MILAN, Italy — The music is always blasting at Dsquared2. Women — dolls, that's how the Caten twins call them — are invariably perched atop dangerously high heels, looking fierce and commanding. Men ooze testosterone, looking like beefcake rebels, if that blend even exists. Some things never change, but all the better for it. Dean and Dan Caten know what they like and stick to it, regardless of what's terribly au courant in the larger fashion picture.
This season, which marks the second co-ed show for the label, they added a frisson of fetish to the recipe. The leather caps, multi-buckle leather trousers and perfectos were heavily redolent of Robert Mapplethorpe in his high S&M phase, or looked like the kind of gear that Tom of Finland's ubermensch like to wear. This was fetish à la Dsquared, of course: lively and optimistic in place of sleaze.
The silk shirts and oversized jumpers — thank you, Raf Simons — added a dash of ingenuity which made for a fresh effect. The womenswear, on the other end, looked extremely sexy and frilly, in a grungy kind of way, coming across, as typical of the brand, as little more than a catchy catwalk exercise. All in all it was a good outing. Still, it lacked the touch of extremism or the healthy dose of kitsch that make the Catens lovely, and loved.