At first glance, the A/W 2010 D&G show couldn't be more different from Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana's mainline offering. Gone was the Sicilian-rooted back-to-basics tailoring and knitwear in the burnt, faded hues of southern Italy. Gone too was the neorealist film backdrop, replaced with the timbers of an alpine lodge and two giant videoscreens showing an endless loop of skiers and snowboarders in snowbound action. No prizes for guessing the theme behind the collection, as from the first outfit this was a veritable avalanche of winter sportsgear, with shiny nylon ripcord jumpsuits, bulky ski-jackets, fur trappers' hats and toasty-warm layer upon layer of hardy knits. D&G even branded goggles, helmets and kevlar elbowpads for fun and frolics on and off the piste. Fine for the extreme-sports enthusiasts, but what does it leave for the rest of us to wear? Rather a lot - latching cleverly onto the protect and perfect ideas of other collections, this slalom allowed D&G to notch up versions of those down-inflated puffer jackets, intarsia-knit separates and inevitable shearlings that have been all over the catwalks. There were reflections of that mainline Sicilian bravissimo too, with another outing of thermal underwear/outerwear, and some slick, sharp velvet suiting made fit for the Alps in chocolatey shades of Lindt brown. Of course, if we're talking about roots, D&G is a sportswear brand at heart, and so this focus on the sportif is spot-on, and it was easy to abstract denims, tailoring and witty reindeer-festooned Nordic knits that will slot nicely into any wardrobe, winter or otherwise. The finale of skiwear mixed with evening tuxedos in a monochrome palette was high camp - maybe it was a pun on the penguin suit? Who knows? But at the same time, it was remarkably easy to imagine any dapper young man of means suited in one of the classic double-breasted dinner jackets. Give or take the skiboots.
The finale of skiwear mixed with evening tuxedos in a monochrome palette was high camp - maybe it was a pun on the penguin suit?