Dolce & Gabbana S/S16
Dolce & Gabbana S/S16

I almost feel as though I’m repeating myself. Dolce & Gabbana does a very Italian collection. How many seasons have we said that? This is another one. Yes, the clothes are beautiful. Yes, the clothes are different than last season. But the duo isn’t stepping much outside their homeland for inspiration. Granted, at least this season they attempt to take us on more of a tour of Italy, which is very rich in ancient culture and very diverse as one moves from North to South, but we don’t see those pieces until the end.

In some ways, this D&G collection seems to want to act as a promotional piece for Italian tourism. The soundtrack was Dean Martin singing Italian love songs from the early 1960s. Fittingly, the silhouettes were also from the early 60s. In fact, just about everything coming down the runway seemed to have its origins somewhere around 1964. The only thing that wasn’t from that era were the cell phones with sparkling gold covers that the models used to take selfies as they came down the runway.

No, I’m not kidding. The models actually stopped and took selfies in the middle of the runway. The shots were then displayed on giant video screens hung above the guests. Now, in a normal runway presentation that element probably wouldn’t be too bad. But if you’ve seen a D&G runway you know they use a lot of models and send them down close together, often in pairs. Stopping in the middle of this runway is like stopping in the middle of a busy highway. Can we say distracting? I understand what they were trying to do, but most in attendance agree that it didn’t help the show at all.

So, in this yet-another-Italian collection, what really matters? Let’s start with headpieces. Scarves, crowns, flower-embellished headband, and once again, the embellished headphones were all a part of this collection. This is important because, for a majority of people, those may be the only pieces they can afford. The fabrics in this collection are rich, sumptuous, well-conceived, and extremely expensive. Add to that the fact that many are embellished with applique and/or embroidery and that drives the price up even more. The looks they achieve are fantastic, but this sends them well into the luxury zone like never before. One’s also going to experience an uptick in their dry cleaning bill because nothing in this collection is going to be machine washable.

While the silhouettes are straight from the 60s, with fitted skirts and high collars and such, the treatments are totally contemporary. We see a lot of sheer skirts throughout the collection, a lot of floral prints (yet again), and an extensive use of stripes, which has become a rather quiet, under spoken trend here in Milan. There’s also heavy use of Italian lace, no small amount of chiffon, and so much silk there’s any army of worms needing a vacation.

For the finalé walk, models did a quick change (as always) and returned in printed tunics that displayed top tourist attractions in Italy’s major tourist cities. The guys are definitely proud of their heritage, but one also wonders if any of this is done in an effort to pay off their back tax bill. I can see knock-offs of these tunics hanging in every little gift shop from Bologna to Napoli. Is anyone who lives anywhere else really going to want one if they’ve not actually visited the city?

For all the beauty and elegance in this collection, I really am beginning to get the feeling we’ve seen much of this before. While there’s nothing wrong with celebrating one’s heritage and being proud to be Italian, a little more variety might be nice. Maybe next season they can branch out a bit. Conquer Greece, perhaps. Although, that hasn’t always turned out well for the Italians, has it? Maybe Portugal. Monaco. Ibiza. Something just a little bit different, please.

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