They’re baaaaaack! Fifth day in Milan and it’s time for the Caten brothers, Dean and Dan to do their thing on the runway. Hold on to your seats, because these guys just don’t stop moving, ever. If you don’t believe me, check their YouTube channel where their Caten Uncut videos have taken on cult status with a fan base all their own. Somehow, even with an unrelenting design schedule that produces no fewer than 10 collections a year, they still find time to travel the world and do crazy things like cliff diving off Capri. All that energy comes home in their womenswear collection and the result is a burst of color that is as exciting as the brothers’ lifestyle.
#Diamondhead is the name they’ve given this collection, invoking the surfing culture on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu. Yes, Dean and Dan surf. A lot. And they merge that high-energy, party-loving sense to this collection with neon-bright colors, shoes covered in shells, and the return of those skin-tight body suits that, so help me, always make me think someone’s covered collar-to-anklebone in tattoo. Fortunately, they added sequins to some of the body suits so they wouldn’t be quite so convincing.
Set against a 20-foot-high video screen displaying multi-colored waves splashing back and forth, the Catens sent look after look that plays off some of their standard silhouettes, such as cutouts at the waist and printed spandex, and add elements such as knotted pieces of bungee cord, sequined stripes, leather straps, and surfer gloves to protect against those sharp pieces of coral you run into every day.
Every day? Okay, not for most of us. More than ever, this collection is heavy on party wear. Pop art prints are so wild and dramatic that they would be distracting anywhere other than a rave. Do 40-something designers go raving? Apparently. These two certainly do, and this collection certainly matches that atmosphere. Neon stripes, short dresses, and modified racer tops are sexy enough on their own, and take on some extra heat with the shell accessories and faux-lei chokers. Just point these girls in the direction of the nearest party.
A couple of things you’ll want to watch. Beware of those heels. They’re heavy on top with either bungee cord or shells, but those six-inch stilettos are thin, just begging to turn an ankle. You’ll want to take them off before running through the sand. Strangely enough, the billowing flamenco skirts that were horrid in Peter Dundas’ Roberto Cavalli collection this morning manage to work for the twins. What’s the difference? Size, primarily. These are not nearly as broad nor as long as the ones Dundas used this morning, and the elastic belts the Catens use to secure the skirts work better with the overall style of the ensemble.
The show stoppers are the strappy leather mini dresses, especially the black ones, over those skin-tight, tattoo-mimicking body suits. Walk into a crowded room wearing one of these and watch the heads turn so fast that they may need to call paramedics to treat the whiplash. Pop singer Rihanna is a friend of the brothers and has worn their outfits on tour before. Don’t be surprised if she shows up somewhere in one of these numbers. They’re just that strong and that sexy.
Dean and Dan have infused this collection with the feeling of an endless summer party and those who are invited will look as hot as the summer sun wearing these clothes. The rest of us will have to just sit on the sidelines, our toes in the sand, and dream.