Resort 19

The Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen explores the often bizarre everyday with a perceptive female gaze that is as abstract as it is powerfully emotional. She lived in Kenya as a child, and Africa is prominently featured in her beautiful work; her images of African people were a standout at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, addressing subjects of intimacy, connection, and distance. The sense of color in her unretouched pictures, shot mostly in natural light, is vibrant, while the composition has an exacting quality. No wonder that designers are fascinated by her vision.

Albino Teodoro is a Sassen enthusiast, so much so that he based his Resort collection on one specific image shot by the artist in a truck parking lot somewhere in Africa, where a white model wearing an elegant purple skirtsuit with a pair of Teva sandals, her head wrapped with a colorful turban, stands out against the desolate backdrop. The bright shade of mauve provided Albino with the all-purple spectrum that helped the collection coalesce. The designer worked around his signature sculptural shapes, supported by full-bodied, luxurious fabrications.
Going deeper in his research, Albino found images of the ‘60s African-American painter Jacob Lawrence, whose sensuous and impactful imagery resonated with the designer’s idea of femininity: “What I tried to capture in this collection was a sense of dignity and regality that African women express in their posture. The color purple is the color of kings and high priests; it also symbolizes sensuality and power. It summarized what I wanted to convey.”

Albino kept shapes simple and feminine for a daywear-focused wardrobe; sportswear or streetwear influences weren’t part of the vocabulary here, but rather a sense of elegance and modern practicality. The silhouette was neat, with smaller shoulders and balanced volumes gracing ample-tiered skirts, long trapeze dresses, or palazzo pants in shades of aubergine, burgundy, orchid, and pansy. Shirting also featured prominently, for striped caban shirts in crisp seersucker trimmed with multiple ruches. An exotic touch was provided by a black-and-white zebra pattern in fil coupé, cut into a sleek, chic opera coat with balloon sleeves in striped duchesse. 

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