#SuzyMFW Dolce & Gabbana: From Church To Street To High Opera

Stefano Gabbana stood among models of different shapes, colours and ages as he prepped for the latest show with Domenico Dolce.

But this time the duo had found a new description for their Spring/Summer 2019 show. Not ‘D&G’ but ‘DNA’.

Those letters flashed up on digital screens overhanging the runway, with the names of all 151 women, men and children there who represented Italian life (as well as more than a few global model-influencers): a pious group walking with church bells tolling; mothers with kids; larger figures such as Ashley Graham receiving gusts of applause from the audience; ditto for mother-daughter duos: and even more audience appreciation for an elderly figure with a grandchild.

The cornucopia of familiar faces began with Monica Belluci, Eva Herzigova and Carla Bruni; went on to include YouTuber Cameron Dallas and actor Emily Ratajkowski; and finished with models Karen Elson and Kailand Morris.

“The most important thing at this moment is the human touch,” explained Stefano. “It’s true that we live in a digital era and this is not haute couture. But it’s about clothes hand-worked and then put in a machine.”

I have seen quite a number of D&G shows this year and they all work on the principle of giving rollicking energy to Italian clichés. As the mix of sleek tailoring and colourful floral dresses moves towards the final operatic aria, the trousers move off stage and the ball skirts swirl on.

What was new at this show? It was louder in tone from Alta Moda unveiled on a series of boats on Lake Como last summer, since this was not a closed, client event.

But there was still the D&G concept of upbeat inclusiveness. Snooty, nose-in-the-air couturiers they are not.

This season was more about subtle changes: in the shape of the trousers or of the curving neckline of a black dress. There were some new religious figures set against graphic squares. But all these seemed more like little tweaks rather than major shifts.

And why should ‘the boys’ change their focus when they have reinvented the concept of mass personalisation? Everyone can buy into the D&G spirit – providing that they can afford it.

Fashion is fun! Come and be a fan! The messages are as predictable as the clothes each season – although there were infiltrations of the new, such as the bigger, looser, sportier shapes of sweat tops and loose pants.

But if you want well-made and striking clothes to add to your wardrobe, these are the go-to designers. And if you happen to have an animal obsession, this is fashion heaven.

“Here’s a cow, there is a rabbit, or a donkey – it’s all on offer,” said Stefano.