A journey, a serene escape. Sunny places, some at times desolate, ablaze with light. Straight roads, motels, bars. Cleaned out like containers of a reflection. A flight forward to leave behind overworked meanings, weighted down by habit and use. A solitary road trip, traveling at a constant speed, no fast acceleration or abrupt braking, taking the position of an observer.
«It’s a collection of clothes that I like to call classic, basic, essential, necessary. It’s a vision of menswear that casts off the standardized definitions of recent decades and with the same elements creates a totally new dictionary and ergo wardrobe. That’s why I thought of basics that correspond to classics, all without limiting the clothes to the type of use deriving from standard definitions and meanings. I hope with this to compose a new way for men to dress, one free from the arrogant trappings of male dominance,» says Alessandro Dell’Acqua, creative director of N21.
Finding inspiration in an open reference to sunny California landscapes, the collection aligns the basics of a classic wardrobe: melton coat, straight pants, caban jacket, parka, sweaters, jeans, stripe shirt. Yet all the pieces undergo a transformation for they are rethought in the light, at once metaphorical and real, of a consciously-sought renewal, of a mode of dress that goes beyond both the rules of habit/social ritual and the rules of fashion/styling buzz.
The parka in tartan plaid or in heavy cotton has a plush padding. Knits deconstruct into thick bulky sweaters or into part-mohair part-chiné wool gilet vests. The shiny nylon bomber jacket plays a put-together game and shows up on the sleeves or back of a sweater. Stripe shirts sport small postcard appliqués or allover prints and crumpled effects.
Light melton coats have raw edges or neoprene linings, cabans color-contrast piping. Fine ribbons and bows serve for hugging shirt collars and pant belts. Bleached jeans are worn with shirts in the same fabric, for a fresh take on the Texas tuxedo. Classic style shoes and boots in leather or ponyskin get tweaked with a running sole. The plain or plaid nylon pouch-bag ideally captures a dynamic, practical nonchalant attitude.
This is a very self-aware young man made up of multicultural experiences, so much so that he is able to easily handle an American varsity image that while inflecting Ivy League composure factorizes an imaginative, typically Italian cultural adventure. To build a new masculine culture more attentive to the nuances and circumstances of life, to fashion that takes shape again and again over time.
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