After last season's Highland fling, Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce returned to sea level with a spring D&G collection inspired by the French Riviera. They didn't have any old beach bum in mind, though, rather a twenty-first-century version of Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief. The Grant élan could be felt in the tailoring—shawl-collared or peak-lapel suits in various combinations of navy and white—and in the polka dot neckerchiefs that were tied loosely under the jackets. The twenty-first-century part came in via the sheen of the fabrics—silk twill, silk cotton, silk jersey, silk everything, basically. The D&G version of an espadrille, meanwhile, had a rope sole but jettisoned canvas for patent crocodile. The best looks here—say, a shawl-collar jacket worn over a shirt in a contrasting stripe and pajama-style pants with a drawstring waist—had the ease and freshness that distinguished the Dolce & Gabbana show a few days earlier.
The designers' pursuit of the navy-and-white motif turned as relentless as the Timbaland remix of Madonna's "4 Minutes" that played on the soundtrack. When they did change things up, it was with the too-literal nautical flag prints that introduced a splash of red. These read as much Nantucket as Nice, though the model in the navy Speedo and deep-V polo soon reminded the audience that, for all his newfound sophistication, the D&G man has no intention of joining Daddy's yacht club. If this collection wasn't as jam-packed with hits as Fall's, it still bobbed along with likeable energy from beginning to end.
by dirk standen
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