Sep 27, 2007
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Decadent aristocrats at Dolce and Gabbana

Sep 27, 2007

MILAN, Sept 27, 2007 (AFP) - Decadent 17th century French and Italian aristocrats might well have been able to pick out something to their taste from the offerings of Dolce and Gabbana in their ready-to-wear collection for next spring-summer.

Dolce & Gabbana collection spring-summer 2008
Photo : Christophe Simon/AFP

Petticoats of frothy tulle, a riot of flounces, frills and furbelows, and hand-painted fabric in rich red, violet, yellow and grass green, would not have been out of place at any European court.

But design duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are too canny and edgy to merely reproduce historical costume. They used precious brocade that looked like a wall tapestry for ultra-wide pants worn over flat shoes. The same brocade in turquoise, emerald or gold cropped up in short frocks, cinched into the waist and wrapped in sheer black gazar.

At Fendi, the tailoring was fluid, as in deeply draped cowl necklines, in pastels or a print of concentric circles like a target, stretching out to infinity from the neck or waist.

Virginal white dresses, layered, or with cut-outs to reveal diminutive shorts beneath, were brightened up with enamel belts in brilliant colours pulled tight over the hips.

For evening, black reigned supreme for luxurious gowns with spangly rhinestone straps over bare backs or long silk fringes caressing the legs.

British designer John Richmond brought his own mix of sex and rock'n'roll to his collection for next summer, with slinky evening frocks with bondage and black leather details. A skull and crossbones was wedged between the breasts of a cropped top and it was left to his audience to imagine what to put with his black lace tunic, which came only with a pair of knickers.

For cool days, Richmond went for an iconic Jackie Kennedy look, complete with sunglasses and knotted headscarf.

Canadian twins Dean and Dan Caten of DSquared as ever chose an outlandish setting for their show, this time a garage where beautiful young men preened themselves and showed off their torsos while pretending to repair a car.

Pop diva Rihanna put in a celebrity appearance in a dinky black baby doll outfit with plunging decollete.

For those who dare, their fetish swimwear for next summmer was a "trikini" - the conventional two-piece but with a glitzy band of rhinestones round the waist.

In defiant "don't mess with me" mode, models stomped down the catwalk trailing smoke from their lit cigarettes in white leather jumpsuits unzipped over the breasts or extremely short shorts.

by Katia Dolmadjian

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