MILAN — Italian designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua is launching a high-end capsule collection called Alessandro Dell’Acqua Black Dress that will be readied for pre-fall 2009.

This story first appeared in the November 25, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The image the name conjures is exactly what the project is about — 20 black dresses with a day-into-evening appeal. It will be presented to retailers in Dell’Acqua’s Milan showroom from Wednesday through Dec. 12 and will be in stores next May.

“For this project, I truly believe in studying and structuring each dress on a mannequin to better delineate the silhouette and to study the details that have a modern couture feeling,” Dell’Acqua said.

Dell’Acqua, who recently toned down the steam and ramped up the quality of his signature line, said he wanted to exalt a woman’s femininity and sensuality.

His fans with a weakness for black can indulge in a wool crepe A-line shift adorned with a Chantilly lace bustier and ruffles, for example, or raise the va-va-voom bar with a wool ottoman evening gown featuring an ostrich-feather neckline and silk bejeweled fringes.

Most styles are inlaid with an elasticized band that is used to demarcate a neckline or mold an hourglass shape.

In the beginning, the capsule will be sold in 60 upscale sales points worldwide, such as Selfridges in London, Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong, Isetan in Tokyo and Florence’s Luisa Via Roma.

Average retail prices span from 700 euros, or $900 at current exchange, to 1,000 euros, or $1,300. First-year sales projections were unavailable.

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