A pouting bevy of bosomy senorinas, squeezed into red lace and gingham corsetry, is rising out of the floor into a Sicilian barn as a lonely farmhand looks on, trying to restrain his goats. This was the romantic-gone-utterly-kitsch keynote for Dolce & Gabbana's triumphal 20th-anniversary celebration: one big outrageous roll in the hay with the boys, for old time's sake.
With straw stuck in their hair, the girls worked their way through endless costume changes on the themes of frilly red, white, and black eyelet and not-so-innocent country-girl gingham. Shapes ran riot with the duo's standard push-up lingerie engineeringbursting out into big petticoated fifties skirts and teetering vertiginously on their signature wedges and platforms. Meanwhile, lest we lose the plot, the story was heavily embroidered with poppy and wheat field embellishments.
In European culture, the wheat ear is a talisman auguring good fortune. Well, it's worked for Dolce and Gabbana. Strolling hand in hand along the runway in the former Metropol theater they've just bought, surrounded by a crush of models in vast operatic crinolines, they looked like they were inwardly shouting, "We did it!" It's a long way from the rented walkup in which they cut and sewed their first collection in 1985, so they deserve their one-night binge of triumph. As for the collection? It was less a retrospective than the theatrical opener for a big party. A pity they forgot to showcase their signature sharp tailoring and white shirts in the frilly melee, but never mind this one time. Pop open the Champagne for the boys.