Dolce & Gabbana A/W 2019 Milan Fashion Week Men’s
Scene setting: This was perhaps the duo’s most direct show. Away from the pageantry of insta-famous models and celebrity offspring, the presentation of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s autumn/winter 2019 collection went right back to basics – well, in a manner of speaking. At the head of the catwalk, a buzzing atelier was seen fitting suits on models and working on patterns. Some 130 looks were modelled down a black carpeted catwalk, whilst a gently-spoken British compère talked through each section. The message here was thoughtfully precise: all the cut and craftsmanship that goes into beautiful clothes should never be forgotten in favour of a disposable digital fix.
Mood board: The title of the show – Eleganza – had a rigour to it too. The majesty and grandeur of Bernini and Michelangelo and the sombreness of Sicilian confessionary looks were cited as influences. The show began with a series of sharp black looks. The first, a smart 1940s line of strong shoulders and narrow waist, soon moved into styles taken from the Dolce cannon; wide-leg pants, velvet brocade dressing gown coats, corduroy trousers and decadent eveningwear looks. The playful prints, nodding to Italian iconography, followed on from spring/summer 2019; an all over coffee bean/espresso cup print was applied to three-piece pyjamas. A silk tracksuit was covered in detailed renderings of gentleman’s canes. The paraphernalia of masculine elegance pulsated across loungewear and elaborate occasionwear inspired by the best of Byzantine interiors.
Best in show: For more than 30 years, the duo have presented a strong masculine vision rooted in unabashed opulence. They have a gilded glamour increasingly rare in our more sombre times. At Marni, Francesco Risso mirrored the wild abandon of fluid gender with fake fur, pony skin and chains. His muse is amorphous. London’s playful new-set are tearing up the rulebook, swapping going-out for staying in, deconstructing more than a shoulder or a pleated trouser. Dolce & Gabbana stands for a classicism as formal as it is flamboyant. Standout were the closing fully-sequined belted smoking robes. They had an analogue, Apollonian allure. §