For their D&G 'bridge' line, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana picked up on the innocence, girlishness and provincialism that has been a subtle but insistent trend through many of next season's collections. But typically, the work-out they gave this idea was anything but innocent - the theme may have been country, but their notion of 'pastoral simplicity' is pumped-up on steroids. Every box was ticked in the 'Annie Get Your Gun' cowgirl costume cavalcade, from lashings of fringing to swagged shepherdess shirts to the hefty rawhide belts and boots with each and every swaggering look. Of course, where would a cowgirl be without her blues - D&G's were ripped, acid-washed and distressed to distraction. Fine -albeit staid - in straight-up shirts and jeans; but when the stuff came shredded into a flounced strapless dress, it started to scare the horses. Those were part of a saloon floozy feeling, perhaps held over from the heaving bosoms and bustles of last season's baroque extravaganza - witness mini-crinis, ruffled balconette bodices and coquettish frou-frou skirts. There was wicked movement in those frisky boned shapes - although it was difficult to imagine their jaunty brevity appealing to anyone outside of their teenage years. Which is, come to think of it, exactly the point of this diffusion display. Whether it was new enough to snag the interest of this notoriously fickle market sector - and different enough to versions still hanging around on the high street from the last time this stuff was fashionable - remains to be seen.
Where would a cowgirl be without her blues - D&G's were ripped, acid-washed and distressed to distraction.