By- DeoVonte “Deo” Means
Considering Chicago is now the new home to one of my long time favorites, Dolce & Gabbana, I knew I would have to pay close attention to the upcoming showing of the menswear collection. And thus it was on first day of Men’s Fashion Week in Milan on June 21st that the Italian label unveiled what would be a fashion cauldron of prints and passionate reds – a melting pot as Spanish meets Sicilian. Dolce & Gabbana widely celebrated Spring/Sumer 2014/2015 menswear collection was rumored to be inspired by the Norman Kings who once conquered the south of the Italian peninsula as well as Sicily. Dolce & Gabbana looked, specifically to the 16th to early 18th Century period from 1576 to 1713 for its Spring/Summer 2015 collection.
It was during that time that Sicily ruled by the Spanish Kings saw an economic boom, and the evolution and adoption of an architectural and cultural style that would be known as Sicilian Baroque. Sicilian Baroque is recognizable not only by its typical Baroque curves and flourishes, but also by its grinning masks and putti and a particular flamboyance that has given Sicily a unique architectural identity. The designs that were showcased contained elements that brought the archives back to life, celebrating what was then the wealthy and often extravagant aristocracy that governed the lands and their favorite sport-of-the-day, Bullfighting.
The sportswear section was loud and unabashed, harking back to Corrida (Spanish for bullfighting) where the toreros, the gladiators of the Iberian peninsula, took to the stage greeted by fans and blood-red finales. Materials featured ranged from terry cloth cotton to Mikado and even double-duchess silk, a fabric that has featured prominently in the Italian label’s couture creations – the Alta Moda Collections. Passementerie with its elaborate trimmings of embroidery adorned single-breasted tailored jackets, scooped waist coats; shirts with extravagant collars, calf-length tapered trousers emphasized the silhouette of the male physique – highly appropriate for men who dare take on the persona of the modern-day matador. Prints saw the new addition of the bull motif – the symbol of Spain – as well as majolica’s often seen in the Italian house’s collections.
It would be at the hands of the Italian masters that are Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana that we are able to go back in time, and appreciate the amalgamation of the two rich Mediterranean cultures updated today for the fashion forward.