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Italian fashion house Albino first appeared in Milan back in 2004 when the Italian, or more specifically Roman stylist and Parisian trained Albino d’Amato ,who has worked for the likes of Versace and Dolce & Gabbana, formed a partnership with the dynamic Neapolitan Gianfranco Fenizia, who splits his creative interests between architecture and consultancy for major fashion brands and other projects, such as Misuraca. The duo decided to present their debut S/S 2005 womenswear collection in a Parisian art gallery in the region of the Place des Vosges, citing their love of French haute couture as a strong influence to their Italian made brand. Building upon their steady success on the continent, Albino extended their stockists from three to twenty stores in their second season, that of A/W 2005/06 which confirmed both their creative and popular talent, and in recent years has seen the brand expand globally to include both Japanese and American stockists.
Albino d’Amato is the creative powerhouse behind the Albino brand, and in my opinion is an unsung hero in the fashion industry. Following on from his New York City inspired A/W 12 collection, which featured models elegantly swathed in tweed and fur, Albino has produced a stripped back, minimalist collection for S/S 12. Albino’s first look was a black cropped high neck jacket, worn back to front so it zipped up the back, reminiscent of a Martin Margiela creation. Paired with crisp white and black trimmed narrow tailored shorts and finished with a high waisted over skirt of black techno mesh, the look was overtly modern and minimal. Albino then softened his vision of futurism, and introduced more feminine shapes and textures. A cobalt blue tiered trapeze dress showcased Albino’s technical skill, balancing playful femininity with his characteristic clean cut design, and paved the way for the colour drenched palette that followed. Albino then tempted us with a dark teal wool A-line coat and then a classic Lanvin inspired one shoulder asymmetric fawn dress, which, paired with black techno mesh perfectly juxtaposed Albino’s vintage and modern design influences.
Then Albino loosened up a little, a floral monochrome mac with a flared skirt was both practical and feminine, whilst a deep v neck sleeveless billowing cobalt blue silk dress, trimmed in black silk tied in the black mesh underskirt and gave the model a statuesque and effortlessly sexy appearance. Albino then introduced texture to his use of luminescent vibrant silks, pairing a straight cut moss green mini skirt with embroidered ombre three dimensional rosettes on a curved hem top, creating perhaps his signature look of the season. Elsewhere Albino played with proportions, applying his colour dipped rosettes from the waist up onto citrus green tunic dresses, or covering bell shaped sleeveless dress with tender sunset hues.
Albino did offer more restrained pieces, a grey embroidered floral tunic dress with jewel embellished collar and crisp white skirt echoed relaxed Parisian chic, the model throwing her hands into low slung side pockets. A strapless black and burnt orange knee length chiffon bustier dress was also a sophisticated piece, yet it was Albino’s innovative pattern cutting in the form of an asymmetric one shouldered vivid sapphire blue dress the grabbed attention. Finally Albino experimented with ombre appliqued chiffon, reminiscent somewhat of inkblots, applying the fluid abstract shapes first to a mini skirt then next to a knee length two tone tulip dress, creating a tactile, and somewhat Marni inspired kooky take on the classic shift. This S/S 12 collection is one of my personal favourites, and this Italian brand, although garnering celebrity followers such as Mischa Barton is still under the fashion radar and is relatively unappreciated, with it’s loyal fan base Albino is set to slowly gain the credit it deserves.
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