Milan doesn’t do street style the way New York or London does — Milan’s aesthetic is more polished and calculated, less risky and experimental. But as of late, Alessandro Dell’Acqua of N°21 has been quietly disrupting the predictable Milan fashion scene with inventive, youthful collections that marry deconstruction, androgyny, and street style together in a cutting-edge aesthetic. For those familiar with the brand’s heavily commercial collections of years past, this about-face comes as something of a welcome surprise.
A wanton attitude permeated N°21’s presentation for Spring/Summer 2016, as a tattered, ruffled slip dress eased down the runway atop a plain white tank. Right away, the loose construction and undone finish made a striking impression. Tomboyish drop-waist dresses were a mash-up of gender contradictions, at once feminine and louche. Tassels and ribbons fluttered from nearly every surface, rippling from folded coveralls, plissé minis, and punctured wrap skirts. Cuffs were left unbuttoned on white button-ups stitched with geometric pockets, while loose striped coordinated separates were deconstructed by the following look which transformed suiting into a ruffled slip dress that felt like it was going to fall right off the body. Untethered structure and wrap-fits achieved a cool kind of asymmetry, and the whole cabal of undone touches lifted the status of each look to more avant-garde territory. This season, N°21’s girl is ignoring fashion’s codes and reaching for unpredictable pieces to complete a look that challenges the norm.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree