No. 21 F/W 2016

Military Musings

You cannot keep a good man down, especially Alessandro Dell’Acqua. The Neapolitan celebrated the opening of the first boutique of his booming label No. 21, a novel new store whose interiors were all surfaced with the sort of rugged gray marble one associates with the exterior of classical mid-century Milanese apartment buildings. Completed with mid-century leather chairs and Gio Ponti style glass coffee tables in a busy new central shopping location, via Santo Spirito, across the street from Stella McCartney and Valentino.

“I wanted cozy but very modern,” said Dell’Acqua, which could also sum up the collection he presented in the afternoon. A great mix of lived-in cotton combat pants, mini two-button double-breasted jackets and silk blousons. Faux leopard town coats and splotched and splattered shaggy dusters – worn by guys and girls in his show looked right in synch with the nouveau pauvre clubbing clothes kids are wearing to Milan clubs on a polar weekend.

No21_mmfw2016_look1 No. 21
Silk blousons are making a comeback

Using a palette of copper, khaki and russet, Dell’Acqua finished surgeon’s tops and parkas with mega kangaroo pouches, thick zips and fishing net mesh.

A half decade ago, Dell’Acqua lost control of his own name, which normally is a death knell for a designer. But, backed by Paolo Gerani of Gilmar, he has fought back to create a booming business with No. 21. Meanwhile in Paris, he has developed a body of couture-like grand dame clothes during his stint designing Rochas. Showing his impressive range – reaching from saloon to street.

Faux leopard parka No. 21
Faux leopard parka

So, a gang of publicists, young stylists and executives from many Milan brands joined local hipsters to fete the opening with Alessandro, one of the most popular figures in Milan. The mood in Milan may be wary with stock markets tumbling worldwide, but the city is witnessing the results of a building boom with curvilinear apartment blocks and new retail destinations.