Dolce & Gabbana has proved that the show does go on after the label held its autumn 2019/winter 2020 menswear collection in Milan. It was the first ready-to-wear event for the brand since it was forced to cancel a show in China after a racism and cultural appropriation storm blew up in November – it rejected the claims and apologised for any misunderstanding.
On Saturday D&G sought to control the narrative around the collection, adopting the format of classic salon show complete with a narrator explaining the ideas behind every section of the show. The theme of Elegance, meanwhile, afforded D&G the chance to try to remind the world of its original USPs.
Velvet jacquards and brocades paid tribute to the Sicilian aristocracy of the company’s birthplace; rainbow-hued sequins were reminiscent of the pyrotechnics that light up Italian festivals; and the suiting honoured Dolce’s family tailors.
The designers said that they want to show a new generation what elegance is, and will be hoping that the debacle in China won’t alienate the lucrative millennial market in the region, where consumers are responsible for nearly a third of the annual luxury spend.
Backstage, Steffano Gabbana – considered by some to have been the main provocateur of the China show – said that he would like to “turn the page” and teach the new generation about timeless elegance. “I don’t know if it’s wrong or good but this is our point of view … fashion is the mirror of the times [reflecting] what is outside – sometimes we get it right, sometimes not.”
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