When a designer cites Anna Dello Russo’s Fashion Shower musical masterpiece in their pre-show notes you know you’re in for a treat. Today’s DSquared2 show was outlandish to the point of being distasteful – no surprises there then. Nineties-themed micro hot pants, PVC accessories, Mr T gold chains and stripper shoes all jostled for space on the runway. The result was a cross between Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and the cast of The Only Way Is Essex (with accompanying paparazzi thrown in to boot). Short, tight, shiny – we’ve seen all that from DSquared2 before. So what made this collection stand out? Well nothing really, other than the amusing theatrics – Cara Delevingne did a nice job of opening the show in character as a Glamazon, one of those elusive girls who transcended model and superstar – and the bonkers front row featuring Jedward and Michael Bublé, this collection was decidedly average. The success of DSquared2 usually comes in Dean and Dan Caten’s capacity to balance showmanship with ability, but in this collection there simply wasn’t enough clothing to display their skill – it’s hard to prove your tailoring talent when your look centres on bodycon minis, swimwear and non-existent short shorts. Add into the mix over zealous styling, which saw models piled up with so many accessories that they were actually malting jewellery on the runway, and you have yourself a decidedly amateur affair. Not the ‘rigorous glamour’ that Dean and Dan were hoping for.
While the collection may have lacked in finesse, you can’t blame the duo for their desire to party like it’s 1999. Given the current economic grumbles, who wouldn’t want to slip on the rose tinted glassed and return to those late nineties glory years where the curvaceous and confident Naomi, Linda and Cindy ruled the roost in outlandish label-blazoned creations, styled up with a healthy dose of attitude? Amidst the existing wash of minimalism, poise and discretion, it was quite refreshing to see something so intentionally cringe-inducing and vulgar – in the words of Dello Russo, ‘fashion is always uncomfortable, if you feel comfortable you never get the look.’