Levi Campello is a contemporary menswear designer and artist. Act 1, Act 2, Act 3 is Levi Campello’s first solo collection since graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2019. The collection was initially born out of a reflection of paintings of dancers by Edgar Degas, Toulouse Lautrec, and Pablo Picasso.
www.levicampello.com // www.instagram.com/levicampello
Deeply inspired by the beauty of the dancers and what kind of lives they lived in the late 19th century, the designs explore the untold stories of the women and their suitors off stage that aren’t depicted in the paintings. Act 1, Act 2, Act 3 uses exaggerated female silhouettes and merges them with male suiting reconfiguring the body and subjecting it to the male gaze.
The collection is presented in three acts. Each tells a dramatically different story with different performers while encompassing the heart of what Act 1, Act, 2, Act 3 is about.
Act 1 is about the performer’s life outside of the theatre. The character in this story is a streetwalker, and even outside of a traditional performance space he must put on a show by revealing his body and tapping into the absurd to entice people passing by. Through his dress and behaviour, he must rival the loud and outlandish surroundings to catch people’s attention.
Act 2 recreates the iconic shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller Psycho. All shot on black and white polaroid film, the performer is not only the victim within the scene but also the executioner in drag. Like many in the queer community, he is both the victim and perpetrator of his own power and violence.
Act 3 is the final performance where the designer himself turns into the performer and reveals himself to the camera. Within the bleak set, there is a hanging piece of meat brutally pierced with a hook. He is aware of the viewer, enticing them with his body and provocation like another dangling piece of meat to be consumed.
Produced by: @bolexstudios
Styling assistant: @akimnable
Production assistant: @matt4462f
Through examining the untold stories of late 19th century performers as inspiration, the collection seeks to make visible the contemporary and political notions of performance in relation to sex work.
We encourage all viewers to check out and if possible donate to The Sex Workers Project website to learn more ways to support the sex work community. https://swp.urbanjustice.org/ donate