Whatever else happens in Milan, you can count on Dolce & Gabbana to put on the glossiest high-production, total-conviction, proper old-school show in town. This season, they hit on a device for merging the feeling for longer lengths with tailoring and "country" fabrications: the midi-skirt moment, circa early-seventies London. A remix of David Bowie's greatest hits was on the soundtrack as the girls pounded out in curly haired gilets, flat caps, poor-boy sweaters, country-check shirts, printed silk scarves, and dozens of tweedy skirts, gathered into the waist and hitting at mid-calf.
As a summary of trends that have been simmering since New York, it was polished and amusingand if the girth-expanding potential of those skirts posed a worry, no matter. For one thing, Domenico Dolce, the child of a Sicilian tailor, has another excellent offer up his sleevethe latest cut of the house pantsuit: neat, three-pieced, and skinny-legged. It looked good. And then there's the romance. That emerged onto the scene in fur-printed chiffon blouses, skirts, and puffer jackets, and ended up with the now-traditional set piece of the Dolce & Gabbana crinoline parade. This time they were whipped out of a combination of pale chiffon and random overlayerings of fur and bolts of British tailoring fabric, a sort of funny ta-da! of all the themes, seasonal and personal, that the designers had managed to weave into the performance. As a whole, the show hit the right note for the timestoned down, but not depressing. And whether you'd actually buy into it or not, the sheer breadth of the repertoire Dolce & Gabbana has made its ownjeans to leather jackets, suits to gowns and accessoriesis a spectacle that deserves a cheery salute.