Milan falls for Dolce & Gabbana's raunchy black lace and retro knickers
A dreamy love song played in the background, and the sensual designs were fit for the raunchiest of dates. Romance crackled through the air at the Dolce & Gabbana show in Milan yesterday. The notoriously tough fashion crowd swooned in their seats.
The designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana set their show to a video backdrop of them at work in their studio, pinning dresses and cutting fabric, surrounded by seamstresses crafting the garments.
The Italians are fiercely proud of their fashion industry – hence their anger at the Milan schedule being condensed – and the film emphasised the craftsmanship that is part of the country's heritage. The film set out to tug at the audience's heartstrings.
Inspired by Sicilian tradition, the autumn/winter show combined fine tailoring with the label's signature black lace, large flower prints, corsetry and leopard print.
Sharp black jackets were teamed with retro lace knickers or knee-length shorts. There were knitted coats, jackets, skirts and bra tops, some embellished with gold coins and earrings. A sultry Italian siren from the Fifties was evoked by pencil dresses and fuller skirts in leopard print, polka-dot silk and black lace.
Also partial to a bit of leopard print is the deeply tanned, cigar-smoking Roberto Cavalli. This season it was painted on to floating tulle dresses for a washed-out impression. Celebrating 40 years of his label, he described his collection as "haute bohemian". Accordingly, we got the well-travelled trustafarian with striking coats of tapestry brocade or gold-embroidered sheepskin, worn with harem-style trousers, some embellished, some in sheer chiffon. Anyone with a moral objection to fur might struggle to see past the large quantities of it in his show – and in Milan as a whole.
Earlier yesterday, which was the last day of Milan Fashion Week before the caravan moves to Paris, Marni showed a slightly more serious collection than usual. But when it comes to this playful, quirky label that's never going to mean a strict all-black collection. The trademark colour and pattern were still there – just a little more muted than usual.
Wide, cropped trousers came in pink, mustard and tan, knee-length shorts appeared in chocolate brown and in a geometric circle pattern.
Marni's following is largely an arty one, and accordingly there were tops with images by painter Gary Hume. Moulded wool dresses in pale pink with silver panels came with stiff peplums, which also appeared covered in sequinned circles and tied around shorts. The label's deft use of colour is enough to make even the most sombrely attired fashion folk want to brighten up a bit, and dusty pink, mustard, jade, chocolate and tomato red were on offer to tempt them.