Glamour meets physicality to tell a story about sensuality and personality. In both movie screens and real life levels, two different, dovetailing dreams intersect in the N°21 fall/winter 2017-18 collection: Italian Neorealism à la Anna Magnani and her exuberant femininity and the American Dream of U.S. college campuses. Each concept emerges through the magnifying glass of a courageous and innovative aesthetic that comes from an elaboration of sensuality and of a keenly aware femininity that finds expression in the most natural of ways.
«What initially inspired me were images of Anna Magnani, not only because she’s my favorite actress, but above all because she embodies a physicality common among Italian women – one exuding a sensuality that’s neither artificial nor affected, that has a conscious element of drama yet materializes with perfect unawareness, natural ease. Her Hollywood days captured my imagination most, back in 1955 when she did The Rose Tattoo, Daniel Mann’s film adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play of the same name. I wanted to describe the moment where she – so feminine, so Italian – crosses paths with another type of femininity, the vision of gender equality taking hold on college campuses at the time, a fine male/female mix of aesthetics and references that led to a glamorous attitude which I see as very modern,» says N°21 creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua.
The American dream of an Italian woman in Hollywood comes to light in a tale about a strong, resolute, passionate personality who reflects her sensuality in red or nude tone crepe de chine dresses with crystal encrustations and other embellishments or with little chiffon shirts in counterpoint on the open back. Also, in the mannish fabric coats complete with crystal and small mother-of-pearl button embroidery; the mannish fabric tube skirts paired exclusively with crepe de chine blouses, and the damask ones worn with loose-fitting sweaters and faux-sheepskin anoraks; the mannish fabric pantsuits with gathered-shoulder jacket; the chiffon dress & micro cardigan looks; the floral print/campus lettering bomber & micro sweater twin-sets; the jacquard knit skirt & pullover outfits with sequined California beach designs; the cross-twill coats with synth fur trim and long thick faux fourrure. All featuring a silhouette underscored by the sure, sensual stride and the confidently mysterious allure that come from sporting knotted satin bow high-heel sandals, ultrasoft leather bellows bags, and the striking shades, fruit of the brand’s licensing partnership with Linda Farrow.
«I sought to tell a story that would go beyond pure feminine beauty and that would take into consideration the determination, constancy and force of character of a type of self-aware woman who in recent times has disappeared a bit from the scene but who for me has a distinct and interesting pertinence to today’s world,» Alessandro dell’Acqua concludes.