N°21© Copyright 2019
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.
Watch the N°21 Fall Winter 2019-20 Fashion Show in Live Streaming – Milan 20th February 2019 at 6.00 PM CET. Stay Tuned…!!! #N21 #numeroventuno
Reinterpreting masculinity without the limits imposed by cultural stereotypes and by the centuries- old trappings of sexism. Analyzing with clean eyes man’s natural eroticism and the ambiguity that comes from male complicity, so as to liberate both expressions from the pitfalls of camaraderie. Embracing the pursuit of a new path for narrating the aesthetic choices of a new man. With no pre- set theories and no codes. This N°21 Fall/Winter 2019 collection marks the shaping of a men’s wardrobe that takes place free of all preconceptions.
«For too many years men’s fashion let itself be imprisoned by genres and trends, from dated businesswear to the more recent sportswear. I thought the time has come not only to jumble up references but also to construct a type of apparel that can bypass all classifications, just as are doing now in everyday life the new generations of men, from millennials to the men of subsequent generations. I’m convinced that without the affects of stereotypical cultural limitations on how they dress, men become better able to understand not simply themselves but also the world around, including the major decisive change on the part of the female universe», says N°21 creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua.
EROTICISM It’s the elusive, fleeting atmosphere of a world made up more of signs and signals than of conspicuous appearances. Rather than muscles, it is the tailoring of jackets that accents the plunging necklines of a double tank top, the layering of low-cut sweaters, the see-through effect of loose-stitch cable knits. Or it’s the double sleeves in jersey that emerge from those on a wool sweater, as well as the little cardigans in wool punch-needled with chiffon that assume a slightly rigid boxing shape yet with all the softness of cashmere. Likewise, it’s a story unfolding from the pants, coats and shirts in a leather-mimicking glazed poplin; from the leather duffel-coat with neoprene lining; from the blanket stripes fashioning coats and jackets; from the navy blue peacoat with narrow shoulders; from the neckties in superfine kid mohair; from the shirts with contrast piping; from the double zip ankle boots and the laceup boots with zips on both sides.
AMBIGUITY Rather than an identity game, it’s the inflection of a basic attribute of male sensitivity that instead of translating into a stereotypical sense of camaraderie takes shape and thrives in terms of aesthetic choices. Evident in the glossy radzmir coats, and in: the bombers that through an interplay of zips front and back gain in volume, dropping shoulders and leaving the torso free; the black lace tuxedos that enjoy the dual option of having either a black & blue lace shirt or a leather polo underneath. Also in: the black lace and the fake leopard fur coats, the diagonal-rib gabardine business pants, the shiny oversize parkas with sheepskin padding.
«It’s a male journey into a wardrobe that’s been recast,» Alessandro Dell’Acqua concludes. Accomplished with the chromatic decisiveness of black, gray and navy blue, offset at times by sporadic flashes of red, green, camel. Accompanied by sailor satchels and tote bags in glazed poplin, in soft nappa leather, in patent leather. Complete with printed logo or, new this season, a logo jacquard.