Uniforms are clearly a fetish item for Dean and Dan Catenof DSquared2. Last season we had naughty school boys, for resort the lovely Cara Delevingne in bustier tops and minis poll dancing a phonebooth, and this season came the sex-shop favourite, the policeman gone bad - shin-pads, thick soles, helmets and all.
Dubbed ‘Club Society’ their collection, as usual, was a tribute to peacock dressing – the models were young party-boys, the runway a cruising zone. The general effect was like a night out in Soho, exacerbated by the fact that after swaggering their way down the catwalk to the sound of the pumping club beats each model stood at the top of the runway framed by disco lights as if checking out the other fresh meat on offer. The show took us through various stages from ‘Boys are Piling it On’ (lots of man-jewellery and hip chains) to Metallic Symphony (ditto) and Skin or Skinny (the name says it all).
As always the clothing, or lack there of, was shaped to enhance the atmosphere. The black suit – such a garment of authority – was reworked into a club costume through the addition of shiny skinny ties, leather headwear, leopard print finishes and deconstructed corsages. The duo toyed with formality, embellishing crisp white shirts with rubber rectangles under the collar, giving the illusion of a tuxedo.
The meat and bones of DSquared2’s clothing rarely changes. Every season their pieces are sharply cut, showing a strong amount of tailoring prowess. Shapes are figure-hugging and sensually masculine, the silhouette cultivated to enhance the male form. What actually keeps DSquared2 fresh is its penchant for a good theme (they really should start their own club night). The problem, however, is that the duo now rely on their collection becoming some kind of circus spectacular, each more scandalous and shocking than the next. While the classic elements of fetish, sex and nudity were all there today (at their pinnacle in a model clad in nothing more than a pair of paint-on black leather trousers-cum-bumsters and a spider web of black body chains) this season was some how more reserved. ‘Where are the dancing hunks?’ asked an editor near me, ‘No men in heels?’ Have the boys pushed the spectacle so far they had nowhere left to go? For the sake of the oft-dry Milan menswear week, let's hope not.