Dolce & Gabbana’s heavenly creatures at Milan men's fashion week

Dolce & Gabbana autumn/winter 2018/19 Credit: AFP

Despite the renegade graffiti prints, riotous catwalk shows and shirts-slashed-to-the-navel sensuality, Italian duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are inherently Good Catholic Boys. And in these dark and tumultuous times, they looked to celestial iconography in their autumn/winter 2018/19 show in Milan, which was packed with a 100 plus cast of millennials including Charlie Chaplin’s grandson Kevin.

Dolce & Gabbana autumn/winter 2018/19 Credit: Getty

“I pray every night, I always have done since I was a child”, says Stefano Gabbana. “I don’t know why we were drawn to the idea of religion, but maybe we need protection right now…”. An entirely appealing prospect as two very impulsive fingers hover over the nuclear apocalypse button. Hence a show devoted to “King’s Angels” in which Catholic motifs were woven, appliquéd, patchworked and playfully incorporated into high octane streetwear and sumptuous Italianate tailoring. 

“These are angels as you might imagine them”, said Gabbana. Gabriel gone disco you might say; cherubs were picked out in studs and embellishment that recalled the riches of the altar, came in the form of gold backpacks with arms wrapped protectively around shoulders like talismans. The high drama opulence of the basilica were incorporated into evening tuxedos with lavish gold tendrils and Byzantine hardwear; gold studding, flocking across coats and suits like that of some heavy church vestry curtain and rich papal reds.

Dolce & Gabbana autumn/winter 2018/19 Credit: Getty

Despite the subject matter, the duo - who adhere to the most stringent ideals of Italian familia - injected it with their own kind of irreverence and subversion; an emblem of the Virgin Mary surrounded by cherubs on a hoodie instead of the alter, angels rendered in rainbow bright sequins on tops or dancing across distressed denim; the imagery of the First Testament going high falutin'. 

Dolce & Gabbana autumn/winter 2018/19 Credit: Getty

Alongside these nods to the heavenly realms, the pair showcased that other institution that most Italian’s are equally devout about; tailoring. Domenico Dolce cut his sartorial teeth learning from his Sicilian tailor father, and that masculine Southern Italian silhouette has run like a thread throughout Dolce & Gabbbana’s career. Fashion’s current dalliance with soft, fluid suiting has no truck in the Dolce & Gabbana stratosphere, their man flaunts his machismo with a cut that’s strong on the shoulders, narrow on the waist and with a not inconsiderable amount of dandyish peacockery in the detail; lavish embroidery, plush quilted smoking jackets, chinoiserie, gleaming metallics and a paint-box colour palette running from saffron to magenta and every hue in between.

Dolce & Gabbana autumn/winter 2018/19 finale Credit: AFP

Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington is the face of Dolce & Gabbana’s fragrance, and this showcase prayed to the old gods and the new, the latter being the social media deities that starred in it. In these most uncertain times, Dolce & Gabbana’s joy filled, heady-as-incense cavalcade of Catholicism was a divine intervention.