D&G un­veil Ital­ian oomph at Mi­lan after China fi­asco; Ver­sace of­fers dar­ing mas­culin­ity

Kuwait Times - - Lifestyle | Fashion -

Dolce and Gab­bana mixed checks, furry gloves and shim­mer­ing dress­ing gown-style coats on Satur­day at Mi­lan Fash­ion Week, brand­ing it Ital­ian oomph. The Si­cil­ian duo were mak­ing their first pre­sen­ta­tion after the fash­ion house was forced to apol­o­gize to Chi­nese cus­tomers in Novem­ber 2018 for post­ing short clips on In­sta­gram show­ing a Chi­nese woman eat­ing pizza, spaghetti and a can­noli with chop­sticks.

The up­roar es­ca­lated when Ste­fano Gab­bana al­legedly used poop emo­jis to de­scribe China and hurled in­sults at the coun­try and its peo­ple. But the pair steered clear of con­tro­versy at their Au­tumn-Win­ter 2019-2020 col­lec­tion named El­e­ganza, or El­e­gance in Ital­ian. The back­drop oozed 1930s Ber­lin deca­dence with gi­ant red cur­tains, jazz and a master of cer­e­monies (shades of Joel Grey!) recre­at­ing a Cabaret am­bi­ence. But to high­light Italy’s mas­tery of cloth, an ate­lier was also recre­ated with tai­lors and fit­ters tak­ing mea­sure­ments and cut­ting and stitch­ing as the models walked up and down the ramp.

Models show­cased quirky styles, team­ing tail­coats with plaid trousers, mata­dor suits with sparkling bow ties and a gin­ger vel­vet suit with black lapels. D&G did not skimp on the lame Hol­ly­wood-level glam­our in­cor­po­rat­ing col­ors

such as mid­night blue, bur­gundy and deep pur­ple.

‘We made mis­takes’

Al­though there were some Chi­nese peo­ple at the show, Chi­nese on­line re­tail­ers are boy­cotting D&G de­spite a pub­lic apol­ogy in which Domenico Dolce and Ste­fano Gab­bana capped a 1 minute 30-sec­ond mea culpa by say­ing “sorry” in Man­darin in an at­tempt to sal­vage their rep­u­ta­tion in the world’s most im­por­tant lux­ury mar­ket. “Our fam­i­lies al­ways taught us to re­spect dif­fer­ent cul­tures across the world and be­cause of this we want to ask for your for­give­ness if we have made mis­takes in in­ter­pret­ing yours,” Dolce said in Ital­ian. “We want to say sorry to all Chi­nese peo­ple across the world, of which there are many, and we are tak­ing this apol­ogy and mes­sage very se­ri­ously,” Gab­bana added.

The Chi­nese-subti­tled video was posted on Weibo, the pop­u­lar Chi­nese Twit­ter-like so­cial me­dia plat­form where they have close to one mil­lion fol­low­ers. The con­tro­versy marked the lat­est backpedalling by a for­eign com­pany for of­fend­ing Chi­nese con­sumers or au­thor­i­ties. Ear­lier in 2018, Ger­man au­tomaker Mercedes-Benz apol­o­gised for “hurt­ing the feel­ings” of peo­ple in China after its In­sta­gram ac­count quoted Ti­betan spir­i­tual leader the Dalai Lama, seen as a sep­a­ratist by Bei­jing.

And un­der pres­sure from Bei­jing, a grow­ing num­ber of in­ter­na­tional air­lines and com­pa­nies have edited their web­sites to re­fer to the self-rul­ing demo­cratic is­land of Tai­wan as “Tai­wan, China” or “Chi­nese Taipei”. Ho­tel chain Mar­riott’s web­site in China was also shut down by the au­thor­i­ties for a week in 2018 after a cus­tomer ques­tion­naire listed Tai­wan, Ti­bet and Hong Kong as sep­a­rate coun­tries, prompt­ing the ho­tel chain to apol­o­gize and change the word­ing. By now, the two Mi­lan Fash­ion Weeks ded­i­cated to menswear have trans­formed them­selves into plat­forms for co-ed shows and up-and-com­ing brands be­yond the menswear stal­warts.

The lit­tle more than three days of pre­views for next fall and win­ter that launched Fri­day evening in­clude 52 col­lec­tions in 27 run­way shows and 25 pre­sen­ta­tions. Eleven brands are show­ing mixed men’s and women’s col­lec­tions dur­ing the less hec­tic week ded­i­cated to male ap­parel. While menswear tends to cre­ate less of a spec­ta­cle than the wom­enswear shows, the lines still carry bot­tom-line weight. Ital­ian menswear reg­is­tered a turnover of 9.5 bil­lion eu­ros last year, a 1.5 per­cent in­crease over 2017.

Models present cre­ations for fash­ion house Ver­sace dur­ing the Men’s Fall/Win­ter 2019/20 fash­ion shows in Mi­lan.

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