At Dolce & Gabbana, It’s The Festival Of Lights

Guys want extreme resplendence now?

We always wonder: Do Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana sell that much of their giddily gaudy clothes to be able to afford a show with 96 looks, just as many models, and a custom light installation to beat all Little India light-ups during Deepavali, till today? Their spring/summer IRL show—called DG Light Therapy—in Milan is so blindingly brilliant, you’ll only subject your eyes to it if you have no objection to retinal damage. “The aesthetics of the 2000s meets the traditional Italian art of luminarie, a symbol of joy and positivity,” went the D&G’s show description. Luminous! That’s putting it mildly. Even Dior’s resort 2021 collection, similarly staged against the background of glittering luminarie—also of southern Italy—pales in comparison. Dolce & Gabbana is more dazzling than Dior!!!

The only other name capable of such meretricious madness, we thought, is Phillip Plein, but even the master of kitsch is outdone by Mr Dolce and Mr Gabbana this time. Is this an extreme reaction to the fashion lull that has overwhelmed the clothes worn during these acutely less social times? D&G is not known for their whisper-quiet style. Garish is often the thrust of their output. To think their clothes would not be flashy is to imagine that one might find a pair of plain jeans in raw denim in their store. However loud we think D&G is, we didn’t ever ponder that fairy lights would one day be imagined on clothes (that, in itself, is new?). The proverbial Christmas tree! Is that not worse than being likened to a peacock? Must fashion now look like a spin-off of the Mardi Gras?

Maximal style has, of course, gained currency among certain fashionistas. For many adopters and followers, fashion isn’t fashion until it looks fashion—until it stares in your face. D&G isn’t only achieving the maximum with what’s decoratively possible on clothes, it is pushing the limits. And if the garments themselves are insufficient to hold all the ostentation, pile on the blink: accessorise. How much can a single body hold? How do these clothes make the wearer feel? Perhaps the wonder of D&G is that no matter how ‘normcore’ fashion goes, they can be counted for clothes that amplify the opposite, the other end. That’s their consistency: always nudging forward what would be, for many (even the well-informed), an anomalous judgment of taste. Sure, there are many who like fairy lights (nothing wrong with that), but how many actually desire looking like they are wearing coils of them, and it’s not the festive season, yet?

If you break every piece of the collection down, the clothes on their own—minus the surface treatments—are what you have likely seen (not necessarily bought) before. An oversized T-shirt is an oversized T-shirt, a shirt is the chemise they have mostly been, and the suits are just that. The one re-imagining is the purple blazer with red leg-O-mutton sleeves (to better accommodate bulging biceps?), but even that isn’t a jaw-dropper as we have seen them in womenswear (so well done by Viktor and Rolf). Despite their attention-grabbing styles, Dolce & Gabbana has not won back the attention of Asian consumers after their PR/marketing blunders of the past years. Recently, Hong Kong songstress Karen Mok (莫文蔚) was slammed by Chinese Netizens for wearing D&G in her music video of the re-issue of the Cantonese rap-track A Woman for All Seasons (妇女新知). Asia’s largest luxury market has not quite forgotten. It’d take more that fairy lights to put Dolce & Gabbana back in the spotlight.

Screen grab (top) and photos: Dolce & Gabbana

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