MILAN, Italy — A black and white picture of a majorette in a sequinned costume and boyfriend's coat thrown over her shoulders stood out on Alessandro Dell'Acqua's No.21 moodboard today. The mix of masculine and feminine made sense for Dell'Acqua: one of the designer's signatures is his way with opposites and contrasts. A little less so was the kitschy idea of working class glam that one associates with majorettes, but Dell'Acqua made the best of it, dishing out a collection that toyed with ideas of good taste, bad taste and rebellion.
The mix of ska, punk and glitzy ladylike was catchy and charming, with outerwear being particularly outstanding. The line is doing very well commercially and this collection was full of strong pieces such as vinyl trousers, plaid shirts and feminine dresses with sparkly fringes. The only problem with Dell'Acqua is that a Prada/Miu Miu feel always creeps into his work and this happened again today — if a little less than usual. This is a good sign. Dell'Acqua has developed a strong signature with No.21. He just needs to finally let go of his reverence for Miuccia Prada. He is ready and capable.