This is the first time that DSquared2 has shown its entire menswear and womenswear offering in the same runway show. There will be no separate womenswear show at the womenswear shows in Milan. Here goes...
Designing entirely with the brief of creating a collection for two apparent genders in mind means that not only do things need to be super cohesive, but there needs to be a way for both halves (so to speak) to shine in their own right. The decision to drop the womenswear slot is also interesting. Maybe - for now - a womenswear collection gets a greater share of voice within the menswear schedule. With menswear being earlier in the schedule, their vision - and product - also gets debuted to retailers earlier.
This runway show wasn't just a lateral affair - with a core theme running across the two collections, it was a vertically layered affair also. Layers - and lots of them - saw the idea behind this show being more about eclectic styling than anything else. Less theme driven than their previous collection, this felt more like a lifestyle proposition, a way that people might actually dress themselves and wear clothes. A mish-mashing of sportswear, plaid, shearling, global nick nack pieces, and romance – courtesy of matching foulard neck ties and necklaces for both sexes, and floral ruffles for women- saw Dan and Dean Caten place themselves in an exciting but challenging place. There was a new jean pant, modelled on a ski pant – called the ski-biker – cropped with a slight flare and tab detailing. There was also a co-branding collaboration with K-Way on waterproof jackets.
This idea of fashion giving way to clothes is an interesting one. There was an of-the-moment realness here that felt less gimmicky or playfully theatrical than usual. But maybe that's what made a DSquared2 show so different. It certainly made their shows memorable.
That aside, there was the small matter of 'GLUNGE'. Yep, just as we got over Charmani, (the Giorgio Armani term for a recent womenswear collection about charm) the design duo here at DSquared2 named their hybrid world of Glamour and Grunge the aforementioned word that we won't mention again. The collection was a lot better than this. The title of the collection #D2TOGETHER was much nicer. It felt progressive, collaborative and positive.
We have to hand it to these guys, they are definitely exploring new territory - for both their own brand and fashion. The design duo Dan and Dean Caten said: 'We created a look for him and her, and her and him. She wears bouquets of flowers on her dresses, he wears them printed on his shirts and jackets; his long knit over a shirt, which is also her first look. For our first co-ed collection, guys and women are style equals, glamorous mountaineers.'