MILAN, Italy — Alessandro Dell'Acqua presented the No.21 collection at Garage 21, the newly finished brutalist-industrial space — formerly a parking lot-cum-repair shop — below his Milanese headquarters. No.21 has officially turned into a maison, both in the old and progressive sense of the term. The brand operates out of a single space that includes a design studio, showroom and presentation space. The aesthetic it promotes, however, is resolutely contemporary: fast, brash and with a classic soul. A garage, even a converted one, invariably conveys an idea of metropolitan ease and speed.
That's what the collection was all about: twisted classics suited for the urban jungle or some road trip (as the images culled from Twin Peaks and the like and pinned on a mood board backstage suggested). "I wanted to add a dash of mystery," Dell'Acqua explained. He kept it simple and not too referential, give or take one nod or two to Kolor, the wonderfully subtle and pictorially inclined brand from Japan. The result was desirable pieces that did not scream fashion too much. It's Dell'Acqua's forte and the reason for his growing commercial success: his ability to deliver well-designed collections you actually want to wear. Nothing groundbreaking, but certainly fresh and smart.