgio De Finis, anthropologist and director, who opened the doors of this place to many artists. And so the great halls, the immense courtyards, the endless corridors of this great metropolitan labyrinth were filled with murals, sculptures of all kinds, suspended planets, indecipherable sculptures, and mysterious works, of all sorts of experimental settings. And so social unrest and the pursuit of beauty, hospitality and creativity, peripheral ruins, and cosmic fantasies coexist in an incredible brotherhood. It seems to me that there are not many maintenance tasks, and everything, life and art, is degrading confusingly, and yet the whole thing is fascinating, a symbiosis of painful reality and total imagination, an impossible marriage but consecrated by the will of those who believed in it to the end. And in this absurd and lively theater the end-of-year parade of my school took place.

It was an exciting and unique experience that, in its own way, seemed almost like a prophecy. Spectators settled on the edges, under a scorching, bare sky, in the courtyards and halls of the Maam, and at one point techno music began, studied by Simone, the school’s DJ, and how miraculously, an after. the other, the girls of Pertini Falcone, dressed in their creations, confident or swaying in the footsteps of makeshift models. And among them also some “disabled” girls, my school welcomes many, protects them, helps them, involves them in all initiatives. I was terribly excited, I felt a lump in my throat, nothing has touched me so hard in recent years, neither the most award-winning literature nor auteur cinema, nor avant-garde theater. Here we were beyond, in truth and symbol, in the present and already in the future. Moments full of emotion and a meaning that cannot be translated into a simple explanation: it was a vision that said a lot without speaking. Ruins, art, youth, desolation, hope, marginalization, solidarity, end and beginning, all wrapped in an image, in an inextricable knot that resembles the life that beats, the life that will be.

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