No.21 – Pre Spring/Summer 2016 Ready-To-Wear
Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s new No. 21 collection was divvied up into three groups. You could think of the first, a sailor-themed assortment of clothes, as setting the stage for the other two: His seafaring gals take sail, clad in their regimental stripes, sailor pant-style denim, and inside-out intarsia sweaters with anchor motifs, and the waves carry them first to Africa, and then on to the tropics. Taken together, Dell’Acqua’s lineup made for a pleasant journey. The highlight here was the dresses: crisp, naval-inspired striped or solid poplin shirtdresses, a ribbon-tied sundress in an African savanna toile from among the safari-themed looks, slender floral maxi and trapeze dresses of demure white lace from the very romantic tropical group. That lace was a hit wherever the designer used it, in fact; ditto his satin macramés in black or emerald green. Other looks, such as the paper-bag-waist plissé miniskirts and separates featuring a print of illustrated nudes, were more eccentric but nonetheless appealing. As a whole, the collection was a little unfocused, but what tied it together was its relaxed attitude: Even Dell’Acqua’s fussiest looks, like those plissé skirts, had a certain slouchy mien, and the ones that were the most formal, such as the satin macramé pieces, were cut loose enough that their tone was casual, perhaps even a bit louche. A stiffer edit might have helped the collection cohere better, but even so, Dell’Acqua’s latest outing came off as an enticing, seat-of-your-pants adventure.