As a designer, you know that a show has gone down a storm when howling whoops of delight are audible from both back and front-of-house!! After today’s Dsquared2 show, the identical-twin design-team of Dean and Dan Caten must surely be shouting the loudest!
Forget that the event was running half-an-hour behind the scheduled time, the buzz of anticipation from an audience, the size of which was comparable to the Burberry attendance, was palpable!
With a brassy blast of Mambo Kings announcing the imminent arrival of some spectacular style, we knew that we were being set up to depart upon the fashion-ride of our lives!!
First up, was a splash of showroom footage, in which models were either being fitted and dressed in the collection, or were dancing with the designers, themselves, in a tiki-hut!! The brief glimpse served as a tantalising teaser to what was to follow….which was a pitch black auditorium and a pinched, female voice, with an American accent, regaling the finer points of elegance, as if delivering a Public Service Announcement!!!
Then BANG! With the camera done, it was lights and action, accompanied by Elvis Presley entering the building, as ‘Bossa Nova’ was siphoned through the super-speakers!! The scene was set with an elongated tiki-bar, complete with bow-tied bartender, a stretch of runway which extended like a record-breaking length of taffy and models, ready in their first looks, to powerwalk the pass!
Oh and what looks they were! The Dsquared2 woman positively oozed Sophia Loren-allure, with lashings of Brigitte Bardot-boldness and Diahann Carroll- decadence! The story started with bustier/ corset- bikinis, harking back to the moulded shapes of lingerie and beachwear of yesteryear, thus illustrated by a blonde bombshell-of-a-model, sauntering along the runway in the opening stark, white two-piece. Variations of the ‘new-vintage’ look were presented in darling degradé blush-pink-on-white and burning-yellow ochre colour combinations, with maximum impact being achieved through a punch of pop-art-turquoise stilletoes and the additional back-combed hair and wing-tipped make-up, courtesy of Sam McKnight and Charlotte Tilbury, respectively!
As the audience surrendered to subsequent models owning the catwalk, the retro theme was developed by the introduction of more traditional two-piece bathing suit ensembles comprised of bra-tops and full-briefs. One such example was in (virtually flourescent) purple/orange print, teamed with a jauntily-sported, single-breasted jacket, the fabric of which would be reprised in a natty black-belted jumpsuit. Animal print was also popular and featured on both string and bustier-bikinis and as a, wonderfully worked, mélange of patchwork-print.
Dsquared2-daywear encouraged the play-on-white, by incorporating capri pants, cotton blouses and a sartorially-stunning, single-breasted jacket. Texture was developed by way of toffee-toned leather shorts and an adorable three-quarter length, over-sized coat in coffee-brown. Black-and-white bouclé appeared in jacket and bustier-bikini form, with sequins denoting their take on the knee-length skirt.
When it came to dresses, we were in for absolute treats, with a selected off-the-shoulder gowns of the multi-print, kneelength, puffball variety, in a red/black/white palette and in a devastating midnight-black, fit-and-flare silhouette. Each piece was laden with acres of tulle underskirting, floating like flotsam on the ocean and, of course, had handbags to match! Of particular note, was the quirky usage of fabric paillettes in yellow/ taupe-tones, which caused the garment to look somewhat feather-like, yet distinctly attractive and extremely fun to wear!
For the sunset hours, composed relaxation was in order, with black silk blousons and bell-sleeved tunics paired with classic white, high-legged shorts. Notwithstanding, the chance to incorporate colour was never missed and the reprise of the blouson, a dream in tangerine, was confidently off-set by highly mirror-embellished shorts. The journey continued with an ivory collarless jacket, scattered with gold beads from top-to-tail and the metallic trend evolved into a shimmering silver adaptation of the three-quarter coat, styled with a matching, Doris Day-èsque ‘pill-box’ hat!
It was left to the bikini-story to bring the show to a dynamic close, with a Barbarella-worthy black, cut-away, criss-cross swimsuit, building to a climax of a black-on-white bustier-bikini, which was the only example to have a ‘creeping-vine’ motif.
The finale vignette of the entire model line-up, topped-off a show which would, quite frankly, give the Punchdrunk site-specific theatre company a run for their money!!! Once Dean and Dan had, themselves, walked the measure of the catwalk to rapturous applause, the ride-of-a-show was over..
No matter what the start-time, this triumphant collection was above-and–beyond worth the wait!
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