Inside the Metropol, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana had strung up enough lights to illuminate a small Italian village. The occasion was the presentation of the Dolce&Gabbana spring/summer 2022 men’s collection—their first full-audience runway show since the pandemic began—and the duo’s starting point was the celebratory light shows that radiate through towns in the south of Italy in times of festivities. Titled ‘DG Light Therapy’, the show revolved around the idea of light being the literal antithesis to darkness, and its power to uplift and spark joy.
The collection that resulted from that was laden with enough crystals to satiate even the most flamboyant of magpies and maximalists. When they weren’t bedazzled, the clothes had their colours turned up to maximum saturation; the prints were equally unmissable—giant photographic prints of those Italian light shows set against a nocturnal background. As for silhouette and styling, the designers looked back to an era that is both culturally all the rage now and well-trodden territory for the duo.
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The 2000s, as a style touchpoint, have been making a steady comeback—and no one does that brand of glitzed-up sex as well as Dolce&Gabbanna. Here, the designers remixed all of the era’s most recognisable tropes—many of which originated on this very runway. Think second-skin mesh tops layered over string vests; wide lapels and low necklines and chains galore; barely-there bikini briefs and silky shirts; low-waist denim (some shredded and studded for maximum 2000s effect) with the logoed bands of underwear on show, further emphasised by ornate belt buckles.
Tailoring came boxy and oversized, with the duo also riffing on half-and-half designs—the most elaborate ones came in up to four different fabrics. And the fabrics pushed the opulence of the collection even further—brocades, sequins and lace alternating with satin, and leopard and zebra jacquards. Almost every surface sparkled or was splattered with paint. With the industry having been starved of a proper show for more than a year now, Dolce&Gabbana served up a feast.
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