For many seasons, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been milking their native Sicily for inspiration to their glorious fantasies. Not so long ago, they even staged that fairy tale on a grandiose scale in Capri. Today, although this had tenuous links to Sicily, Spain provided the same passionate Mediterranean woman archetype, and this was embodied in the fighting spirit of bullfighting and flamenco. From the heavily encrusted waist clinchers, to the blood red of carnations embroidered on lace dresses, and the ruffles and polka dots of flamenco dresses, it was pleasingly theatrical.
The embroideries on tight bolero jackets were pleasingly transcribed from the original, completed with puffy shorts in lieu of skin-tight trousers (it's summer after all). So were the fringes of dancer shawls, swinging prettily from the summer's cape, a shape they seem to love perennially. Quirky, and sure to please the snap-happy front row crowd, was a painterly print of bullfighting wrapping around a skirt. Collectors' appetites will have been whetted by the dolls encased in their windowed carry-cases, figuring the archetypal Dolce & Gabbana women. Somewhere in between there were variations on their corseted black widows, and some decidedly younger transparent black camisoles worn with rhinestone heavy jeans.
As gently romantic they appear, their strength is that of a wounded bull. That contrast has always been at the heart of the Dolce & Gabbana vision of femininity, and comes back to their roots. Everywhere, silhouettes were femininely encased in either curve-enhancing (or revealing) get-ups. As always, their narrative is enriched by the superb work on fabrics and adornment, gilding any idea with the scintillating edge of fantasy. For the finale, the cadre of toreador glamazons paraded on the catwalk, offering the empowered vision of women ready to stand and grab any bull by the horns in the arena of life.