Striding boldly, stepping shyly, toddling or folded in parents’ arms, everyone––mothers, daughters, sons and fathers––was a part of the Dolce & Gabbana show.
As Pamela Anderson and Christie Brinkley applauded their kids on the runway and heartthrob Austin Mahone crooned, the event took on a folksy fashion feeling. It was as though Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana––who by the end of the show joined their models drinking champagne on the catwalk––were celebrating dressing “real” women (admittedly, these included a British royal and children of rock stars).
The design duo also handed out a gift to Instagrammers with a projection of each person taking part, famous or unknown, posted above the catwalk.
What Dolce & Gabbana pulled off was no great shakes for fashion. Most of the clothes were reruns on familiar territory. That meant curvaceous dresses in black lace (for her) and silvered dressing robes (for him). As well as all kinds of animal embellishments from big cats (leopard prints or the animal as embroidery) to cute cats, Stefano’s passion.
Although the invitation had suggested a space age theme, that idea was buried in the overall melee of the company’s classics. But there was a red plastic coat worn over a scarlet patterned dress and with a space warrior’s helmet. And a long-sleeved dress printed with an astronaut space-walking in a flower-strewn galaxy.
But forget the clothes as a design statement. The designers, with their lighthearted fun and games, pulled off something exceptional: making diversity––of body shape, skin colour, and ethnicity––seem natural and desirable.
Surrounded by their “family,” as if in a hammy version of a fashion wedding, it was impossible to get a clear answer from the boys as to how they had pulled this show off. Had the Dellal family––former model Andrea Dellal and her daughters, shoe designer Charlotte Olympia and face of Chanel, Alice––been individually fitted with their outfits?
Had Rafferty Law (son of Jude Law and Sadie Frost) been hopping over to the Milan studio to be measured for his suit with unicorns embroidered onto the pockets? When had vlogger Marcus Butler been fitted for his white suit in-between posting to his 3.7 million Instagram fans?
This embrace of those who wear their clothes comes from deep roots. Since the D&G range of lower priced clothes was closed and Alta Moda––or high fashion––put in its place, Dolce & Gabbana has become touchy-feely with their clients.
This new foray into private lives seemed like an extension of the client events. Stefano’s enthusiasm for posting on Instagram to reach his 901,000 followers (and counting), combined with Domenico’s ability to play personal tailor to their clients, has placed them in a unique position in the fashion world.
And for once, after years of putting a token dark skinned model on the runway and, more recently, a single plus-sized silhouette, Dolce & Gabbana brought the reality of diversity to the catwalk. And made it fun! Fun! FUN!