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Thu 16 Jul

No21’s Resort SS21 collection, created in lockdown of course, is an amalgamation of relaxed styling with party-wear silhouettes. The notion of dressing-up these days feels like such a foreign concept, the majority of us are sat at home, dressing-up solely for Zoom calls. Perhaps this is why Alessandro Dell’Aqua’s, No21’s Creative Director, called upon celebratory and smart shapes for his menswear and womenswear collections, an approachable aspiration of sorts.

Menswear overall felt like a move toward smarter versions of wardrobe staples. Jeans looked crisp and stiff, some cropped and some baggier fit. Shorts appeared as though cropped suit trousers, while suit-trousers had a light kick-flare. Smart pointed shoes and clutch bags were juxtaposed with exposed boxers or shirts tied around the waist, everything was simultaneously polished and relaxed as if reflecting the out of balance style we are all encompassing.

While menswear was a push for elevated comfort, the womenswear, with its glittered dresses and preppy knits, seemed to wish for a post-lockdown party. Rushing was carried-through as a motif on an asymmetric dress or a skirt and puff-sleeve yellow floral dress, adding texture to the slinky silhouettes.  Slouchy, casual styling was elevated with chunky chain accessories, lace and ruffles – the latter a staple of No21 for the past few seasons. Both collections offer welcome additions to any wardrobe, with pieces that can be styled up or down to suit any situation.