There was heat coming off the runway at Dolce & Gabbana, particularly for this reporter as she was transported back to her summer holiday in Sicily.
‘Sea, Sun and Love’, they called it, ‘inspired by the most profound Sicilian tradition’. Prints depicted the famous puppets of Sicilian street theatres, the island’s traditional ceramic vases and cartwheels. Bold stripes recalled beach umbrellas and sunbeds in seaside coves. Straw and woven raffia, manipulated into bustiers, t-shirt dresses and, the finale dress, a sweeping crinoline, reworked the classic Sicilian basket.
Even with, for them, the most restrained of sets – merely a handful of giant terracotta pots sprouting cacti – the scene that Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabanna created with clothes so richly crafted and optimistically colour-drenched, lifted the audience back into their own happy place.
The beauty of these designers, in creating their own feel-good world, is that it rubs off on the clothes. So the dresses, with wide circular hems, or those cut to curve the body, can be genuinely pictured taking a stroll in the evening heat.
The collection was as much about traditional Sicily as it was about the designers’ own heritage – both being inextricably linked. It was great, as ever, to see them dive into their own archive for inspiration – the dour/sexy black Sicilian lace, the embroideries, those vintage in-out, cinched-flaring skirts, the sexy dresses, bodies and bra-tops – all familiar, but no less fun and joyful for it.
After all, nobody does a summer holiday wardrobe quite like Dolce & Gabbana.