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Translated by
Cassidy STEPHENS
Published
Feb 23, 2023
Reading time
3 minutes
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In Milan, women are bourgeois at N°21, bohemian at Etro

Translated by
Cassidy STEPHENS
Published
Feb 23, 2023

Beautiful collections, designed to subtly revamp women's wardrobes. This is what the Milanese catwalks unveiled on Wednesday at the opening of the AW23 Fashion Week. N°21 and Etro showcased an interesting research on construction, materials and contrasts. The former playing on a certain subversive chic, the latter on a nonchalant romanticism.
 

Modern bourgeoisie by Alessandro Dell'Acqua - N°21


The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie of the Italian provinces. Alessandro Dell'Acqua was not inspired Louis Buñuel's famous film for the N°21 winter collection. The Neapolitan designer was instead influenced by Michelangelo Antonioni's masterpieces, The Night and The Red Desert, taking Monica Vitti and Jeanne Moreau, as his muses.
 
The wardrobe was designed for a femme fatale who hides her game, caught up in the meanderings of a small provincial town full of jealousy, betrayals, boredom, sex and incommunicability. The suit, the little black dress, the cardigan, the pearl necklace, the brooch... All the symbols of the bourgeoisie were present, but each revisited and offered through a new, more subversive and contemporary silhouette.

At N°21, it's all about attitude, as is often the case with Alessandro Dell'Acqua, a master at telling stories by creating the right mood and atmosphere. The classic herringbone coat featured a zip at the top of the back, allowing the neckline to widen for a coat-dress effect. The pearl necklace is wrapped around the neck and hair, sliding over bare skin under a tweed suit jacket. The camel mohair cardigan with its side pockets and white banded sleeves became a tracksuit jacket.
 
Cardigans were buttoned up or put on backwards, held in place by a silver brooch in the shape of a scorpion! Light chiffon dresses were layered over nighties. Elsewhere, jumpsuits with thin straps fell over a skirt or were superimposed with a unique "sagging" effect (the pants that protrude from the trousers were replaced by a petticoat protruding at the waist from another petticoat), while a classic striped shirt extended in points under a jacket, like the bottom of a white lace bodysuit going to rest on a leather skirt. "I wanted to shake up all the clichés in order to re-invent a modern wardrobe", summarised the designer.
 

Marco De Vincenzo highlights knitwear - Etro


A change of register at Etro, where the women's line displayed a simpler and more authentic approach in a Seventies spirit, without forsaking a certain elegance with its silk shirts with Lavallière knots and velvet suits. As he did for men in January, Marco De Vincenzo focused on the fabrics that made the house famous. In particular, on tartans, which were the first textiles marketed by the Italian house from 1968.
 
Superb cashmere tartan stoles, available in all colours, gently encircled the models, superimposed on wool polo dresses with large fringes, leaving "long" leather thigh boots with studded wooden soles in full view. Knitwear was the star of the show, with large openwork cardigans with pagoda sleeves, small waistcoats embroidered with flowers, long knitted dresses with diamonds dotted with balls of wool yarn, or twisted mid-length dresses.
 
Chic checked tweeds were used to cut jackets, coats and waistcoats with extra wide collars reaching down to the navel. They were paired with matching mini skirts or loose-fitting trousers in denim or corduroy. Etro's iconic paisley pattern appeared discreetly here and there, printed on silk blouses or ruffled dresses. Long, flowing tunics in light chiffon, also decorated with flowers or polka dots, completed the slightly bohemian look.

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