Today's Dolce e Gabbana show opened with a run of all-black ensembles. Thirteen models posed on pedestals at the top of the runway, underneath an automotive sign with undulating playing cards that, on inspection, could have been borrowed from the showiest of Las Vegas casinos, before taking to the runway in their relatively subdued looks. The styles varied - there were the classic body-con, sheer, curve-hugging gowns and the tailoring with tight-fitting short jackets - but the colour was uniform. Wow, were two of fashions showiest showman - the same duo that unleashed an army of bedazzled bloggers and vloggers on us last season, who postured their way down the runway as giant flashing screens overhead displayed their faces and names (it could only have been less subtle had their number of Instagram followers also flashed up) - be toning it down? Then a ballgown printed with peas and sunglasses in the shape of two flower heads, complete with bristling petals, appeared and I realised, no, they weren't. There was also a jacket with fruits as buttons and a pyjama set inexplicably covered in chicks and oranges, and many other things for those who like to dress like a human incarnation of the popular 'clean eating' hashtag.
We jumped around between the playing card theme and the Deliciously Ella inspired looks. One minute a model resembled one of the Queen of Hearts’ couriers and the next they were sporting some aubergine earrings. Clients sat on the front row decked out in the label’s tiaras and frills, filming on their iPhones (in sparkling Dolce cases, of course) as models clad in goldfish prints and slogans declaring them the 'Queen of Love' went by. They were having the time of their life. Say what you want about Dolce e Gabbana (as I am, because SHOWstudio doesn’t carry advertising, so I don’t have to pretend, like most journalists who attended the show, that I was actually charmed by a pair of high-waisted carrot-legged pedal pushers with a matching carrot print) but there’s a market for this stuff. I realised that Dolce e Gabbana have created The Disney Store of fashion - a mecca for well-heeled kidults who like their fashion loud and designed to coordinate with their vajazzle.
The pair matched their crowd-pleasing clothes with crowd-pleasing hits. Calvin Harris’ Feels, featuring Katy Perry, was followed by more Perry. The lyrics to Chained To The Rhythm suddenly felt strangely pointed as the cameras flashed and the fashion pack dutifully applauded; 'Are we crazy? / Living our lives through a lens / Trapped in our white picket fence / Like ornaments / So comfortable, we're living in a bubble, bubble.' And then I realised I was intellectualising a Katy Perry song and worried that all the sparkle and prints had gone to my head. Luckily, at the finale, there was a welcome break. All the models appeared in clingy black slips, underwear and bodies, their fussy finery stripped off. By god did they look better.