David Bailey, intensified the luxury of Chanel tailoring, although slightly oversized, in a palette of bronze and browns. For his Mister Fox line in beautiful geometries, he approximated Sonia Delaunay, but echoed the feeling of Chanel. His movie and fashion magazine passions would encompass Katharine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich, but for Albini these merely confirmed the role of Chanel in freeing women to be comfortable in sportswear- and menswear-derived styles that were luxuriously tailored for women.
Besides Chanel, Albini's other passion was for ancient Egypt, for which he felt mystical affinity and which served as an inspiration for his men's and women's fashions—especially his fashion drawings. By the mid-1970s, Albini's style was predominately an amalgam of ancient Egyptian motifs (although often attributed elsewhere in the East) and Chanel, using the Chanel suits and proportions with the accommodations of wrapping a la Egyptienne and the excuses of Venice, North Africa, and India for billowing harem pants and other pantaloons of which Chanel would scarcely have approved. In 1978 a riding skirt, with its fluid drape, was teamed with a short cropped jacket, combining tradition with contemporary 1970s style.
In some ways, Albini was the precursor of Gianni Versace. His intensely personal style respected many historical exemplars and was passionately defended and highly expressive. Like Versace, Albini combined a studious infatuation with the past with a passion for his own synthesis of styles and a comprehensive style attainment and conviction that was his own; he created this with a fervor approaching fanaticism that reinforced the sense of abiding adolescence and keenest ebullience for the work.
Vercelloni and Lucchini asked Albini what his motto was; he said, "Enjoy today and leave unpleasant things for tomorrow." For Albini and the extravagant fashion he created, fate held no tomorrow and no unpleasantness.
Victor Alfaro, fall 2001 collection. © AP/Wide World Photos/ Fashion Wire Daily.
Born: Chihuahua, Mexico, 26 May 1963; immigrated to the U.S., 1981. Education: Attended University of Texas, 1982; graduated from Fashion Institute of Technology, 1987. Career: Assistant to Mary Ann Restivo, late 1980s, and Joseph Abboud, 1990; established own business, early 1990s. Awards: Vidal Sassoon Excellence in New Design, 1993; Omni-Mexican award for Best Latin American Designer, 1994; Dallas Fashion award, 1994; Council of Fashion Designers of America New Fashion Talent award, 1994. Address: 130 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014, USA.
Publications On ALFARO: Books
Stegemeyer, Anne, Who's Who in Fashion, Third Edition, New York, 1996.
Hochswender, Woody, "Patterns: An American Ala'ia," in the New York Times, 7 April 1992.
-, "Tufts and Tacks, Bells and Beads," in the New York Times, 9
Lee, Ricky, "New York to Mexico," in the New York Times, 2 August
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