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Show Report

Show Report: Dolce & Gabbana S/S 15 Womenswear

by Harriet Walker on 22 September 2014

Harriet Walker reports on the Dolce & Gabbana S/S 15 womenswear show.

Harriet Walker reports on the Dolce & Gabbana S/S 15 womenswear show.

At Dolce, inspiration came from a familiarly Sicilian source. Only this time, rather specifically, that reference was twinned with the Spanish influence there, even more more specifically, between 1516 and 1713.

That was the period when the island was ruled out of Madrid and presided over by a series of viceroys. It was a boomtime in terms of trade, which led to a rise in living standards, as a middle class 'avant la lettre' sprang up and required entertaining.

That was obvious from the polka dot flamenco skirts and satin matador jackets that punctuated the collection. The designers evoked this period with their usual riotous flair - in shift and trapeze dresses, and knickerbockers made from sumptuous brocade and trimmed with fine fringing and applique. Cheering from the bull-ring soundtracked it all, and the duo revisited the hand-painted scenes from the Sicilian street theatres that inspired their Spring/Summer 2013 collection. (This reporter has spotted several pieces from that season on the streets of Milan this week, so Dolce e Gabbana clearly know when they're onto a good thing.)

That's the point of these collections - difference comes in fabrication and colour rather than shape or signature. The Dolce code runs strong in every seasonal incarnation and the checklist was here again. Sheer, lace, gold, bustiers, embroidery and affectionate excess. Who needs the Spanish influence, really?

It made for some interesting curlicues on that code though. The theme also ran to some sharp tailoring, a black watered silk tuxedo coat, and a series of ponchos so heavily embroidered and jewelled they were like Renaissance ecclesiastical dress - chasubles and the like.

You can't but feel that, for these designers, each show's theme is just another way to shoehorn in more opulence. And there's nothing wrong with that, with a customer base still so enamoured of all the glitz despite the general shift toward understatement elsewhere. It'd be a sad season if the label ever investigated Sicilian minimalism.

And there were the funny touches too - models carrying miniature dolls (not unlike the famous one referenced at Moschino earlier in the week) and castanets worn as hair decorations.

Given that, during the period referenced, traders bought more silk from Sicily than they did anything else, it seems Dolce & Gabbana are just continuing a luxurious tradition.

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