Dolce & Gabbana is easily the most anticipated show in Milan. We expect an army of models and a bit of a spectacle. We know we’re going to see an abundance of ornamentation and traditional Italian themes. The name tells us to expect feminine dresses, large roses, and over-the-top prints. D&G has evolved into a very Italian-centric brand and the duo is not the least bit shy in showing off their heritage.
For this season, though, they started off their show very different. As the lights went down, the aisles were filled with teens and young adults who then stepped out on the runway and began to dance. It was the Dolce & Gabbana flash mob! There were acrobats and break dancers and a massive line dance that took up the entire runway for a full five minutes, or forever in runway terms. The theme was “Tropico Italiano,” which I’m guessing is what the duo hopes to name their night club, should they ever open one.
The silhouettes, of course, were pretty much standard D&G. The dresses were fitted and curvy. There was ornamentation everywhere, some military in style, others more like dipping a glue-covered skirt into a bucket of semi-precious jewels. All the detailed beadwork and embroidery we expect was in place.
Prints were entertaining as they represented a number of different Italian foods and brands. There were spaghetti and penne, tomato sauce and gelato, tiramisu and fish and ornamental cut glass, each one dominating a dress or a suit and looking splendid in a way that makes sense if one is Italian or wants to look Italian. Of course, there were roses; lots and lots of roses and cookies and cocktails and … no wonder everyone was hungry by the time this show was over.
Dolce & Gabbana have found a reliable recipe for their collections. They keep their silhouettes predictable. No strange or uncomfortable cuts, no surprising angles. They go heavy on ornamentation which is popular and sells well. They keep a set of solid-colored dresses every season as well as two or three lace numbers. They go heavy on the flowers and then choose a thematic print. The exact styles and prints may vary from one season to the next, but the aesthetic is always the same.
The flash mob returned while the models changed and then joined them for the finale walk. Everyone involved was having a party, which is saying something for 10:30 on a Sunday morning. The group reached the end of the runway and guests started to leave, but instead were swarmed by the mob and invited to dance. Only those with serious schedule issues, or a weak bladder, rushed out the door. Everyone else stayed to enjoy Tropico Italiano.
And they all danced happily ever after.