Naomi Campbell and Monica Bellucci storm the Dolce & Gabbana men’s catwalk in pristine Sicilian tailoring

Naomi Campbell on the Dolce & Gabbana catwalk in Milan CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES EUROPE
Naomi Campbell on the Dolce & Gabbana catwalk in Milan CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES EUROPE

It’s proof of the potency of the Dolce & Gabbana brand that the audience – normally inscrutable in shades and certainly never smiling – couldn’t help but grim from ear to ear for the finale of the Italian duo’s menswear show in Milan yesterday, to showcase their spring/summer 2019 collection.

It was hard not to really: the show reached a climax with the mischievous pair charging onto the catwalk flanked by Monica Bellucci, Naomi Campbell and Merpessa Hennink (a trio long associated with the house) to whooping and a merry riot of colour, print, crystals, embroidery, religious iconography, grandfathers, tots, teens, same-sex couples and every kind of Italianate exuberance in between. Minimalism? Leave that to the millennials.

At a time when the men’s fashion world is in a period of upheaval and confusion – there’s been a decline in traditional tailoring, the menswear show schedules have been decimated as designers streamline their women’s and men’s shows into one – Dolce & Gabbana took it back to their Sicilian heartland and the language they speak so lyrically: of Italian home and family, the tropes of their country’s style and architecture and the kind of grandeur normally reserved for the most imposing of palazzos.

Stefano Gabbana, Naomi Campbell, Monica Bellucci, Domenico Dolce and Marpessa Hennink at the duo's spring/summer 2019 menswear show CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES EUROPE
Stefano Gabbana, Naomi Campbell, Monica Bellucci, Domenico Dolce and Marpessa Hennink at the duo’s spring/summer 2019 menswear show CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES EUROPE

Campbell and Bellucci were in pristine pinstriped suits, as were the male models – a testament to the designers’ traditions in the world of southern Italian tailoring – but the collection veered from sharp suiting to boldly emblazoned sportswear and opulent evening wear.

Alongside the opulence and sensory cavalcade of some of the clothest – the crystal suits, the chinoiserie robes, the playful pasta and cannoli prints, the gold embroidery, the flocking – was a thread that nodded to the early days of Dolce & Gabbana’s love affair with dark, brooding Italian neorealist cinema, with gauzy, blousy trousers like re-fashioned sacks, fisherman tops in rustic hessian, paper-bag waisted trousers and acres of black lace repurposed from nonna’s tablecloth into lightweight, airy T-shirts, quieter offerings that any bello uomo could be at ease in from Palermo to Pisa.
Dolce & Gabbana's opulent tailoring is always a highlight of the brand's fashion shows CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES EUROPE
Dolce & Gabbana’s opulent tailoring is always a highlight of the brand’s fashion shows CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES EUROPE

This being Dolce and Gabbana, there was also a heavy dose of tongue-in-cheek humour. Cartoon prints and depictions of hearty Italian fare were splashed across shirts and trousers, as well as a serious showcase of the skill in the brand’s atelier;  those  fringed rose-print jackets, silk chinoise robes and smoking jackets are all meticulously handcrafted.

The fashion world has a tendency to tie itself in knots with overtheorising and hand-wringing angst, which makes a romp through Dolce & Gabbana’s jewel-dusted, rainbow-hued universe a cheering contrast.

The Italian brand's show featured models of varying ages CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES EUROPE
The Italian brand’s show featured models of varying ages CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES EUROPE

The pair unashamedly celebrate what they love (note the ‘amore’ lettering), and everyone – old or young, gay or straight, millennial social media star or seasoned supermodel – is invited to the party.

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