Move over, Scarlett. Step aside, Maria von Trapp. You’re not the only girls capable of transforming curtains into clothes, with beguiling results. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s spring muse is a young bride-to-be who, after second thoughts on the church steps, runs home, breaks into her hope chest and starts sewing, turning bed covers, sheets, window lace and a million deconstructed doilies into the stuff of sartorial delight.
If the ruse sounds charmingly wacky, this was to the core a signature collection. The designers even spelled it out, opening the show with projections of key words – Mediterraneo, caldo, bianco, sensuale, luce, Santorini – along with house imagery, including more than a few photos from their current campaign featuring the all-black clad Madonna. Hey, why not get your money’s worth?
Though fall’s campaign star may not be a doily-dressing type, Dolce and Gabbana are banking that their paying customers will fancy the notion. They’re even making it easy for her; they incorporated a few dresses that at retail will hover near a very economical $500.
Not so the majority of looks, most of them highly intricate and always beautifully crafted. Save for a few styles in animal spots, a gentle greenish floral and of-course-we-have-black, everything in this expansive collection was white and looked genuinely as if its fabrics could have been sourced from a hope chest. Though the range was broader than one might assume — Nonna’s heirloom tablecloth is far sturdier than a breezy linen hanky – the mood was singular, in fact, a bit too focused.
Variety came via altering the silhouette and in texture plays, though the latter must be seen up-close for full appreciation. The designers love spring’s emerging over-the-knee length for sexy sheath dresses, one in wide, alternating bands of satin and lace, another, in tablecloth linen with a delicate lace yoke and skirt inset, re-embroidered with lace appliqués.
There were short baby dolls and sweeping gowns; a trapeze here, a shift there, even a classic white shirt extended into a jumpsuit. Sexy – for sure. But given the source, a different kind of sexy, a demure kind, right down to the substantial white foundations that kept even the most transparent looks studies in propriety.