Marilyn Monroe’s natural, sometimes ingenuous and vulnerable sensuality stimulated the imagination of Alessandro dell’Acqua for pre-fall. The No. 21 designer not only looked at the actress’s signature looks and iconic images, but also at her spontaneous, effortless femininity.

“She appealed to men and did not spark alarm in women,” dell’Acqua said. “As Truman Capote said, she was ‘a beautiful child’ in whose spontaneous manner and demeanor others found some sort of ‘platinum sex explosion.’”

That combination of naiveté and sensuality resonated in the collection. On the cute side were cropped and shrunken sweaters and cardigans in bold or pastel colors, knit HotPants, and minidresses with Peter Pan collars and lip-shaped embroideries. More confident, womanly options included a laminated silver dress and a black one with a plunging neckline and high leg slit.

Dell’Acqua’s also introduced some mannish elements, such as plaid workwear shirts and roomy coats, while the legendary images of Monroe shot by late photographer George Barris on the beach in Santa Monica inspired the cozy patchwork cardigans that the designer created for women and men.

Exalting the brand’s signature mix of intriguing femininity and street-ready wearability, the collection demonstrated dell’Acqua’s ability to create approachable luxury fashions with a high-end designer twist.

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