Dolce & Gabbana always have something to show for in their collections, whether the collection, the controversy of models and motifs or even the front row attendees, and this season is no different, but it was also very different.
Packed everywhere within the venue in Milan for the show, from backstage to the seats and the runway were 20-something year old (young as 18) thriving in their environment with phones in hand and internet at their fingertips from the new and digital age. Albeit being within the same age group as them, there’s an odd sense of feeling too old and out of the loop. It's kind of terrifying.
For one, the models were all social media millennials and kids of rich and famous clients to which personally, I really do not honestly care for. Perhaps within my free range of being in the industry, my limits of models only gauge up to the Jenner and Hadid sisters - to whom I’ve become acquainted with and have learnt to tolerate on the runway. In fact I really like them, that's beside the point. I’ve no clue who these kids are and I really don’t care, god forbid they really change the industry for what it’s worth and are able to bring profit up for the house and the industry in general, they remain simply a façade of this day and age. Yes, in order to really succeed, one must be related to the likes of Jude Law or sustain over 10,000 hits on a photo on Instagram.
The Dolce & Gabbana team took it upon themselves to be savvy yet still keeping the roots close to the Sicilian heritage that Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have built up an empire into, to cast very interestingly enough, models based on the count of their social media, not portfolio, as well as social media stars, vloggers, bloggers and every single teen of the age in between. Gabbana stated that he liked ‘having a new generation of people who became famous because of the Internet’ as a sort of new generation royalty. No longer is it about how many runway shows you’ve walked or how many editorial covers you’ve snagged in your career, rather it’s the amassing of passive and adoring fans online. Fans and followers are the key to a successful profit within a business.
And of course to bounce off their usual theme of a rich Italian heritage of colours and glamour, the duo focused heavily on aristocratic motifs, insignias and crests to blazers, coats, suits and dresses to really play around with the charm and the basis of the house. Charming graphics were also sported, stretched across bomber jackets and sweaters to mesh up with the new style of what regal emphasises, at least in Dolce & Gabbana’s means. Cats in crowns as the rightful icons of the beloved online world, and skeletons as a reflection of the ‘dead on the inside but still keeping it classy’ feel? Astounding. A colour palette of red, blacks, golds and every now and then a pop of beige to really bring together the aristocratic feel – an ode to royal guard uniforms, military and cavalry inspired outfits. Needless to say, the Queen might be asking around for new guard uniforms, with more…bedazzle.
There were hit and misses, some looks hit the nail incredibly, some looks were tacky, others seemed like filler pieces and were kind of questionable. But overall, rather dandy and quite impressive actually, apart from the half of the cast who didn’t really know how to walk down the runway. If the clothes weren't truly settling it for the eyes, then the baroque-ish backdrop of sweeping staircases and flashy lights made it seem a bit magical, almost enviously fairy-tale like. I'll even go as far as saying the kids with the crowns on their heads looked like little princes and princesses, some kind of Cinderella/ Petit Prince inspiration.
An honourable mention to the out-of-place animal beanies that one can easy find in the backend of an Urban Outfitters store. Takes me back to 2009 when I was having a goth-emo crisis and brought myself a husky beanie of a similar kind to fill the void in my young soul.