“If you are a big fashion house, you can be hippie one season and punk the other, you will be cool. If you are an emerging brand, you will be unauthentic.” Biasi told me during our long and pleasant chat. And I totally agree.
This is the reason I actually support emerging designers, being faithful to their identities is what makes them strong.
A-LAB conquered my heart since the first time I discovered it. The concept is straightforward, incisive and recognisable, collections are the result of a deepened research on fabrics, details and graphic printing, strong point of the brand.
Talking to the designer Alessandro Biasi, fresh after the Green Carpet Fashion Awards during MFW where he presented his environment friendly dresses in collaboration with Econyl, made me understand what’s behind his uniqueness, a very passionate and down to earth young man, with fashion flowing in his veins.
What was your relationship with fashion as a child?
My first approach to the fashion world was kind of related to a family’s friend. I was always impatiently waiting for her visits, because I was enchanted by her style and always looked forward to see what will be her next look. As I grew up, she brought me shopping with her!
What was the turning point in your artistic growth?
At a certain moment of my career I realised that fashion was undergoing a drastic change, after McQueen’s death and after Galliano’s depart from Dior. I started questioning myself, where this would have lead, plus the arouse of social networks, reversed all of my certainties. So I had to find a way to stay faithful to my concept and at the same time adapt to the new changes.
You had the chance to work for the theatre, assisting Jacques Reynaud in sketching the costumes for a Hermann Broch’s play. How did this experience influence your works?
Theatre has been fundamental. The designers that inspired me the most were McQueen, Galliano, Mugler who made of the theatricality their key point, so as soon as I received this proposal I accepted! It is a completely different world compared to fashion. I was working with very low budgets, but there was a maniacal attention on details, studying the characters, researching in the archives, respecting the hierarchy was fundamental too, so everything was somehow ritualised and this makes it so fascinating to me.
A-lab is not just a brand, but a sort of laboratory of ideas, so you’re never out of inspiration.
No, never, but the thing is to transfer these ideas into a collection. Before I was fully focused on the artistic expression of the brand, now the main purpose is to transmit a concept of the collection, which can be worn every day. The customers’ approach has changed, they want to dress cool not only for a certain occasion, but always.
What is the idea behind Urban Flower collection?
I like contaminations, when different worlds meet, fuse together and create something new. So Urban Flower is interpreted as a flower that grows where usually it doesn’t, on the streets, in the cement. This represents the women I dress, always unexpected.
Prints are a fil rouge in your collections. How do you create them?
Apart some small exceptions, all prints are created on computer. For the SS18 for example, a few were inspired by accidental mistakes, like a doodle that turned into a print as well as the leopard skin one, which were actually ink spots. Basically I like mixing, so transforming old style in contemporary through the patterns I create.
Speed is keyword in the fashion world, but sometimes it makes it hard to keep up. Is it positive or negative for an emerging brand like A-LAB?
For new brands I think it is penalising, but the good thing is that we are free to decide , either we want to follow the speed or not. I also think that this extremely fast mechanism will stop or demolish the whole system one day. Hopefully, we’ll make a step back, slow down and learn how to appreciate and fall in love with well made collections.
The future of A-LAB, what is your arrival point?
I’d like to make A-LAB’s world bigger, but I don’t want it to become a mass product.
The fashion world is saturated, but there’s always space for those ones who want to change the status quo. For what would you like to be remembered?
I’d like to be the one who never changed his identity just to follow the trends, the one who designed because it’s part of his identity.