Dolce & Gabbana: Gone to the Gods
Remember that scene in Robert Altman’s Prêt-à-Porter where a designer stages a nude fashion show and becomes the sensation of the industry? There was a moment none too dissimilar today at the Dolce & Gabbana show in Milan. However, it wasnt’ intentional, at least not on the designers’ part: a streaker leapt out of a cassock (yes, a cassock) and did a lap of victory until he was felled by four bouncers. That sounds like the kind of hijinks usually reserved for big-stadium sports events – and that’s what Dolce and Gabbana shows have become. They even took over an old cinema, the Metropol, to show their collections in suitably sumptuous style.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s inspirations behind said collections, however, are becoming increasingly tenuous. For spring/summer 2014, we had ‘Sicilian Mythology’. Who knew Sicily had its own mythology? In actual fact, it seems to be Greco-Roman, mixing the ruins of Taormina with references to Zeus and Apollo. The latter bore little relation to the clothes, while the former were liberally splashed across them, picturesque Romanesque ruins printed across everything from suiting to swimwear. Otherwise, it was vintage-look tailoring in sun-parched black and off-white, and a few waffle-knit underwear sets as outerwear.
You kind of hoped for more of a nod to the Greeks – even if it rambled into Carry On Up Mount Olympus territory. Remember Alexander McQueen’s first leaden couture show for Givenchy, dedicated to the quest for the golden fleece and rendered almost entirely in gold and white? There was nothing as hokey here, but also nothing as fun.
The garments here were simple enough, and no doubt saleable. There were plenty of riffs on the printed bomber that seems to have become a menswear staple this past season, and the boxy t-shirt shapes of last summer got an outing again, as did Dolce and Gabbana’s street-cast gang of Sicilian locals. Again, the Sicilian connection, hammered home as the designers’ leitmotif, their consistent, persistent source of grist to the design mill. One can’t help but wish Domenico and Stefano would begin to look a little further from home and broaden their aesthetic horizons. They need to get out of the house more, and out of this rut.
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