Sexiness, way beyond sensual because it’s an aware kind of sexy. Desired, strived after, expressed. Noir, for it operates in the ambiguity, the secret disclosure of a pervading tone of danger. A life unfolding as if in a thriller where the heroines of the story create suspense. The N21 fall/winter 2019 women’s collection embraces unexpected cuts, well-defined slits, the sharpest of lines, fashioning dresses for strong, mysterious women, a bit ambiguous. Hollywood glam femme fatales who give the wink to Italian style bad girls.
Alessandro Dell’Acqua, the creative director. «All comes from an impression I got watching Brian De Palma’s 1980 film Dressed to Kill again. I was particularly struck by the atmosphere the director created both with his voluptuous use of the movie camera and with the passionate, sensual music of Pino Donaggio, mounting a true symphony of terror on the screen.
I wanted to recreate a similar mood, sending down the catwalk a strong woman who clearly craves to come on sexy and who, with equal awareness, exalts her own ambiguity through clothes that reveal her real intentions. No more pretence. I produced a “film noir” where the dress is an authentic clue to the mystery to divulge. I designed transformational clothes, for like the women who wear them. They’re ambiguous.»
The plot of the collection. Everything opens halfway: overcoats, dresses, trench coats, cardigans. Regularly free of any fastening in front, they open and close in back thanks to zippers. Through actual razor cuts effecting an almost Fauvist brutalism, the dress in duchesse, chiffon or faille unveils underneath duchesse top and culottes; or, in alternative, an exquisitely sensual slip-dress consisting of top and latex tube skirt in a matching color. And while the trench coats preserve the look and hue of the classic Mackintosh, they undergo a transformation, either because they reveal a wholly reversible part in gold on the inside or because they have underneath another trench cut in half. As for other dresses, they have random embroidery imperfectly placed and stitched. Not at all in contradiction with the mannish latex shirts, the faux-fur wool coats (featuring an exclusive textile process) and the dyed red long-hair shearlings. Lastly, froissé sequins and lace give definition to dresses with the rumpled allure of a nocturnal adventurer who wants to come out of the darkness; accompanied simply by a melton overcoat that opens entirely in back. «It’s the plot of a story about women with striking personalities, not babes but thinking individuals able to call the shots, lead the way, also through the clothes they wear,» Dell’Acqua says.
Accessories. They are tools of a sudden, mysterious type of seduction. The Lolita bag, in leather, melton or velvet, has a chain linking it to a smaller bag held on a finger with a ring. The same chain may also come off and become a bracelet. Shoes include crystal-studded high heel mules in blush pink or in black, as well as a pump in ottoman complete with stripe and black jet embroidery.
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