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SS17 Dolce and DSquared2: Sicilian maximalism and Dynasty deconstructed

Sandra Halliday
26 September 2016

Who needs minimalism? That question has been answered with a bang this runway season as, just a few years on from Normcore’s seemingly triumphant moment, most designers follow the more-is-more approach.

Whether it actually moves fashion forward or simply buries any progressive ideas under layers of shimmer, lace, massive sleeves, chunky platforms and OTT embellishment is open to question.

But at least it’s fun. And while most of the models scowl their way down the runway, at Dolce & Gabbana yesterday, they actually smiled. Yes, smiled. occasionally… That’s a watershed moment if ever there was one.

But then how can you not smile when you’re dressed up in Dolce & Gabbana’s latest celebration of Sicilian high-life-meets-low-life-meets-fantasy-vacation dressing? Any mix of Italian street market, musical celebration, and seaside summer special has to generate a least a twitch around the lips.

More smiles came from items like a pair of polka dot platform wedge sandals painted with a Disney-esque under-the-sea scene summed it up, alongside a dress printed with giant ice cream cones, an oversized sunflower print, a bag shaped like a mandolin case (and printed with a tarantella-ready mandolin picture just so you get the point), a mini skirt embellished with piano keys, jeans or jodhpurs dripping with fringe and gemstones, fish prints, off-the-shoulder sun tops, ‘humble’ seaside flip-flops and, of course, the brand’s usual religious iconography.

It didn’t quite reach the heights of my all-time favourite Dolce & Gabbana collection (AW13, in case you’re interested) but for the brand’s long-time fans, as well as newcomers lured by the new season’s maximalist approach, there was much to love. And if you can’t afford most of it, there are always the finale logo T-shirts saying “I was there” in any language you choose.

Did it tap into the season’s trends or just go its own way? Yes to both. We got versions of elaborate military jackets, mini skirts, pyjama dressing, those embellished jeans, conversational (or novelty) prints, a sleeve focus, black and white stripes, giant platforms, novelty bags.

We also got a strong hint of an 80s silhouette. The short wider-shouldered jackets over high-waist tapered trousers, those jodhpurs, the Dexy’s Midnight Runners cut to the jeans, the fitted dresses and the Dynasty-influenced all harked back to a decade that more than a few designers have learnt to love for SS17.

And so it was with Dean and Dan Caten over at DSquared2 yesterday too where the 80s theme was even more pronounced. In fact, a quick look at their Instagram page with a picture of Joan Collins as Alexis Colby made it all pretty clear where the influence was coming from.

Not that the collection for SS17 can be seen as remotely Dynasty-style stiff or starched. Take the first look out. A black sweatshirt emblazoned with gold, with oversized puffed leopard sleeves and ripped-up gem-encrusted jeans. The Colbys and the Carringtons would have been just a little confused. Alexis would have been apoplectic.

And so it went on. Those sleeves were the key takeaway (and perhaps the power sleeve has been the key takeaway from the three fashion weeks so far this season). Also key were relaxed fit jeans (cropped or slouchy) with piebald bleach splatters and  sequin overlays, military-influenced jackets, sequinned denim shirts, 80s length mini silk skirts, bow-belts with gem encrustations, and vertiginous sandals that were laced, ribbon-tied and jewelled to within an inch of their lives.

I loved it, but then I’m a DSquared2 fan. Who needs minimalism?

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