Dolce and Gabbana Fall/Winter 2008: Trend Barometer

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While some fashion shows are often more a display of pure fantasy and artistic creativity than realistic wear, Dolce and Gabbana’s collections are often as much an indicator of current fashion trends as they are an influence on future ones.

This collection displayed a marked departure from last year’s, where the emphasis was on slim fitting, structured pieces set in futuristic metallics that created a polished, avant-garde look. If Fall 2007 was about an urban cosmonaut, then 2008 seemed almost otherworldly with the strangest pairings of hugely oversized sweaters and baggy sweat pants, punctuated by some imposing shearling pieces that looked like they were stolen from Daniel Boone’s log cabin.

Though there seemed to be in total less realistically marketable pieces than past shows, it is still possible to distill the wearable elements that will likely be present both in runway knock-off retailers and on the street.

Gucci introduced bulky, over-sized sweaters this season but the trend has seemingly pervaded many designers’ collections and the swinging pendulum of fashion has decided that what was once simply sloppy is now a fashion statement. The way to make an over-sized sweater work without looking like a homeless person is to wear it as part of a layered outfit. Wearing a cropped jacket will provide needed structure over top of a longer sweater and can create a high fashion look.

In keeping with the super-sizing trend, trousers also have moved away from slim fitting to a looser, more classic cut. Also back on the rise are single pleated pants after a long dominance of flat front pants. Dolce and Gabbana does an interesting job with this look by contrasting a fitted suit jacket over the relaxed-fit pants. This may be a style to emulate come next fall, as it offers a good halfway point between the two ends of the spectrum.

Toward the end of the show, Dolce and Gabbana showed their more ‘bread and butter’ designs: high design, modern suits that reflected the currents trends in fashion. Peak lapels, besides being highly lauded by men’s fashion gurus, have been an increasingly present feature on European suits. Shawl collars as have recently become stylish once again on tuxedos and are now slowly become a fashionable option for suits. The double-breasted suit seemed to have enjoyed a ‘come-back,’ only to be quickly forgotten after the popularity of the three-piece suit. Whereas the problem with double-breasted suits is that they can sometimes appear stodgy, the high-sheen fabric used here gives it an interesting update.


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