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.
Sat, February 22 2020 » Fashion Blog
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.
Tue, January 21 2020 » Fashion Blog
EMANCIPATED EROTIC MOOD
This is N21’s first co-ed women’s and men’s show. The collections come from the will to stretch beyond won ground; from the desire to talk about a natural erotic inclination; and from the need to rethink attitudes so as to indulge a notion of fashion that promotes renewal.
“I wanted to do a co-ed show with the women’s and men’s collections because I care about giving a narrative unity to my idea of fashion. I think Fashion is a unique and global concept and that only a person who wears the clothes expressing it is able to personalize it, namely accord it a gender identity and transfer to it a distinct personality: her or his own. This conviction has always been the springboard for my work method. That’s why the initial inspiration behind this collection is a sense of eroticism that cuts loose from exclusively sexual expressions and becomes a means for speaking through the body. That’s also why I designed the same clothes for women and men, without falling into the no-gender trap, yet having the two genders — female and male — meet in a continual intersection of references re lines, volumes and fabrics. This also affords me the chance to express a disruptive viewpoint: one contrary to the conformism and moralism that in current years have been imposing too many rules on people’s lives and therefore on fashion as well”, says N21 creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua.
REFERENCES Micro floral print fabrics create androgynous outfits where jackets with wide lapels and ventilated sleeves make a smart match with shorts layered over pants. Print nylon forms parachute dresses. Duchesse serves to define voluminous anoraks with keyhole opening in back. Cady shirts have high collars plus long bow closures at back of neck; both men and women wear these shirts with baggy bermudas. Chiffon plissé skirts are washed, as are leather shirts and gazer jackets, so as to obtain imperfect effects and lighter weights. The masculine weight of knit sweaters is contrasted with allover crystal beading.
ATTITUDE Very elegant, the collection features made to be styled in the wearers own way, making keen use of atelier tricks of the trade: jacket sleeves open up; tops play a morphing game on the torso thanks to clever buttoning; a chiffon dress forgoes sleeves and takes on a slip-dress pose; floppy bows work to construct sheer dresses while flat bows on baby-doll dresses have the look of passementerie; plissé skirts in part leather part chiffon add sensuality to movement; men’s jackets and pants preserve the same cut and fabric in the women’s version; other plissé skirts have wide hems the specific result of washing.
ACCESSORIES Cubic is the name of the sandals with cubic-sculpture heel and split-in-two sole that present the same prints and crystal beads as the clothes in the collection. There are also short pointy-toe medium-heel mannish boots in black, green and brown. A leather envelope bag, often with micro floral print, comes in micro and macro sizes.
Tue, September 24 2019 » Fashion Blog
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.
Sat, February 23 2019 » Fashion Blog
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
Wed, February 20 2019 » Fashion Blog
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.
Fri, January 18 2019 » Fashion Blog
MOOD Cleaning up. Starting from the fabric. And from the design. Constructing clearly legible, confident messages. Getting down to basics to be incisive. Bypassing overlays to make the idea clear. Precise adult attitude; no head in the clouds. Originality. The N21 Spring/Summer 2019 collection is set in motion by the inflection of couture fabrics, to describe casual attitudes with distinct lines, volumes, shapes. Never random.
ALESSANDRO DELL’ACQUA «My approach to this collection springs from a desire to bring design back to fashion, so as to attain a more original result, less in sync with the prevailing norms. I used fabrics common in high fashion, from vitrified chiffon to polished eco ostrich, to heighten awareness of technical treatments; and as a way to lay bare structure, this served me in designing clothes more clear-cut of shape. I believe in the preponderance of the project’s originality and in the rediscovery of make-a-difference detailing. In this sense, the clothes in the collection talk about the evolution of my ideas on fashion,» says the creative director of N21.
CARVING AWAY From a sartorial technique comes the effect of laying a dress bare, reducing it to a skeleton of feathers to wear as if a coat over slim tube dresses or over monochrome skirts with vitrified chiffon top. A similar effect emerges also in the tank tops and in the sequin-triangle slip-dresses with T-shirts and sheaths underneath.
NUDE It is both a color and an effect. It is the «fleshtone» of superlight nylon knits with black bands at bustline and of a multiprene suit. But it is also the back opening of a caban over a skirt, and it is the oblò on the shoulders of a slimfit sweater. Likewise, it is the sensual effect of all the clothes with sudden, surprisingly erotic cut-out nude parts.
SIMPLICITY It’s there in the simple, straight lines and volumes of dresses in duchesse, in faille, in solid tone, in tie-dye… all which find a touch of complexity thanks to a big bow in back or through flat asymmetry-defining draping.
MATERIALS An unprecedented use of fabrics and new fibers. Multiprene, common in the construction of bra cups, becomes skirts and suits. Nylon yarn composes the knitwear. Faille gives definition to the evening dresses and to the sporty anoraks; duchesse serves in creating ultrashort skirts, organza in fashioning both dresses and feather-covered bags. Chiffon is vitrified while faux ostrich is coated and polished.
ACCESSORIES This season marks the launch of «Angela»: multiprene handbag complete with three long gold tone brass chains and with a delicate buckle clasp. It’s the lead item among accessories that, in addition to organza & feather rucksacks and totes, include strappy satin bow sandals and precious nude effect sandals with latex ankle strap and skinny rhinestone band. All with high heel and, colorwise, always matching the dress.
COLORS Essential, color block style. Starting from absolute black. And then: nude, pink, coral, fuchsia, dark red, acid green. Invariably plain, never in mixes. Definitely strong, decisive.
