No.21 AW16: Seattle by Way of Milan

Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s autumn winter 2016 collection for Milanese label No.21 is a lavish interpretation of ‘90s subcultures and music; adding shimmer and fur to plaids.

To any non-native fashion week traveller, the scene that unfolded today outside a former garage on Milan’s via Compagnioni could not have been any more Italian. Waiting for the unveiling of Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s latest collection for No.21, the label he launched in 2010 after leaving his namesake brand, guests kept warm in fur coats dyed canary yellow, sparkling socks worn with sandals, wide-brimmed hats and fur lined slippers. The attention to sumptuous detail continued on the actual catwalk too; however Dell’Acqua’s inspiration appears to have come from streets many miles away from Northern Italy. Silk slip dresses with asymmetrical hems, plaid fabrics and chunky knit cardigans worn as evening coats reminded of Seattle’s most eclectic invention: Grunge.

He may not be the first designer to delve back into this particular era, but under Dell’Acqua’s discerning eye (the man also helms Parisian institution Rochas), the movement which championed thrift store finds and workwear gets a decidedly Haute Couture update, such as the fluffy, over-sized mohair sweaters which come in black and red checks. The key to the collection is a wild layering of items and disparate fabrics. A prime example is the silk dresses in whimsical flower prints and bronze, worn two at a time. A serene green tea dress with flouncing hemline is pulled over a grey knit sweater and a patchwork fur coat shrouds layers of tulle and silk slip dresses.

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