This season's collection was entitled Tropico Italiano. All the guests received a printed headscarf as their invite, with the name of the collection written on top of a map of Sicily. Rather than exploring a departure to far-flung shores with this collection, the design duo brought the tropics to Italy. Apart from some prints of bananas, it felt less like a tropical collection and more like a day at an Italian funfair.
Sicily's seaside resort Nettuno Park, which opened in 1965, sprung to mind, with its arcade games, dodgem cars and bowls of cheap pasta. One dress literally had pasta on it, another fishes - and another, some gelato. Shoes that lit up with blue and green lights had that glorious thrill of a Ferris wheel or a lit up slot machine. Coins were appliquéd on jeans and dresses, intimating imagined winnings - and a mysterious fortune teller along the pier.
Bandstand jackets opened the show - and the designers' piano motif from their S/S 17 menswear collection continued to play on.
The headpieces were incredible. One of the most desirable objects in retail, they really have invented this market. Throughout the collection, the clothing and accessories became more and more eccentric. Surely this brand was included as a case study in the Gucci business plan, when Alessandro Michele was designing his re-launch - it actually feels like Gucci is doing a number on us. Gucci is basically a new Dolce & Gabbana – minus Dolce & Gabbana’s black dress, super slick tailoring and knock out denim empire. They are both vying for a slice of Italy.
The most glitter-tastic sequin coat was an editorial standout. The clashing of the bucolic with the city lights of the funfair, sunflower prints, blue painterly spotted sleeves and light up tiaras brought a smile to fashion's face. Platform versions of high-heeled sandals felt much more in line with a cool generation Y customer.
Dolce & Gabbana are well aware that they are pushing the limits of taste and opulence. When creating their Alto Moda 2015 collection, they went 'on the record' – openly revelling at the prospect of providing a romance so over the top that it shocked. Yes, there were many front row attendees here this season, that very much saw themselves as Dolce & Gabbana princesses, but there was democracy in the air too.
The show was bookended by a street dance performance. Boys and girls in football jerseys and checked shirts or just t-shirts and jeans started pulling up weary editors and journalists for a dance. Obvious to their 'front row status', these kids were briefed to simply treat everyone the same. Then the models returned, this time wearing white D&G t-shirts and brocade mini skirts. As they danced among the performers, the scene blended brilliantly with their A/W 16 Napoli advertising campaign. Much more diverse in its casting both within the campaign and on the runway, real life high school crushes were also present. No funfair would be complete without a gang of giddy girls, as the screams for Lucky Blue Smith and Vine sensation Cameron Dallas added to the experience of this show being about unbridled joy.