Sat, September 29 2018 » Fashion Blog
N21© Copyright 2018
Sensuality, physicality, carnality as natural elements of bodily expression. Color, warmth, nature as physical elements of territories and locations. All set in an exotic atmosphere complete with what that entails: temperatures, inclinations, lights, variables. The N21 spring/summer 2019 men’s collection talks about a desire for physicality, a delicate sensuality in the rediscovery of a body where real life gets naturally away from the conditioning of virtual culture.
«I started from a desire for light and warmth, to rediscover the body’s natural physicality. I envisioned a Cuba consisting of sunsets, colors, cocktails and palm trees. A simple, relaxed attitude able to bring the male body back to a natural condition, using classic wardrobe staples given a twist by adding diverse elements,» says N21 founder/creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua.
Sensuality. The transparency of quilted trench coats in vivid PVC is ofset by shorts in the same material worn over boxers in cotton fabric, as in the collars overlaying the collars of shirts and overcoats. The sense of physicality comes through in the sleeveless henleys and other shirts, in the low-cut one-sleeve sweaters, in the classic unbuttoned shirts worn under jackets classic of cut, in the white or stripe poplin short shorts, and also in the more classic gray kid mohair shorts worn always with white sandals and nude kneesocks.
Color. A desire for freedom is what infltrates both the bright red hue of PVC and the white & black toile de jouy with original pineapple, cocktail, palm-tree designs. Likewise, it’s there in the penetrating light of the sunset prints on shirts and sweaters; yet also in the small photos inserted in the clear PVC chest pockets of shirts, or printed on the back of coats and jackets, on the nylon pouch bags, rucksacks and totes, on the PVC envelope bags and on tote bags in various sizes.
Warmth. It’s there in the sensual mood of the material mixes, as in the coats and cabans in vivid leather or cotton with quilted tech nylon back, or in a combo of kid mohair and poplin. But a sensual sense of warmth comes through equally in the classic-cut jacket & pant outfts in kid mohair, and in the jacquard sweaters with palm- tree, surf and speeding-car designs. Or, lastly, in the photographic prints of night taxis forming the surface of shirts.
N21 and Stutterheim: a collaboration. The collection includes the raincoats that Alexander Stutterheim, inspired by classic northern fsherman slickers, launched in Stockholm in 2010. To honor and personalize this collaboration, white stripes were inserted signage style in place of seams. Prints of images from the N21 backstage were also added.
Mon, July 2 2018 » Fashion Blog
Majorette. The title of the N° 21 fall/winter 2018-19 collection comes from the professional figure of a young woman who, in a cross between sport and spectacle, makes a pattern of movements with a baton, by turning it and throwing it into the air, usually within the context of a group exhibition. Once the show is over, the majorette takes off her uniform and returns to her daily routine.
Creative director. Alessandro dell’Acqua, N° 21 creative director, comments: «Starting out from an after- dark idea of fun, festive situations, I found in the majorette an embodiment of the incongruity between a common, working-class type of public entertainment and the spontaneous expression of an unconscious, off-the-cuff glamour that’s all the same authentic, uniquely personal. What I had in mind is a woman who – while no diva, no vamp, no star – knows how to dazzle in her everyday life. This enabled me to develop many aspects of today’s fashion that seem contradictory: as in, brightness and dark spirit, glamour and glam punk, as well as my ever-favorite masculine/feminine mix. Last but not least, it enabled me to get back the joy I take in a fashion that I’d like to become once again an expression of research, first and foremost.»
Luminosity. The neon signs of Las Vegas casinos make a splash on dresses, skirts, coats, jackets that all feature a shiny-sequin-studded wool/leather/leopard mix where black portrays the inkiness of wet asphalt and colors mimic the dazzling effects of bright lights. Likewise, gold inserts illuminate both the ponyskin parkas worn over short floral slip-dresses and the gold- or silver-fringed-sleeve shirts in mannish checks worn with lace sideband pants. Equally bright are the mannish outfits with crystal-trimmed jackets, pants and cabans; and the maxi sequin-fringed mohair cardigans, over tartan plaid chiffon dresses, under tulle slip-dresses with allover crystal embroidery.
Glamour. An element finding redefinition in fresh contemporary form, it highlights the mannish quality of sequin-embroidered sweaters and gilet vests, and of kid mohair pants, to create newly alluring images through long colored gloves and through ponyskin coats under wider camel tone wool ones. Similarly, the new glam uses lace dresses, gold brocade slip-dresses and sequined straight skirts as the ideal bases for mannish jackets.
Fringe. «An element expressing joy, for me it’s a first. I used fringe to design a collection that, in addition to focusing on the product, went back to taking a stance on fashion,» says Alessandro dell’Acqua.
Lolita. This is the name of the colorful new leather N° 21 bag, complete with big leather fringe pom-pom that will become its trademark.
Accessories. Shoes: crystal- and bow-studded medium heel pumps, satin crystal-trimmed creepers, leather or spotted ponyskin creepers, gold tone-soled sneakers. Bags: sequin-fringed shoulder bags in big and small sizes, large tote bags with long fringe. Necklaces with whistle pendant. Keychains with leopard print case. Eyewear, as ever in partnership with Linda Farrow, featuring crystal-studded frames.
Mon, February 26 2018 » Fashion Blog
Watch the N°21 Fall Winter 2018 Fashion Show in Live Streaming – Milan 21st February 2018 at 6.00 PM CET. Stay Tuned…!!! #N21 #numeroventuno (more…)
Wed, February 21 2018 » Fashion Blog