No. 21 Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear: The Not-So-Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie


One can always count on Alessandro Dell’Acqua to inject a little glamor into the first day of shows in Milan. The sheer fabrics, glitzy embellishments and overall dressed-up quality he pours into his No. 21 collections have a reinvigorating effect on the eyes that have become accustomed to quieter fashion for (too) long now. 

“The only thing that matters to me today is not to have rules. Since I’m still independent, I don’t want commercial diktats to tell me what I should or not do,” said Dell’Acqua backstage before the show.

It was with this anarchic spirit that he looked at the archetypes of his fashion and reinterpreted bourgeois codes with a not-too-perfect attitude and eccentric flair. 

Pretty cocktail dresses with plunging necklines and crystal-embellished pencil skirts seemingly mingled with Fair Isle sweaters; flimsy, beaded-trimmed frocks peeked from neoprene-lined leather jackets; marabou stoles in pastel colors were nonchalantly thrown over mannish coats for a diva moment, while deceptively demure satin dresses and chiffon frocks came with cheeky openings on the sides, with as little as only two ribbons holding everything together.

Keeping silhouettes streamlined, Dell’Acqua further indulged in eclectic outbursts with standout faux-fur pieces with a squirrel animalier as well as pairing leopard patterns with red and black wool bouclé sweaters or with dainty floral prints. All was fair game in the designer’s dash of rebellion, which Dell’Acqua proved can be expressed with pretty and wearable clothes, too.

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