N°21’s simple, sophisticated dark ladies
Alessandro Dell’Acqua has designed for his N°21 label one of his most triumphant collections. For the Spring/Summer 2019, the Neapolitan designer decided to go back to the most basic, classic staples of a woman’s wardrobe, such as the simplest little dresses, which he then sublimated by using rare, precious fabrics, never losing the thread and staying focused on essentials.
To make his point, (and to be absolutely clear about it), Dell’Acqua opened the catwalk show on Tuesday with a series of total-black, no-frills looks: twelve dark ladies clad in short dresses or skirts, legs bare, treading the runway on stiletto-heel mules. Each of them wore a distinctive model, which was then replicated in a palette of powder pink and other colours, always in rigorously monochromatic looks.
From a pretty silk faille dress with a bow at the back, to a fine knitted top over a straight skirt, or a shining trench-coat in eco-ostrich skin with oversize pockets, a ruched vinyl dress or a slightly sporty zipped nylon jacket: Dell’Acqua explored all the different facets of femininity, from ultra-chic to nonchalant.
Each of these outfits, as if by the touch of a magic wand, was transformed by a detail or accessory, like the thin chain of glittering crystals, draped down the length of the body, which made the lady wearing a top and a straight skirt look suddenly very special. Or a sort of harness in ostrich feathers, transforming even the simplest dress in a stunning evening outfit. And what about the oh-so-chic back-pack, it too in ostrich feathers?
Dell’Acqua, who is also the creative director of Rochas, went for the unexpected by fashioning a series of impeccable suits out of tech fabrics, such as that used to make bras, or by carving out a gaping hole on the back of a domed nylon parka. “A bare back in a typical men’s item has something of an erotic frisson about it,” said the designer backstage.
“With the boom of streetwear, we were all a little lost. It's time for designers to start dressing women with fine clothes again,” he added. With such simple yet elegant models, N°21 will certainly be a hit next summer.
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