Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2012 Review

Dolce & Gabbana

Photo: Imaxtree

Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2012

SHOW: Dolce & Gabbana (See the full collection.)

HAIR: Guido Palau

MAKEUP: Pat McGrath

ACCESSORIES: High heels, gold-embroidered black woolen socks, ornate gold jewelry, headbands of pearls and metal flowers, jewel-like minaudières

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: An operatic tribute to the Sicilian woman that was Dolce & Gabbana at their best

Milan has been terribly well-behaved for Fall 2012. Labels that were previously bastions of sequin-dusted statement dressing have been offering neat suits, bodies have been almost-primly covered up, and even the usual elaborate sets have been pared back. In short, not many people have been putting on a show. Leave it to Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana to rectify that with a sweeping crescendo of a collection dedicated to that most Italian of pastimes, the opera.

What would an opera be without a cape? The show opened with a dozen, thickly curlicued with gold bullion embroidery across black above brief, voluminous little skirts. The gold motif was infectious. Soon it ran riot across everything from hemlines to hairdos, even sexing up the plain woolen socks sported by the models. The effect was reminiscent of a baroque picture frame, like the ones peppering Italian palazzos and museum walls. (There was one on the invitation too, to match the ones hanging in back of the runway.) Was this fashion as art then, framed in gold ornament? No—Dolce & Gabbana are never so precious. This was fashion as fun, a dress-up parade of sexy eveningwear.

Day was restricted to the house's usual Sicilian widow mode of black lace, with a couple of needlepoint dresses. It was quickly disposed of, offering more opportunity to stun and seduce with billowing Chantilly ruffles, laced corsetry and a few gowns scattered with giggling cherubs straight from a naughty Italianate fresco. Basta? Never! Troppo was never di troppo in this collection, and that's what made the quasi-Renaissance romp so unforgettable.