Dolce Gabbana Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana turned down the kitsch factor ten-fold with this collection, and set out to design a functional and fabulous wardrobe for the “renaissance” woman. Literally.

From the flouncy lace, which was a theme carried throughout, to the Baroque-trimmed jackets, dresses, and capes, it was an Elizabethan extravaganza. There were a few lace dresses I could see selling well, but all-in-all there was nothing new done in that category. Unlike Miuccia Prada’s iconic lace overlays from fall 2008 or even Marc Jacobs’ spring 2012 cotton candy collection for Louis Vuitton, Dolce and Gabbana played it safe and it was obvious that they were more interested in margins and turnover value than intriguing uses of lace and other sheer fabrics.

A rather large collection of 75 looks, I always find their shows to be a little overwhelming, and the large gaps between thematic shifts make connecting the dots an unnecessarily lengthy process. While most of the industry is taking its cue conceptually from minimalists, Dolce & Gabbana still find the smorgasbord approach to fashion shows to be the most effective. They could benefit from a stern editing eye so the strongest looks from the collection aren’t belabored by retail evergreens and basics.

The strength of the collection was undeniably in the graphic prints, which has been an industry-wide phenomenon for a few seasons now. New, bold, and most of all intelligently designed, the needlepoint tropical florals were definitely captivating. And the surprising appearance of cherubs was whimsical, well cut, and the perfect element of hilarity to what started as a grim and literal presentation.