Act n°1 confirms itself as one to watch in Milan
Act n°1 can now confidently claim to be one of the hottest up-and-coming labels in Italian fashion. Having made their Fashion Week debut in Milan last season, the brand's designers, 25-year-old Luca Lin and 24-year-old Galib Gassanoff, confirmed their talent with a beautifully polished second runway show on Thursday.
The two designers, who moved their atelier from Reggio Emilia, near Parma, to Milan last summer, have gained in confidence without losing any of their characteristic personality, an idiosyncratic aesthetic born of the encounter between Gassanoff, who grew up in Georgia, and Lin, the son of Chinese immigrants living in Italy.
The mixing of influences, cultures and genders continues to feed their work, giving their collections a unique identity. This season, their hybrid pieces were a particularly seductive proposition, as although they were still highly original, they seemed to be more wearable while also maintaining a fashionable twist, a combination which made them very desirable.
Nylon bomber jackets were stretched into jacquard coats or long pieces in plum-coloured shantung, while a navy woollen jacket could also be seen morphing into a transparent PVC waterproof. Elsewhere, a white sweatshirt transformed into a black tulle dress and a classic sky-blue men's shirt metamorphosed into a silk dressing gown. More daring looks included asymmetric dresses which were long and black on one side but became poplin shirts on the other.
For Fall/Winter 2019-20, Act n°1 found inspiration in the very essence of each individual, the core which gives rise to dreams and fantasies in the privacy of one's bedroom, a fact alluded to by the piled-up mattresses placed around the show space. The collection therefore channelled the ambiguity that resides in every person's personality through clothes which played with the contrasts between different fabrics, colours and genders.
Watercolour-like landscapes and enormous peonies were printed onto the silky fabrics like oriental engravings. These patterns could be found on trenches, dresses and even jumpers, where they made for a tapestry effect, but above all on sublime shirts, wraparound coats, trousers and silk maxi skirts which glided across the models' skin. Men and women alike shared this fluid wardrobe, which also included ruby-coloured padded satin dressing gowns and black men's trousers.
This was the first time that Act n°1 sent out men's looks but the brand isn't planning to expand into menswear just yet. The idea was simply to dress male models in some of the more gender-neutral pieces, explained the house.
Metal rings worn through models' noses or hanging from a chain around their necks added a touch of wildness to some of the looks, contrasting with their lace stockings and long glamorous gloves in black vinyl.
Founded in 2016, the label, which positions itself in the "advanced temporary" segment, is currently distributed through 40 retailers, including Luisaviaroma and Farfetch.
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