Often, those faults perceived in D&G collections lie simply in their unbridled enthusiasm.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are all for equal opportunities. Whatever themes and inspirations have trickled through their mind and into the collection for men will also be reflected, after a fashion, for the girls. At their D&G label, this is never anything less than explicit - therefore, when we received the same woodgrain invite and the mise-en-scene was a repeat of January's Nordic chalet, we knew we were in for more of the same - all the better to coherently kit-out those very many worldwide D&G boutiques.
There were differences of course, mainly due to that well-established D&G gender divide. Their Autumn/Winter 2010 menswear may have tackled the same themes and iconography, but that show's chunky, masculine down-stuffed layers and thick knits have been slimmed down and sucked in for their women. The feel was more apres-piste than mid-slalom, with a slant away from the all-too-active sportswear that dominated said show, towards the good solid winter knitwear. Those knits looked great, whether streamlined into skinny all-in-one skisuits or cabled into cuddly sweater-dresses. Fairisles were reconfigured into complex intarsias of reindeer, snowflakes and Nordic scenes - a little predictable (not just after the menswear) but they did the job. They looked great teamed with foliage-print silk chiffon pussy-bow blouses and pleated skirts in autumnal shades of red and brown; less so crafted into micro-mini playsuits that were more Playboy bunny than ski bunny.
Often, those faults perceived in D&G collections lie simply in their unbridled enthusiasm. They must exhaust a theme, drain it of all life force and discard the empty husk. Thus, in this display, we inevitably went that little bit too far, with crystal-encrusted ski-helmets and goggles, bobble-hats and thickly-wrapped scarves, and every single model marching out in knee-high fur skiboots. Frankly, one pair was more than enough - the thought of flocks of teenaged D&G'd girls clad in this get-up (with boyfriends to match) was nigh-on terrifying. Throughout, this collection felt like a bride for January's mountain man - we can only wonder when the reindeer-knit children's like is scheduled to hit stores and make the idyllic Arctic vision complete. But maybe I'm not giving Dolce and Gabbana the benefit of the doubt - anyone would admit the all-white winter wonderland finale of tiered floor-length chiffon gowns was beautiful - and masterful - enough to silence any niggles.