Backstage before the show, Stefano Gabbana explained that the catwalk would be emphasizing a pajama theme, though there would be a multitude of other options available back in the showroom. Understandable that he felt such a clarification might be necessarywould the Dolce man who was so well-served by last season's studly chunk be ready for bed? In the end, Gabbana's doubt was needless. What he and Domenico Dolce managed to serve up was the most sophisticated version yet of the casual/formal hybrid that is the 21st century's contribution to menswear. And the pajama theme underscored Dolce & Gabbana's new mantra: comfort. Picture a pinstripe suit (foundation stone of the Dolce empire) with the jacket shawl-collared yet the trousers drawstrung, elastic of waist, and rolled of ankle. Such forgiving elegance! A silk denim tuxedo was another way to make the same point. (A collar and tie accompanying drawstring shortsa bathing suit by any other namewere a bridge too far. But the wingtip mules? How could something so wrong be so right?)
The pajama-striped, shawl-collared suit that opened the show comfortably established the manifesto: no shirt, just a scarf. Even given the exaggeration one allows the catwalk, Dolce and Gabbana were clearly onto something. Chic-but-comfy is the grail of enough guys that the combination of tailoring and trackies should spell ka-ching. And it's not just guysNaomi Campbell looked gorgeously natural in the grand finale of Orientalia in her flowing kimono, shorts, and ballet flats. BTW, each of those closing outfits was arduously hand-inked: There's a new challenge for your dry cleaner. But what exactly was the assassin's pistol that appeared on a sweater meant to convey? Gun culture in any guise is unfashionable.