February 19, 2008
In his roundabout way, Alessandro Dell'Acqua always manages to express something pertinent about the current mood. But it certainly wasn't there at the beginning of his collection, when the queasy combination of heavy felted camel-colored corsetry mixed with orange poufy silk (beige with tangerine, help!) had his late-night audience fighting back the urge to charge for the door. Stoicism was eventually rewarded, though. In the show's final passages, the things Dell'Acqua did with black moiré taffeta (a strict high-necked, long-sleeved tailored dress), fur-paneled coats (with perverse chokerlike satin standup collars peeking from beneath), and sheer/opaque/embroidered black dresses made an intriguing counterpart to Miuccia Prada's line of thought about femmes fatales. Quite why there should be a tide of sinister eroticism seeping into things this season is yet to be diagnosed. But it's out there, and Dell'Acqua has sensed it rising.