Going from John Richmond’s rock-and-roll theme and walking into Dolce & Gabbana was very much a time-shifting culture jump. The pre-show music ranged from Bach to Brahms, bringing a Classical feel to what was, upon entering, a very dark set. Then, as the lights died down, the black wall moves back and a dark forest appears, with a tree rising from the ground as snow begins to fall. The music shifts to Dance of the Sugar Plum Faeries from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. Welcome to a wonderful world of ballet-inspired fantasy, a show so rich and amazing that I really wish I could just transport everyone there to see it. Here’s what you need to know:
Hoods are big in this collection, from the pointed kind that come attached to coats and capes, to the pull-over kind straight out of a Medieval story book, the latter almost always thoroughly bejeweled or sequined so as to not look too terribly much like chain male.
Fabrics are either very heavy or very light. Cotton and wood dominate a lot of the more seasonally-appropriate pieces, with plenty of applique, embroidery, and quilting sewn into and onto the fabrics. More formal pieces are heavy on lace, especially the sheer variety, though several of these, too, receive extensive applique treatments.
Details are everywhere. This is a very shiny and sparkly collection. Even the more simple pieces of daywear come with either applique or bead work, sometimes both. While this level of detail is absolutely beautiful, it is a challenge to keep clean and one will have to be very direct in giving the dry cleaner specific instruction when taking in any of these pieces. Even accessory pieces such as gloves and handbags are heavily adorned.
Corset waists are very big and provide the most silhouette definition to those pieces that are not cloaked or coated. Like any good ballet, the heroine’s figure is accented, her skirts light and flowing, giving her plenty of room to dance and leap.
I know I’ve mentioned boots several times this season, and we’ve seen some great ones to be sure but save some money in your shoe budget for two, no make that four pairs of boots from this collection. Amazing styling and detail work make these wardrobe treasures. Wearing these is like putting a work of finely crafted art on your feet.
If you’re into formal wear that billows and blows in the wind, you’ll love the finale piece that seemed to almost float down the runway to strains from Swan Lake. The beautiful red dress with floral pattern takes up a tremendous amount of space as a queen or a diva deserves. Anyone wearing this piece is going to turn heads and keep their attention.
As the music switches back to Tchaikovsky, the models return to the runway together, as an army of bejeweled knights in glistening tunics of black and silver. Listen carefully and one can probably hear the sound of horses’ thundering hooves as the knights ride to the rescue, ensuring that the duo’s story has a happy ending. This is, as always, an absolutely huge runway collection. I’m not sure how many of these pieces are practical enough to actually make it into production, but don’t be the least bit surprised when one begins to catch glimpses of very finely attired knights and maidens flitting around town this fall. One can be sure: They’re all wearing Dolce & Gabbana.