No 21: Menswear AW17
Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s No 21 menswear is known for taking proposing a delicate variation on masculinity – even a feminine one, you may say. But his winter 2017 show was heartier, meatier, you may even say butcher than we’re used to. If there was a slither own the signature No. 21 lace, it took eyes eagle-ier (is that a phrase?) than ours to spot it. Instead, there was a mood of rebellion and anarchy – from studded hobnail boots through aggressive contrasts of bright colours and a hint of militia camouflage. Dell’Acqua had been looking at the attire of protesters in the mid-seventies in cities including Milan – there were plenty of duffel coats, something of a countercultural uniform of the time. It was Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood who, in the 1970s, stencilled a shirt at their shop, punk mecca Seditionaries, with the slogan “Only Anarchists Are Pretty.” And Dell’Acqua’s may not have been heaving with lace this time round, but these were undeniably beautiful clothes, in tactile fuzzy mohairs and duchess satins, even. Maybe Dell’Acqua’s message was that, in hot-headed times (such as the ones happening circa right now) beauty can be a sort of protest in itself? Or maybe he wanted to make some eye-catching arms for the marches that will inevitably protest much of the already-controversial 2017 yet to come? Both are noble aims.
Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans