No one else in fashion has embraced social media more overtly than Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. For the collection they showed on Sunday, the designers set up a targeted WiFi connection so that people could send text messages for projection onto giant screens, which also offered real-time viewing of the backstage goings-on. It made for preshow amusement, though anyone still on the fence about the transformative power of social media probably remains unconverted by such oft-looped comments as, “D&G are so cool!!!;” “Ciao!!! Love this commenting!!”, and the brother’s-keeper’s plea, “Stop hitting Mariacarla’s head with the brushes.”
It was all in good fun. So, too, was the collection. If the invitation trumpeted a certain direction — a photo of a man’s and a woman’s shoe — it kept mum on this season’s specific rendering of the signature gender play, which, perhaps in honor of the Oscars, was all about stars. The celestial kind, galaxies of them. They came in all sizes from pin-dot to huge, in prints, sequins, crystals, fur, giant dangling earrings and necklaces. They centered the feminine side of the collection, mostly alluring, skintight dresses in black and white, although there were shots of color, a crystal-on-gold sequined dazzler and a pair of chiffon gowns, one pink, one blue, covered in black stars.
The men’s wear looks worked a rockabilly-by-way-of-Vegas vibe. While major sequins offered an upbeat jolt — there’s nothing like fuchsia glitter to take the ho-hum out of a smoking — less demonstrative options could be found as well. But back to the girly stuff: the jeweled bags rocked.
What didn’t rock was the sense that underneath the star shine, this read as a quite basic Dolce & Gabbana collection. The designers’ fascination with the change-a-minute world of new media puts them at the forefront of experimentation and newsmaking in that arena, and Godspeed. But in their enthusiasm for staying on the cutting edge of technology, Dolce and Gabbana shouldn’t allow their runway news quotient to diminish.