Before the collection started we were told - via runway side digital screens - that models would be taking selfies as they walked the runway. As part of the Dolce e Gabbana SELFIE campaign, these images were also published online alongside traditional catwalk shots.
Other pre-show noise included the launch of their new lipstick, designed in honour of Sophia Loren. The iconography continued with an invitation that resembled the menu for a quaint Italian restaurant. At the show, the words 'Italia is love' was spelled out over the rooftops of a romantic eatery.
The girls looked like something straight out of a postcard. They were seemingly wearing dresses inspired by postcards too - prints featured Duomos, parasols and gondolas. A pair of oversized baroque glasses detracted from everything else the model was wearing. They were stunning - but seemingly part of this design for sharing (on Instagram) rather than design for wearing. A cute bag in the shape of a camera added a retro parody to what was happening elsewhere on the catwalk. By halfway through, the models had started taking selfies of themselves, and these pictures were being projected live above our heads. The value of editing selfies spoke volumes. Thankfully they had back-up shots from backstage. Although, this was a high risk 'happening' - and rather distracting from the clothes, it merged the worlds of backstage and catwalk in a fun new way. Seeing pictures of the designers clowning around backstage with the girls, and then having the girls with us front of house moments later, made a viewer feel like they were at an event with the designers - rather than just with their clothes.
Back on planet Italy, dresses continued to be smattered with Italian memorabilia: the leaning tower of Pisa, Roman ruins and statues were embroidered over lace and polka dots. That most Italian of pastimes was represented: a model walked down the runway with armfuls of Dolce e Gabbana shopping bags.
Standout pieces included a waffled coat with a lemon print, which was clever and divine, as well as a basketweave jacket and shorts in magenta, blue and green. The floral headscarves were glorious. One head-to-toe print looked like a model was shrouded in a garden. The only cross cultural references that were present came through in the Carmen Miranda vibe - courtesy of fruit piled high on models' heads and three hybrid PJ/chinoiserie dresses worn by three Chinese models. How predictable.
Gareth Pugh did a collection last season, using the St George's flag - and it was a point for discussion. Was it appropriate for such a previously jingoistic country, such as England, to wave its own flag within a fashion show, no matter how ironic? Dolce & Gabbana have been hawking this Italian theme for years now, and when they have strayed into other cultures, it has always ended up having a pointed colonial vibe. When the storytelling of one of Italy's leading labels is told with such national pride, it can start to spill into a singular promotion of what modern Italy could be.
If Italia really is love, how about it shows some love to something else other than itself?