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No. 21's Walk on the Wild Side

Alessandro Dell'Acqua, ever the inventive fashion sampler, seemed to channel early Vivienne Westwood, Comme des Garçons and Helmut Lang.
No.21 Spring/Summer 2016 | Source: Indigital
By
  • Angelo Flaccavento

MILAN, Italy — Alessandro Dell'Acqua, creative director of No. 21, is one of those designers that's like a sponge. He is a not a radical inventor, yet he has a keen ability for absorbing what's in the air and turning this into a personal fashion vernacular, exploring the possibilities of remix and hybridization. He has a signature — masculine meets feminine, slightly 90s, dryly sensual — but he rather wisely keeps mixing and evolving it.

In tune with fashion's latest obsessions — an elemental, open-air feel and a strong urge for wildly tactile decoration — Dell'Acqua further broke his own mould with today's show, exploring a raw kind of beauty. Asymmetric, draped, askew and intensely textural, these creations, offset by totemic tasselled sandals, had an undone, impromptu quality. Think grunge, layered and brutal, with a Latin-sass to it.

The show notes, rather unconvincingly, claimed inspiration from Tina Modotti and Corinne Day, but Dell'Acqua, ever the inventive fashion sampler, seemed to actually channel early Vivienne Westwood, Comme des Garçons and his beloved Helmut Lang. All in all, the collection as a whole looked like a bunch of disparate ideas tossed together, which was actually also its main charm. Coherence, after all, is overrated.

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