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D&G’s Social Network Chic

Godfrey Deeny
January 18th, 2011 @ 00:09 AM - Milan

Call it the first example of Facebook fashion, or better yet, "social network" style: the latest D&G menswear collection, unveiled Monday, Jan. 17, in Milan, was all about spinning a witty preppy tale concerning irony and ambition via some really great sporty fashion.

Brightly striped sneakers, check pants and jackets, rowing colors, Ivy League scarves and WASP-style sweaters were just some of the elements that suggested a lunch-time break on a New England college campus.

But designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana ripped up the preppy rules by amalgamating them with a whole slew of Americana images, from Mickey Mouse to Snoopy. One standout look was a pink wool felt jacket with an "Enjoy Coca Cola" sign enlarged mightily on it. It was a great image, and a sure editorial hit for the label.

“'Social Network' chic,” smiled Gabbana backstage, referring to the hit film on the birth of Facebook, as a mob of editors and buyers gathered to congratulate the duo.

Known for their finely developed sense of the latest in street style, Dolce & Gabbana understand better than anyone that in the age of the Internet, students are mixing incredibly heterogeneous combinations of images in their clothes – from cartoon to classicism in the same look. Which is why this collection seemed so prescient, and right for this fall 2011 season, either at college or in a night club. Expect their Mickey from "Fantasia" yellow puffer jacket to be a huge retail success.

Two days earlier, the duo’s signature collection, Dolce & Gabbana worked more familiar themes of battered jeans with velvet smoking jackets, though with one major change – they radically altered their whole cut.

“The key thing is we wanted to change the proportion of the suit, especially the jacket. Pants are cut with a more forgiving crotch yet still with a slim silhouette, while the jacket is far shorter, which changes the whole proportion,” a newly bearded Dolce said in a pre-show chat.

So, even if the fashion vocabulary was instantly recognizable, the collection was very new. Sure, we witnessed Prince of Wales check and hounds tooth jackets, but the new proportion was pretty startling.

In a word, they went from their youth line's eccentric melange to a new digital dandy in the signature collection.

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