Dolce and Gabbana Menswear A/W ’12 review

by Katie on January 18, 2012

Over the last couple of years many menswear labels have furtively attempted to reposition themselves in the market; Dsquared2 butched up, Lanvin dumbed down, Cavalli briefly found some taste (and lost it again), and Prada found a sense of humour. Dolce & Gabbana were rather more upfront, announcing last year that they would be closing their D&G diffusion brand in order to concentrate on their mainline collections, promising to elevate these from purely high-end offerings to luxury level.

The first fruit of this new directive is now upon us, executed to the letter, and is so unrepentantly luxurious and sumptuous that its density is almost overwhelming on occasions. It’s as if the boys said to themselves “Now Galliano’s out the way we can really go for it”, and the operatic theme is a suitably pompous vehicle for the designers’ own brand of over-indulgence.

Black and charcoal grey adorned with heavy gold embroidery form the cornerstone of the collection. Overcoats are trimmed in Astrakhan and fur and, just when you think that’s quite enough thank you, more baroque brocaderie is sprinkled over the top.

Suiting continues from previous seasons; Cashmere chalkstripe jackets are boxy bumfreezers, ties are ultra-skinny, and trousers are long in the crotch and either neatly turned-up or cut off in their prime mid-calf. Tuxedos are velvet and razor-sharp.

The only levity offered is some printed silk pyjamas in bronze, burgundy, blue, and old gold, seemingly left over from D&G’s Spring/Summer collection, or the neo-classical homeboys in their matching embroidered jackets and pantaloons, or cable knit cardigans and longjohns.

Dolce & Gabbana realise they can’t fully compete with the other luxury houses when it comes to heritage, so their main inspiration is Sicilian tradition – whether that be baker boy caps or opera capes. Whilst a touch heavy-handed, the designers have put their money where our mouths are, and this collection will undoubtedly appeal to those who have managed to avoid the fiscal insecurity gripping Europe, and those whose consumption remains unashamedly conspicuous.

Review written by Lee Clatworthy (@TeamChutzpah) for Katie Chutzpah blog.

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