No. 21 SPRING 2019 READY-TO-WEAR

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This collection—as well as being very, very good—felt like a quietly but clearly articulated rebuke to the Instagram-serving move towards piled-on pseudo-rococo maximalism in contemporary fashion. For Spring, Alessandro Dell’Acqua—no stranger to a whimsical decorative flourish—turned the froufrou very nearly down to zero, presenting a series of color stories: black, nude, orange-to-pink, burgundy, and then a bit of a mix dominated by green. Along the way he proposed a range of couture-ish shapes in technical fabrics countered by a series of casual/streetwear shapes in noble fabrics: Interestingly, it was sometimes hard to register where one became the other. There was nary a sneaker in sight—just traditional bunion-revealing plexiglass heels.

The same shapes returned as the colors shifted; a full-hemmed trapeze dress, a split pencil skirt with a lower hem at the back, a wide-cut long jacket over fitted skirts of various lengths, a sort-of technical miniskirt with a drawstring waist. There was also a zippered jacket with a long yoke behind and a zippered open cutaway crescent across the shoulder, and a fitted, softly ruched minidress with an open back and big birthday-present bow at the small of the back. What looked like ostrich skin was artificial and technically coated. What looked like high-quality nylon was treated silk voile. These were pieces that defied first-look assumptions.

The most consistent hint of froufrou here were the (faux) ostrich feather pieces. But those feathers were really just frames, skeleton-like outlines worn over simple cotton jersey slip dresses, fossils of froufrou. Similarly, the spaghetti-strapped sheaths of hand-fixed diamond-gridded sequins were worn over simple cotton vest dresses. The one Swarovski piece was, again, a skeleton: this time of an oversize T-shirt with no fabric to flesh it out. Through its ribs was revealed an armless blouse of shine-coated chiffon and a fitted skirt made from a spongy fabric most commonly used for bra cups, but utilized widely in this collection for almost everything (bags especially). This was a frankly adult collection, secure and self-possessed in both its erotic implication and its sly, wry rejection of complication for the sake of it.

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