The progression has been nothing short of amazing. It was only a few short seasons ago that I watched the Dsquared2 show with fewer than 200 people in the audience. This morning, as they presented their spring/summer 2014 collection, the house was packed, Italian VIPs clamored for front row seats, and paparazzi filled every available space. I do believe Dan and Dean Caten have made their mark on fashion. To celebrate, they decided to take everyone on a tropical island vacation.
Budgets for runway shows are larger in Milan and Paris than they are in New York and London, so there is generally much more spectacle, but the show Dan and Dean put on this morning was impressive even by Italian standards. As the lights went down, a lion roared. A clip from an ancient fashion documentary played over the sound system. Then, as Elvis began to croon, the lights came up on a tiki hut with models sipping drinks with little umbrellas. Welcome to the islands.
The looks were appropriately casual, but with plenty of sequined flair. Swim suits with high waists and bandeau tops were covered with orange floral print robes. Bell shaped one piece suits came with beaded hats of contrasting color. Add a finely tailored double breasted jacket over a pair of shorts and one instantly has island chic.
As the collection grew, capris and dresses were added, along with alligator textured leather jackets in bright colors. Dresses came short and sequined, tea length in a red and black abstract print, and one fun piece were the fabric was overlayed in leaf shape so as to resemble something more primitive than its detailed construction might infer.
Of course, no tropical-themed collection would be complete without animal print, so there were zebra stripes and cheetah spots on jackets and swimsuits and hat. There was even a tulip dress tossed into the mix.
The look was oh so glamorous. Hair was sprayed big. Sunglasses were bejeweled cat eye style. Shoes were strappy and fun. Beads were big. The look was wonderfully retro yet at the same time immensely wearable.
Dan and Dean have proven yet again how in touch they are with what excites women about fashion. The show was a spectacular start to Milan Fashion Week.