Albino’s weighty fine line

The photographers clapped, they whistled, they complained. All because Albino were guilty of the sin that all fashion houses commit: their fashion show was running late. Not such a sin then? Well, Albino were running later then most, almost a full hour late in fact, but given they were presenting to Milan fashion week a collection inspired by one of’s recent ports of call, New York, perhaps they were running on Eastern Standard Time and simply needed to set their clocks? Not so. They were, in fact, waiting on the arrival of a model – a surprising fact given that Milan is currently full of them, I’d even happened across model Anja Rubik while shopping today.

Given that the wait was followed by an intriguing peak into the mind of Albino’s designer Albino D’Amato, it was a wait rewarded. And that was the case because the label’s autumn / fall 2011 offering stands out for walking a fine line between being subtle and overt.

A statement in conflict, surely. Let me explain.

Some how most pieces in the collection, even those of its brushed macro polka dot and stripe laden component, are never quite grandiose. Where others would take a ruffle and make it dominate, in this latest offering from Albino the overt details emerge from toned down pieces. Take the opening look, a soberly cut dress hued in an autumn brown; at a distance it looks nothing more, up close you notice the silver thread that emerges from it, catching the light to give the impression that fire flies follow with it.

And that idea of simplicity-meets-detail continues throughout the collection. Nothing is simple. Little is plain. Loose cut tops are toned down over slim tailored trousers, simple dresses see blue ruffles suddenly emerge from them. In fact, colour changes aside, only one piece in the collection struck me as completely overt: a glittering sheer dress that sent the photographer’s cameras into overdrive thus filling the tent with the sound of shutter clicks.

Sheer, embellished cloth aside perhaps the most overt thing to Albino’s fall / winter 2011 collection was the weight of it. Since January we’ve been privy to a lot of new season collections, and most have been strikingly trans-seasonal in their application of fabric weight (save for their outerwear). Albino in person seems strikingly thick, its day wear aesthetic designed to accommodate cooler temperatures without the need for excessive outerwear layering.

You can take in Albino’s Western and 1950s inspired autumn (fall) / winter 2011 / 2012 collection by clicking on the thumbnails below and browsing through the photos.