THE COLLECTION – There is nothing artificial, unnatural or contrived about the N°21 spring/summer 2022 collection.
Giving in to temptation, to open up to unforeseen possibilities and welcome new opportunities that trigger different points of view. The temptation to indulge in a flair for hand workmanship and for bold color, but also for mixing techniques, references and the apparent diversity between ready-to-wear mass production and couture uniqueness.
The N°21 women’s and men’s collection for spring/summer 2022 comes from creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s authentic, prejudice-free rereading both of the vocabulary of fashion and of his own professional creative experience.
Knit skirts, dresses, pants and tops feature traditional stitch work, while in succumbing to the temptation of couture, mini dresses take on chiffon shoulder straps and feather borders.
Straight leg pants, too, have feather trim, skimming slip-on shoes with cellophane fringe. Similarly, bodysuits, jackets and micro skirts come in cotton canvas complete with allover crystal beading.
As for the bombers, the women’s pantsuits and the men’s business suits, all jackets are constructed with six layers of nude color tulle where palm-tree print lining shows through.
Sweaters as well have rich tulle overlays. For women, these sweaters often become bustiers, while knit tops assume a brassière shape and mini dresses play fancifully with sequin fringe. Likewise, knit shorts for men are paired with wool sweaters having shiny crystal beading.
And hand-knit micro skirts alternate with cotton ones sporting slogans. What comes next is a mix of industrial and sartorial techniques that leads to the creation of bias-cut dresses where hidden drawstrings add draping straight from a couture manual.
Lastly, feather harness tops and marabou stoles abound in the role of indispensable accessory, more so than in that of additional detail.
THE ACCESSORIES Shoes and bags are very much in the spirit of a collection that inflects the exact same references for women and men. Slip-ons present cellophane fringe; or, if they sport a 50mm heel, make a real fashion statement with crystal beading.
Classic pumps have an upper made from knit fabric, otherwise one in interwoven cord, while heels vary between 70mm and genuine 100mm spikes. Small sack style knit bags give way to a leather trunk style handbag in various colors, while totes in canvas or in leather go mega and turn easily into handy travel bags.
Creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua
ALESSANDRO DELL’ACQUA «I have never thought that giving in to temptation meant doing something we shouldn’t do. Quite the contrary, I have always connoted the term with the idea of trying out new things, because for me, it’s a way to open up to unforeseen possibilities. Wanting to express my creativity more than in the past by using handwork, I began the design process by turning to traditional knit techniques. Precisely by taking this approach, I got the temptation to combine typical couture solutions, which rather than being mere references involved a transferal of technique and of meticulous creative thought and care. In succumbing to this seduction, I realized that the union of these two things could offer me the chance to achieve a whole new story about that natural, revealing sensuality which is so much a part of me, just as much on personal as on professional levels. And I used this narrative equally for women and men. It was also a way to get me back to talking about physicality and the body.»