MFW: No. 21 F/W 2016

Numero Ventunp F/W 2016
Numero Ventunp F/W 2016

Oh, this is fun! The entire schedule is now an hour off. I’m still not sure that’s Gucci’s fault. I’m hearing that Cameramoda, the Italian agency responsible for putting on Milan Fashion Week, may have adjusted the schedule. I wouldn’t mind so much except for the fact that if another correction is not made Roberto Cavalli is likely to not start until 10:00 PM tonight! Fortunately, Allesandro Dell’Acqua started promptly at the new time, which is a bit of a rarity.

No. 21, or Numero Ventuno if you want to get picky, takes a bit of a turn toward grunge/punk with this collection, but does so in the nicest of ways. Everything is layered well, the looks are solid, and if one doesn’t glue their hair next to their head, which is apparently yet another global trend this season, then one might not be sure if this is really grunge or maybe just a dressed-up country feel. Sure, it had that grunge feel coming down the runway to a percussion-heavy soundtrack, but strip away the show and several of these looks might have just as easily come from the farm.

Central to this look is a large-checked red and black gingham that later moves into the brown/yellow variety.This is a look that is practically ubiquitous on farms from New England to Oregon during the winter. Whether Dell’Acqua was aware of that connection I don’t know, but it is a look that is very familiar to those of us who grew up in rural areas. There’s even lambswool lining on the coats. All that was missing was a John Deere ballcap and one goes from runway to rows of corn rather quickly.

Not that everything is gingham, mind you. He does mix the print with different floral patterns and the enlarges leopard print works better than one might have expected. The slouching cut of the silhouettes helps reinforce the grunge look a little and touches such as a single shoulder cutout on one piece, or trailing yellow straps on another keep the look contemporary. Hemlines on some of the longer dresses are politely asymmetrical, which is nice, but on the shorter dresses, we get a more plain, simple look.

What is big in this collection are the coats and the handful of sweaters. These have comfort written all over them as they’re all big enough to wrap around a time or two. The sweaters are multi-colored in a dark hue and especially attractive and snuggly.

There are some tastefully sheer elements here and there and lace along the sleeves and bottom of skirts is a nice touch. One will also notice the dark-toned patterned hose all the women are wearing. These do an excellent job of drawing attention to one’s legs should they be a dominant physical feature.

Toward the end of the collection, about the same time he also introduces the red/black gingham, Dell’Acqua tosses in a colorful tropical photoprint. While attractive, especially when used on a coat, the element is significantly brighter and more colorful than anything else in the collection and seems rather at odds. The contrast certainly gets one’s attention, though, and the pieces are well done enough to likely sell well.

Ultimately, how one interprets this collection is likely to depend on where one lives. For those who are urban in their taste and lifestyle, then this can be a grunge collection. If one is rural, this can be a very contemporary farm collection, complete with denim skirts. Make of it what you will, this is a very versatile, very wearable collection that isn’t nearly as tough as the attitude with which is was presented.

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