With Brioni's women's line discontinued, Alessandro Dell'Acqua poured all of his energy into his signature No. 21 collection this season. Maybe just a tad too much. Tropical prints are a big story for Spring, but his motif of a nude Polynesian girl, her bare breasts hovering a few inches below the wearer's covered-up ones, might be a step too far. Then again, it could just land you smack-dab in the center of the photoblogger mosh pit. Dell'Acqua said his inspiration was bourgeois Milanese women in the 1960's, but he riffed on several tropes beloved of the twenty-first-century street-style set: colorful oversize paillettes; loud, head-to-toe prints (he also showed a madras and a black and white animal stripe); and bared midriffs (courtesy of his satin bra tops).
What made it palatable—heck, we'll go for it and say it all worked well together—was the way Dell'Acqua cut the collection's sweetness with the boyish look of a button-down or sweatshirt in cotton broadcloth. That and his foolproof way with a pencil skirt. A sexy secretary cut is looking right these days, and these girls slinked out wearing versions in everything from banker's blue cotton to black lace. Dell'Acqua isn't forging new territory here, but he is having fun. Brioni who?