Fashion is not only about clothes, we all know well the showy element of this glamorous un-reality. The shock factor, showmanship and word of mouth play as much of a part of fashion as trends, influences and models. The latter in fact were all but forgotten in Dolce&Gabbana’s SS13 collection. The runway was taken over by Sicilian young men strutting their stuff (and tripping) in the same way as they would walk down their familial avenues in Taormina or Palermo. This was the context our mind’s eye should have projected onto the catwalk, not a theatre in a sweltering Milan, but a sunny Sicilian town, where the smell of the prickly pears and sounds of the dialect are carried by the sea breeze. Sending out real Sicilian men onto the catwalk is more than just an attempt by Dolce&Gabbana to project a different image, but it’s also a commentary on today’s fashion. Gone are the days of ostentatious un-wearable fashion, and we’re back to the purist clothes worn and loved by who choose them.
The collection in itself is not monothematic however, as, like Sicilians themselves, it has many facets. Gesualdo Bufalino, a Sicilian writer perhaps describes best the peculiarity of the Sicilian population in his book “L’isola plurale”:
So many Sicilies, why? Because Sicily has had the fate of finding itself, over the centuries, as the link between the great Western culture and the temptations of the desert and the sun, between reason and magic, between the storms of feelings and the heat of passion. Sicily suffers from an excess of identity and I do not know whether this is good or bad.
Looking back at the average Sicilian young man, wearing his best, with some irony, to attend school was the main image which stuck to the designer’s minds when creating the collection. The joi de vivre, innocence and purity assosciated with youth is reflected in every portion of the show, from the collection, the music and the faces of the young men.
At the centre of the collection lies the T shirt– easy to wear, quick, casual but also chic, and in warm places- the uniform of young and old. For SS13 jersey has been banned and it’s all about linen gauze. Inspired by the beach umbrellas which add colour to the sun-drenched Sicilian beaches. Green, yellow, blue and red stripes adorn shorts and T-shirts. The print is not clean, but textured for a less blocked, more romantic appearance, as though looking towards the horizon on a hot day.
Prints are important to Dolce&Gabbana and in recent season they’re enjoyed a sort of rebirth. For SS13, typically Sicilian prints such as temples, the cart and Pupi (traditional puppets) make cotton and linen gauze come alive with the sights, landscapes and traditions of Sicily.
Trousers and shorts are developed in three main fits for the former and two for the later. Trousers are either classically tailored, or high waisted with double or single pleats- the hems are rigorously cut above the ankle. Shorts are developed in two styles, both with high waists, one version is short, and the other is slightly longer but made voluminous with a crafty play of pleats and cuts.
The weaved leather sandals typical of Sicilian footwear take on a new life in the Dolce&Gabbana SS13 collection. Stone washed, waxed, and distressed, the humble sandal is reincarnated in a beautiful and exquisitely detailed and highly desirable must have item. Vintage travel sets or everyday bags inspire the accessories such as bags, satchel and rigid suitcases. Soaped leather mixed with linen and aged metal hardware give the impression of a family heirloom.
Original article by Valentina Zannoni here.