The church-y version of "Come As You Are" that opened the latest Dsquared²
show underscored the mash-up of pioneer spirit and grungy guy that Dean and Dan Caten imagined for their new collection. The result was so chaste by the Catens' own porn-chic standards that the show had little of the life that once made their presentations the campy high point of fashion week in Milan, and the collection disappointingly followed down that enervating spiral.
The identi-kit models in their wide-brimmed Borsalinos, prim spectacles, and clerical black and white looked like Southern Gothic preachers—Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood came to mind—and they hurried by like men appropriately possessed.
So you sat back to analyze the items that will fuel the Catens' burgeoning global fashion empire. Lean, mean monochrome tailoring; skinny denims; judicious use of black leather detailing; hints of luxury in fur trims; and crystal-beaded waistcoats. It may just be enough to seduce their fan base, but today it felt like slim pickings for everyone else.