There was something surreal about the short movie designers Galib Gassanoff and Luca Lin conceived to present their Act N.1 fall collection. Set against a museum room filled with landscape paintings, its floor covered in sand, it became the stage for dance and other theater performances by a cast of diverse personalities which spanned genders, provenances and body shapes.
The look: In keeping with their penchant for deconstruction and off-kilter combinations, the designers upturned traditional silhouettes, adding a dash of theatricality for an intriguing wardrobe that exuded languid sensuality and worked for both men and women.
Quote of note: “This collection is really inspired by our diverse cultural background,” said Lin, who’s half Chinese. “We wanted to telegraph the idea of togetherness and multiculturalism, which is really part of our DNA,” echoed Gassanoff, who was born in Azerbaijan but grew up in Georgia.
Standout pieces: A see-through ruffled tulle dress whose bodice was sewn to a mannish shirt; fluid silk shirts with prints depicting landscape paintings seen on Chinese ceramics; a second-skin jersey top with the collar pierced together by a metallic ring offered for men and woman; a checkered thick wool suit overlaid with apron-style organza panels.
Takeaway: Lin and Gassanoff in the span of a few seasons have developed a distinctive aesthetic, extravagant and refined. This collection was more mature than previous efforts, striking a balance between creativity and wearability. Its gender-bending connotation felt in tune with the times.