Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2011 Review

Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2011 collection

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2011 collection

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

HAIR: Guido Paulo

MAKEUP: Pat McGrath

ACCESSORIES: Star- and musical-note-print clutches, quaver-shaped resin jewelry, pointy stilettos and flat brogues

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: Rockabilly tomboy and sexy Siciliana get together at a Bowie concert

Androgyny has never been Dolce & Gabbana's thing. They are known for designing such unabashedly female items as the corset dress, the elongated bra dress, the corset—well, just the corset, really.

So the opening outfit from the Fall 2011 Dolce & Gabbana collection came as something of a shock then. It was a black suit worn with flat brogues by a model with her hair swept up into a rockabilly quiff. Something was obviously going on at Casa Dolce.

But fear not, the second outfit allayed fears: a bandage-tight chiffon cocktail dress spliced with panels of lace and splashed with star prints. And that was pretty much how the show unfolded, boy vs. girl in every other look.

The prints signaled something running adjacent to this story: a galaxy of stars splattered chiffon, musical notes were stamped over leather and lace or hung from earlobes as oversize jewelry, and a few Teddy Boy–style oversize jackets slouched out in bright, yolky yellow or powder pink.

Maybe that had something to do with the Bowie/Jagger "Dancing in the Streets" soundtrack blaring out—a hint to the retro-British style similar to their menswear show in January?

But the prints quickly got more than a little tiresome, especially when sent out with perfectly mannish tailoring and curvaceous dresses. That tailoring, in gray wool or black velvet, was by far the best part of the show. We haven't seen shapes like these from Dolce & Gabbana before, and here they looked fresh and appealing.