A model on the catwalk at the Dolce & Gabbana show / Getty Images


The razzle-dazzle of Milan Fashion Week can manifest itself in a number of ways.

While Peter Dundas’s Pucci girls, including Eva Herzigova, were beaded and studded in the most overtly sexy terms possible on Saturday evening, at Marni the next morning Consuela Castiglioni approached embellishment in an altogether more cerebral way.

The show began with ruffles. These were to be found on jacket pockets and hemlines – indeed, the opening skirt positively cascaded with them. Later, more skirts were fronted with dense rows of feathers, their rich colours providing a striped pattern of sorts sometimes while other pieces saw them combined with acrylic and bugle beads. The silhouette was voluminous and architectural, black waist belts reigned in some looks.

The deep-colour palette was similar to the collection for spring/summer from the label, and while many of the pieces have been freshened up and tweaked for the new season, this did not feel like a wholly new proposition, showing a sense of confidence others may lack.


Not Messrs Dolce & Gabbana though. Their theatrical production yesterday drew inspiration from the designer’s native Sicily. Fairytales and folklore dominated proceedings – the most literal manifestation of which included little red riding hood in scarlet fur and knight’s hoods embroidered and embellished with jewels. Woodland creatures could be glimpsed among the vines and stems of blooming floral prints before later appearing as faux naif applique, jewelled-eyes gleaming.

The sense of drama was palpable, although there were more readily wearable pieces woven through the story – feminine tailoring with crystal buttons, swingy trapeze dresses and dresses made of lace worked to resemble the wrought iron of imposing gates. Those gates were spun off into ornate keys or embroidered on dresses.

Those details deserve a repeated look, at times the sheer onslaught of clothes and ideas can get jumbled slightly while other motifs can be lost in translation: a clingy, purple peasant dress with colour-matched corset on top a case in point.