Play It Loud

With Machine Gun Kelly behind the music, Dolce & Gabbana shows that you really can look deafening

Machine Gun Kelly performing on the runway

Bengdom has a new god. Make that gods: Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. Okay, perhaps not so new. They have held court in the Mount Olympus of visual excess for many years now, and those who come to worship at the foot of the giddy elevation can’t get enough of D&G’s boundless flashiness. Their shows are designed to top the excesses of previous presentations, the more dazzling, the better, the more gaudy, the merrier. Marketing missteps of the past be damned. They do not care what their naysayers think or post (although they did sue Diet Prada for what the Instagrammers shared online in 2018 that the brand claimed to have led to losses in revenue and deal). Over-the-top is their strong, showy suit. Dolce & Gabbana make Philip Plein look like a very minor deity.

Their autumn/winter collection emanates the sartorial energy of the time the two designers first met—in 1982, in a Milan discotheque—were eventually romantically linked. This time, their show is headlined by Machine Gun Kelly (aka Colson Baker), the American rapper/singer/actor, now engaged to Megan Fox, who is, expectedly, seated in the front row. Like MGK’s music, an ardent blend of hip hop and rock (as expected, My Ex’s Best Friend is performed), D&G is the visual fanciness to MGK’s aural fierceness. MGK struts down the runway to open the show in a white suit (one of three outfit changes) with pointy studs that form the outline of the jacket. As the camera zooms in, we see the ear, nose, and lip jewellery. Hardware is imperative and prolific. He dramatically pauses as he walks back, and cues the beat—a ringmaster ringing in the circus of fashion. And then closing it.

If the garish digital graphics and unrelentless flashing of disco lights are not enough, the clothes would definitely make up for the shortfall. Together, they provide a truly woozy viewing experience. So busy, in fact, is the sum of the show parts (including MGK!) that it is hard to understand what is really coming together in the massive display of the 107 looks. It is amazing how much one male body can don or need. D&G certainly shows the myriad possibilities and, in turn, the absurdities. Perhaps, they are inspired by Chinese New Year hampers (FYI, there’s a silver tiger print coat!). The designing duo has made outdoing themselves an art, although Mr Gabbana told the press before the show in more euphemistic terms, “We’re challenging ourselves; we’re questioning everything we’ve been used to.” The questionable, too.

There is no denying the free-hand approach to the designs: anything goes, and everything gets in. So what you see are clothes that are so exaggerated that unless one lives an outsized existence requiring sartorial extremes, they may not even fit—literally—in a typical wardrobe. Some of the puffers are really so large, the models could be wearing family tents. And, graffiti prints so packed onto fabrics, they make walls scrawled with spray paint look clean. In fact, pattern and prints dominate, but none more trying than the tedious repetition of two letter—yes, ‘D’ and ‘G’. They make LV’s appearances seem infrequent and tame.

Screen grab: Dolce & Gabbana/YouTube. Photos: Dolce & Gabbana

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