By Elisa Cecchi

19 febbraio, 16:35
Casta, Fazio, Littizzetto
Casta, Fazio, Littizzetto
ITALIAN FASHION GIANTS VIE AT SANREMO MUSIC FEST (ANSA) - Rome, February 19 - For fashionistas watching the 64th edition of Italy's popular Sanremo music festival that opened Tuesday night, the winners will be decided long before awards are announced on Saturday.

This year, the competition is not only between the singers - this time it is also about the designers who decked them out as several leading Italian brand names got a dress or suit on a music star.

Last year, hosts Fabio Fazio and Luciana Littizzetto, who will also be running the show this time, managed to capture an average of 11.9 million viewers throughout the marathon event, never dropping below a 42% audience share and peaking at 66.6%.

It was the best result since 2001 and the growing appeal of Sanremo can be noticed in the number of top-name Italian fashion houses dressing participants this year, when the event has gone head-to-head with Milan fall-winter 2014 fashion shows opening Wednesday.

For the opening night of the festival, an institution for music fans as well as star-gazers, French actress Laetitia Casta wore a voluptuous haute couture creation designed by Italy's Riccardo Tisci for French fashion house Givenchy to mark her comeback as a guest star, after making an appearance in 1999.

Italian actresses Cristiana Capotondi and Violante Placido have chosen Dolce&Gabbana and a number of other artists are rumoured to be donning one of the designing duo's high-impact numbers in the coming days.

Co-host Littizetto will be wearing Gucci throughout the festival.

The popular comedian co-presenting the five-day fest pitting 14 top artists against each other and eight upcoming singers for best new talent, will be appearing in long gowns - a tradition since the festival was launched in 1951.

She will also convey her comic jibes in stylish embroidered short dresses, mainly in black, bedecked in crystals for added glitz.

Fabio Fazio will be presenting the Italian pop bonanza in suits designed by Italy's Ennio Capacasa for Costume National.

Florentine designer Roberto Cavalli will dress singers Francesco Renga and Francesco Sarcina in his top line and Giusy Ferreri in Just Cavalli.

A top contender for the Sanremo title this year, Noemi, will hit the stage in Gattinoni couture whose creative director Guillermo Mariotto is known for provocative creations appreciated by pop stars like Madonna.

Fashion dean Giorgio Armani will take his sophistication to Italy's popular entertainment event, dressing singers Filippo Graziani and Marco Bocci in the Emporio line and actress and presenter Giorgia Surina in his main line.

Polish actress Kasia Smutniak will pay homage to the festival's guiding theme this year, beauty, with a black crepe gown by fashion house Fendi while one of Italy's leading film directors, Paolo Virzì, president of one of the juries, will wear a suit by tailor Carlo Pignatelli.

And among other artists vying for their fashion moment at a festival which has launched some of Italy's most popular singers including Eros Ramazzotti, Laura Pausini and Elisa, Arisa will wear Jil Sander along with another leading filmmaker, Sergio Rubini.

Roman musician and song writer Riccardo Sinigallia will don Massimo Rebecchi. In the red-carpet fashion wars, Sanremo has gained new momentum. And as stalwarts of the Italian entertainment scene will be making appearances and pop singers vie for an award over the next few days, a successful fashion moment when an artist hits the Sanremo stage will be a victory regardless of the competition's outcome.