No. 21 takes us the the east coast with a Pre-Fall collection of ’90s references

California was the inspiration behind the No. 21 Pre-Fall 2018 collection as Alessandro Dell’Acqua pictured sun, surf, and motels.

“Sometimes I crave the freedom that being by yourself gives you,” he said. “It’s really about traveling; a journey is a composition of moments, almost as if it were a personal tale, unique and individual.”

Individuality was definitely celebrated here, starting with Dell’Acqua’s lookbook model: “I’ve known Kirsten Owen from the ’90s, she opened all my shows back then,” the designer said. “She has character and personality; and she’s a woman, not just a girl. Time has been kind to her; it’s just softened her features, making them even more special. I basically styled the collection with Kirsten in mind.”

The new collection was built around strong, sporty outerwear and masculine tailoring played against sexy pieces, all peppered with a dose of quirk. It’s a recipe that has served Dell’Acqua well at No. 21. A massive bomber was patch-worked with nylon, quilted wool, and knitwear, and nonchalantly thrown over a sexy body-con dress. Adding to the contrast play, a masculine bowling shirt sparkling with golden paillettes was paired with a sexy pencil skirt printed with a California-inspired landscape motif. One of the best looks was an elongated yellow turtleneck sweater with a fluffy feathered trim, accompanied by a turquoise paillette midi skirt; it showcased Dell’Acqua’s penchant for unlikely color combinations. Macramé lace, chiffon, and various plumages added to the feminine flair, set against more substantial textures like shearling, raw denim, and leather. White lace-up sneaker boots with a thick molded sole were the spotlight.