I really, really need to go to Sicily. Like right now. Critics are saying this is just too close to last season’s show but I don’t care. I love it!
Vogue’s review by Sarah Mower: Italy can hardly complain that Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana don’t play their part in glorifying their nation: its life-affirming embrace of womanhood, la famiglia, the monuments, the sunshine, the culture. If there’s an Italian tourist department award, by rights these two should win it. What with their depictions of signorineand mamme, lotharios and curates,ragazzi and bambini, their advertising campaigns (let alone the inclusive attractiveness of their clothes) double as Italy’s most visible promotion. As the whole of the Milanese fashion industry has been stirring itself this week to invite visitors to sample the beauties of Italian life, it would be churlish not to acknowledge that Dolce & Gabbana was out there ahead of them, seasons ago.
The collection the designers sent out for spring was roughly part five (it’s hard to keep count) in their long-running serial about Sicily, Domenico Dolce’s place of birth. The thing about that island is that it’s full of archaeology, overlaid with layers and layers of history, religion, drama, and cinematic representation. Endless angles to dig into. This season they excavated the Greco-Roman aspect. Imagine a tour of the Greek ruins at Syracuse in springtime. The other part of the equation was the almond blossom embroidered in sprigs in the ultra-pretty side of the collection. “It’s a dream of Sicily,” said Stefano Gabbana. “Like, you go on holiday to Syracuse or Taormina, and you see the Greek theater, then you come home and dream about it.”
That meant that there were Greek-monument tourist souvenir prints, belts emblazoned with emperor-head medallions, shoes with hilarious Greek-temple columns for heels, and at one point a gladiator girl dressed in a gold tunic constructed, Paco Rabanne–style, of faux Greco-Roman coins, who was walking on gold-and-rhinestone studded sandals. That did not prevent a full display of the kind of dresses Dolce & Gabbana have down pat for every woman who needs to face a summer cocktail party, evening event, twenty-first birthday, illicit rendezvous, wedding, or, indeed, funeral. All conventional female needs are catered for on this runway, from pretty, sparkly hair jewelry to dainty gilded lace kitten-heel slingbacks. It may not have set any new fashion agendas, but who cares? What Dolce & Gabbana do, in all their departments, reaches over the heads of fashion insiders to touch a human chord with a much wider public. Not many can say that.