Mood board: Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are proud Italians – their clothes have always embodied a sense of national pomp and pride. For the last couple of seasons, their menswear shows have started to the evocative, operatic tune of Cavalleria Rusticana by Italian composer Pietro Mascagni. The mood for A/W 2020 was craftsmanship in a digital age – the invite included detailed commemorative collages full of classic motifs relating to the artisan. Around the space, videos played of bakers, seamstresses, tailors, cobblers, farmers and sculptors at work. They prefaced a tactile collection.
Best in show: ‘Artistic Craftsmanship is the best defence against ugliness,’ the show notes read. ‘Fatti a mano’, ‘Craftsmanship’ and ‘artigianalità’ were writ large over three of the looks. Some of the models walked down the runway wearing workman aprons, carrying tools or wearing worn overalls. The look was cosy, cocooning and comforting. There was less baroque print and sparkle than seasons past. Standout were the hulky knits worn with cord trousers and boots. There were knitted all-in-ones, leviathan shearling coats, cargo pants and distressed sweaters. Impeccably cut suits had extra bite; shearling lapels were added to blazers that tied at the waist or longline dressing gown coats.
Scene setting: Guests were greeted by a set of artisanal tableaux vivants. Four women sat on stools knitting thick wools into cardigans and jumpers – generations of knowledge passing into the weaving. Four men stood making lasts and sculpting leather shoes surrounded by the scent of freshly shaved wood and polish. A crop of tailors worked silently in a tiny set, cutting, basting and stitching pinstripe suiting together. This was sartoria on show. Dolce & Gabanna’s A/W 2020 collection embodied an intimate attitude – it was about doing things by hand. The barber, the weaver, the bread maker, all celebrated. All paid homage.
Mood board: The late British fashion iconoclast Judy Blame nurtured a generation of artists and designers working in the late 1980s and 1990s and created much of the look now deemed to define that period. In 2005, talking to The New York Times he said of his penchant for bricolage: ‘When we haven’t got the money, we have to use our imagination. I used to go and scavenge around the River Thames. I didn’t have any fear about using something that wasn’t classic jewellery material.’ Kim Jones looked to Blame’s legacy for A/W 20. ‘This show is dedicated to the memory of Judy Blame, a close friend and pioneer in the world of fashion, whose love of couture was an inspiration to us all,’ he said. The Dior logo was pierced with a safety pin. The attitude: neo-punk-opulence. Couture remixed and remastered.
Best in show: The Dior salon posture was there in the long gloves, sleeves pushed up above the elbow. Dior’s archives exude a timeless magic that has endured and exists as a treasure trove of inspiration. Its contents are a byword for elegance. Jones pushed the archival deference in the moiré effects of silk and placement of embroidery. Arabesque motifs and paisley patterns were inspired by the clothes made by Marc Bohan for the house during his 30-year tenure. The look was extravagant and dramatic; longer shirts, giant silk rosettes. Bricolage safety pin necklaces and trimmings across the collection were in direct homage to Blame.
Finishing touches: The iconic Gazette print that Blame created for John Galliano is reissued. Throughout the collection was the original toile de jouy motif that decorated Christian Dior’s first boutique – called “colifichets” – and a new “toile de judy” designed in collaboration with the trust Judy Blame Foundation. Berets by Stephen Jones paid tribute to Parisian culture and the pioneering Buffalo movement of the 1980s – of which Blame was a pivotal figure.