You can't help but wonder what Dean and Dan Caten's schooldays were like, so consistently do they attempt to recapture them on their DSquared2 catwalk. Then again, is it really their school days? These feel like the schooldays mythologised by pop culture, culled from sixties sitcoms, eighties bratpack films and a few seedy pornographic flicks along the way.
The latter has featured a few too many times for comfort, but for Autumn/Winter 2012 both the DSquared2 girl and the DSquared2 boy were covered up, as the season demands. This was a demure outing for the Catens, their girls sporting tousled Bardot-inspired beehives and sugary-sweet, Jackie O-style get-ups that negate any attempt at teenage rebellion. A few cigarettes didn't fool, these were good girls and the Catens on best behaviour. The interesting thing was that these garments still felt like they had relevance to modern fashion, from the sway-backed mink shaded in monochrome checks through the neat, bow-waisted skirts and capri jeans. A boxy, pale blue skirt-suit may have swung too close to Oleg Cassini for comfort - and for retail circa 2012 - but the vast majority of this offering was wearable, saleable, even adorable.
The prom dress finale avoided the toothache-inducing sweetness you may have expected given DSquared2's usually heavy-handed approach to such subject matter. There wasn't even a single, expansive Pink Lady poodle skirt - in the Catens' imaginations this was this was 1968, not 1958, hence the line was sleek and simple. Toss a denim jacket over a floor-length coral satin column-dress, and it felt contemporary too. It may have seemed like another of the Caten twins' jokey romps at first glance, but this focused and relevant collection proved nothing to laugh at.