Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2012 Review

Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2012

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2012 collection

Show: Dolce & Gabbana

Hair: Guido Palau

Makeup: Pat McGrath

Accessories: Macaroni and penne pasta jewelry, strappy high sandals and Chanel-style chain-handle bags in woven plastic

Overall Takeaway: Mambo Italiano—Dolce's got its groove back.

If Miuccia Prada brooded on the Italian obsession with sex and cars in her powerful and provocative spring collection earlier this week, it was left to Dolce & Gabbana to tackle the other great Italian fixation: food. Of course, there was plenty of sex involved too, with bombshell curves on corseted dresses that gave the normally whip-thin Milanese models the hips and bust of Sophia Loren.

The show was something of a return to form after a series of collections that examined the quieter and more retiring side of their Molto Italiano aesthetic. In its own way this Dolce & Gabbana collection was just as provocative and powerful as Prada, albeit to very different visual effect. Whereas Prada is all head, Dolce is all heart—or at least all body, this time printed with life-sized vegetables like the bustling marketplace of many a Neo-Realist cinema epic boiled down and splattered across sweet summer dresses. Glamorous though they were, there was an earthiness to those dresses, a grittiness almost—and that's the last word you thought you'd ever read about Dolce & Gabbana.

What contrasts with grit more than glitz? After dark the Dolce woman undertakes a transformation, from Italiano earth momma with pasta for earrings (that bit of fun didn't quite gel in the cavernous catwalk of the Metropol) into high-octane Sicilian sex-pot. The Dolce finale this time was composed of rich glittering showgirl corsets, strewn with gobstopper-sized gems, sequins and tinsel in every color like carnival lights come to life. The tomatoes and pasta may have been witty and wearable, but it was this touch of Milano showmanship that truly brought the house down.