N°21 © Copyright 2020
OUT OF SCALE
Setting in motion a new, alternative point of view. Unlike the usual. Removing the constraint of rules and abolishing the imperative to meet common standards. Offering clothes utter freedom of expression, for the meaning they inherently hold, while in no way overshadowing the will of the individual wearer. Constructing a quirky silhouette, one beyond any control-center vision, yet using customary, familiar, normal shapes. The N21 collection for fall/winter 2020-21 utilizes the “out of scale” design method to signal a new and freer path for women. More autonomous, more remarkably interesting. Underlining differences and proposing new types of co-existence among elements and items.
Alessandro Dell’Acqua, N21 creative director. «I started from a men’s pinstripe shirt, preserving both cut and shape. On it, I drew the figure of a woman, one who has no use whatsoever for clichés, rules, determinate dimensions; but who, on the contrary, mixes, chooses, subverts the same. With in mind a woman who lives on her own terms, adopts an exquisitely personal viewpoint, I made use of an “out of scale” method making it possible to throw off/confuse references, in order to put together a collection that takes shape through apparently discordant elements. I liked the idea of accentuating and underscoring differences, so as to come up with surprising and often improbable combinations. The lead I dea for m e was a woman who does not let social roles oppress her, force her into stereotypes, and who by mixing proprtions and other aspects succeeds in living/expressing her own attitudes in a better, truer way.»
2010 – 2020. N21 is celebrating its tenth anniversary. With no sense of nostalgia or self-celebration, the history of the brand’s first ten years impacts the collection, one where the creative paths forging it are fully recognizable. The lace dress, macramé work, the masculine/feminine mix, a punk mood. In general, it’s the remix of a creative process free of any nostalgic inclination. The story unfolds through marks of recognizability, all while composing out of scale figures that enable a confusion of references.
The collection. A men’s-size stripe shirt to wear with everything, everywhere, on every occasion: under an ample sheer chiffon shirt complete with wide ostrich feather border hem, for example. And then jackets, melton coats with macramé along bottom, skirts, shirts: all with safety pin applications in flower corolla patterns. Plus coats mimicking giant shirts; chains forming straps on sexy sweetheart-neckline dresses or holding in place drapings on micro-holographic-sequin ones; body-hugging dresses in bouclé; fake fur coats with lining in leather; see-through lace dresses with outsized sleeves; matted loop-stitch knit cardigans with big feather borders; voluminous tops in ostrich and grouse feathers.
Accessories. High-heel pumps and sandals with chain details. Also, a chain defines the big buckle on the new Daft Bag, a medium-size leather shoulder bag capturing all of the collection’s out of scale aspirations.
N°21 © Copyright 2020
“NEW FORMS OF PHYSICALITY”
The quest for a different way of dressing that extends from an analysis of what we now have to an urge to go beyond it with the force of hybrid forms. Elements that meet and mix to tell a new story on the subject of male physicality. Totally free of stereotypes, little compliance with common standards, a strong orientation toward discovering the unexpected. The N21 fall/winter 2020-21 men’s collection takes shape far from characterizing trends so as to find and pursue potential, unfamiliar paths.
Alessandro dell’Acqua, N21 creative director, says: «I began working on this collection with the distinct desire to avoid straying from my creative world. Not to keep it within the confines of my own comfort zone, but quite the contrary to propel it toward a territory of unusual facets and features. Stretching beyond the job of analyzing and updating the basic trends of these last years has enabled me to explore the possibility of a different type of male physicality that’s more consistent with the personality of men who give definition to a fresh elegance through hybrid forms. It’s an innovative vision capable even of narrating a new natural eroticism, one with very little in the way of voyeurism and not at all flirty/seductive of attitude.»
The creative path. Hybridizing forms, rethinking the destinations of fabrics, breaking away from pre-established processes. That’s the fundamental concept behind sweaters with no back, shirts complete with tie in the collar, the shift of faille from women’s couture to more technical clothing, the deviation of mixes away from the usual rules, men’s classic jackets over T-shirts in lace.
The collection. Classic camel color trench coats with tone-on-tone logo print, as well as black faille trench coats with white contrast topstitching, lead the way to: light blue or stripe poplin shirts with bow knot tie-collar; parkas and bombers in animal print nylon; melton peacoats with back in quilted faille; classic black melton jackets with raw-edge borders on top of oversize lace T-shirts in nude or army green tones, in the easiest of combos with classic gray Tasmania pants. Knits are oversize, maybe backless or extra thick, in colorful stripe or animal spot patterns. Shirts have laser openwork detailing, while sport-tech bombers and combat pants are made from couture faille and white poplin boxers well support the classic structure of a black wool jacket. Looks are clean, as items with one eye on what’s classic take turns with short wrap sweatshirts and army style sweaters that succeed in bypassing the streetwear philosophy.
The accessories. Simple, basic, minimal. Black leather boots with two long elastic bands accompany all the looks. Cloche caps in faille add a sweet poetic note to the figure. Thick metal chain bracelets give a decorative feel to an aspect elsewhere thought to be coarse.
The mood. While not wanting to characterize a style, the collection explores new ways of dressing which, taking shape in absolute freedom and with no preconceptions as to gender or sexual orientation, assume a natural erotic quality.