D&G's 20-year romance comes to life on catwalk

The designers took a "roll in the hay" for their spring/summer 2006 signature collection, with bales of straw piled high on their catwalk and two live goats bleating in the wings. Models in flouncy white broderie anglais dresses wore fabric poppies at their waists and ears of corn in their hair.

But these were no innocent shepherdesses. In the Dolce & Gabbana pastoral idyll, chantilly lace in blood-red and black also have their place, for clinging, strapless bustier dresses or frilly baby-doll frocks, worn with elevated platform shoes crafted from wicker or printed with poppies.

Nowhere was their romantic mood more apparent than in the closing sequence of enormous crinoline gowns that emerged to the strains of arias from La Bohème. Scattered with tiny handmade rosebuds or swirls of red and white gingham and lace, worn by models with their feet bare, these giant evening gowns demonstrated the expertise of the house, which equalled Parisian haute couture for both workmanship and, presumably, price tag.

Staged in the duo's brand-new show space, a former theatre where Maria Callas once sang, this spectacular presentation was also a celebration of their 20th year in business. Before their first model stepped out onto the catwalk, clips of each of the designers' collections since 1985 were projected on a screen.

An appreciative audience, 1,000-strong, gave the tearful Domenico Dolce, 47, and Stefano Gabbana, 42, a standing ovation. Dolce & Gabbana's endurance is all the more impressive for the fact that it is a private company which has remained independent despite the rise of the international fashion multi-brand conglomerates, such as the Gucci and Prada groups, in the late Nineties. Last week Dolce & Gabbana announced a 15 per cent leap in revenue, to €686.4m (£468m), for the financial year that ended on 31 March.

Was it a sign of Versace's confidence that it chose to stage its catwalk show last night on the trading floor of the Milan Borsa? Over the past two years the company has been working hard to overcome its former financial difficulties, abandoning its costly Paris haute couture shows and streamlining its various diffusion collections.

Donatella Versace's latest offering didn't stray far from her tried-and-tested formula of skin-tight trousers, sheer blouses and an lengthy parade of red-carpet goddess frocks with necklines that plunged to the navel. Despite the familiarity of many of these looks, though, her colour palette for next spring - beige, beige and more beige - fell in line with next season's trend for tone-on-tone dressing.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Designer

£32969 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...

Recruitment Genius: Data Engineer

£35000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Data Engineer is required to ...

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence