Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana set the stage for their latest show with chandeliers festooned in real flowers and vines along with an enormous gilded mirror that was propped at the end of the runway. It was unabashedly lavish, but it had nothing on the duo's new collection, which was dripping in gold bullion. Once again, the designers found themselves plucking ideas from Domenico's native Sicily, specifically its baroque religious traditions. It truly is the birthplace that keeps on giving.

Capes played a starring role, just as they had at the label's men's show last month. When they were long to the knee, especially, they recalled a cardinal's vestments, albeit rendered in black and gold. White lace frocks, meanwhile, put some in mind of communion dresses. In general, the silhouettes weren't as va-va-voom as they can be here. In fact, more often than not, they were away from the body, which gave them a newness that's been lacking for a few seasons chez Domenico and Stefano. Given how sheer they were, though, they weren't quite holy.

Colorful needlepoint florals and prints of cherubs also contributed to a sweeter-than-usual mood. The finale parade consisted not of the usual corset tops, bralets, and bloomers but of more black lace coats, dresses, and skirtsuits embroidered in metallic gold thread. Dolce & Gabbana pushed its vocabulary with positive results, but it wasn't unfamiliar enough to dampen the religious devotion of its fans.