The first impulse on viewing the DSquared show on Sunday may have been to yell “yee-haw”, but the obvious Western references weren’t the be all and end all of the label’s new full co-ed collection.
Rather it was the icing on the cake of a collection that mixed true casualwear and ultra-luxe casualwear items, each one a powerful standalone piece.
The Caten twins offered up a series of jackets, pants, shirts, knits, boots, dresses and coats that came with a cowboy (and cowgirl) edge but that was only skin deep. After all, if you took them at their word as seen on the runway, you’d be straying way too far into costume party territory.
It’s unlikely that they really expect anyone to wear the Doc Holliday ties with a lumberjack/cowboy shirt complete with studded country star yoke and an embossed buckle belt.
The show was opened by Bella Hadid in her usual deadpan style (you’d think with a face and bank balance like hers she’d have a lot more to smile about). She was followed immediately after by a male model in (almost) the same look which showed just how to do a co-ed collection, something Prada also did to good effect on the same day in Milan.
Even the embellishment, in the form of grommets, studs, and encrusted beads, like almost everything else in the collection, working for both genders.
Not that it was all about gender-neutral styling. The womenswear came with all the DSquared details and items we’ve come to expect. There were jackets and blouses with exaggerated leg of mutton sleeves, cropped distressed jeans or cropped and laced jodhpurs that put the focus on the ankle as an erogenous zone, spindly sandals with deep tooled and studded leather or pony skin ankle straps that take the ankle obsession further, oodles of fringe trims and plenty more.
A series of fluid boho prairie dresses was worn over sequinned leggings and standalone sequinned sleeves. Those dresses came in fine white cottons, sheer black silks or as colourful layers of handkerchief point silks, printed and embellished, and offering up the perfect solution for younger customers seeking eveningwear solutions without the formality of many grander gala gowns.
Also strong were the quirky, roomy knits, one with a cartoon-look cowboy motif, another with the brand’s signature appliqué, as well as the shearling coats and jackets gave us plenty of cold weather options.
As at fellow North American label Coach, the outerwear is always a DSquared highlight, although Coach’s offer is much more affordable. The level of detail probably justifies the stratospheric price tags of DSquared’s highest-end pieces, as does the heavy use of fur, although it’s a shame that the brand is still one label that still hasn’t embrace the fur-free trend.