Creativity? Yes, it helps build dreams…at least this is the sentiment that seemed to emerge from the runway shows of the finalists of the International Talent Support 2013 in Trieste on Saturday night.

However, these weren’t your average dreams, they were filled with heroic figures from the past, cartoons, music, circuses and cinema, they had a pop twist, metropolitan touches, candy colors and dark undertones. They also symbolized the creative vision of tomorrow’s fashion talents and the physics behind creativity. “The Physics of Creativity” was, in fact, the theme of this edition of ITS, the international competition which supports young talent championed by Barbara Franchin and supported by a some of the most prominent names in the fashion industry.

Thirty designers were selected from the best fashion schools in the world to join in this year’s competition. Wearing white lab coats, each competitor was invited to take a scientific approach to fashion. The results showcased a mix of volumes, colors, different techniques and appliqué details, which were more poetic than scientific. As judge Renzo Rosso affirmed, this might be because, “Their creativity is pure, they haven’t yet been tainted by commercial rules.”
As the lights went out and the show was about to start, the tension was palpable but the designers managed to keep their cool. Jury member, Nicola Formichetti told us, “This morning I went to meet the finalists, to help them relax and explain how they should behave. My advice? Believe in your dreams, be yourselves and everything will go well.” Italian gallerist and founder of 10 Corso Como Carla Sozzani sat front row applauding along with 600 other spectators who all remained until the winners were announced.

So, who are the names to look out for? Han Chul Lee from South Korea, who won the Fashion Collection of the Year and the Vogue Talent Award, with a stunning menswear collection inspired by gangsters and included coats with fine artisan detailing and pleated leather. The coveted award was given to Nelly Hoffmann, the French designer who created a womenswear collection with a grunge feel, reworking bomber jackets in oversize proportions and prints of religious icons. One look from the collection will be available exclusively on, and offer her visibility in over 100 countries. Chinese finalist Xiao Li showed a collection of silicon treated knitwear in delicate pastel hues and won the Diesel award.