No. 21’s Spring/Summer 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection

Alessandro Dell’Acqua was born and bred in Naples, a city which is as enchantingly beautiful as it is a maddening, alarming jumble of chaotic layers, a magma of contradictions. “It’s a mix of fine aristocratic taste and utter misery,” he said backstage before the show. “For me Naples isn’t an experience but the place where I grew up. I know its soul by heart.”

Naples is erotic and carnal, and Dell’Acqua wasn’t afraid to play with its clichés of in-your-face sensuality and natural flair for drama, filtering them through the lens of the modern, easy, sensuous appeal he favors. Contrasts are what Naples is all about, and the collection somehow emphasized its clash of classicism and modernity, optimism and darkness, rigor and lightness. “Naples is also about weddings and funerals, what’s more contrasting than that?” said Dell’Acqua. “They are both occasions for the most incredibly theatrical, over-the-top celebrations.”

Black and white featured prominently in the collection, which had a light, svelte and upbeat feel to it. Little bra tops and neat ingénue minidresses in white organza or lacquered white lace played against black satin slender pencil-skirt suits, short A-line dusters and provocative negligees in see-through chiffon. Slipdresses in tulle mesh dripping with supersized round silver and gold sequins hinted at the seductive, carnal, brash attitude Neapolitans of all sexes and from all walks of life are known for. Sensuous persuasion is a local sport, a sort of second nature; lust for life is worshipped as a religion. Dell’Acqua poured all these suggestions, memories and feelings into his playful collection. He concluded: “You can hate Naples, or love it to bits. Indifference is never an option. As the famous Italian saying goes: ‘See Naples, and then die.’”

This article was originally published on Vogue Runway.

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