It was officially flip-flop season at Dsquared2, where Dean and Dan Caten were shod in the comfy footwear backstage at their men’s show, which kicked off a sultry fashion week in Milan.
While a heatwave caused temporary blackouts across the city, the Catens delivered a colorful, cool collection that was an invitation to chill and relax.
“There’s enough bull—- in the world, enough hate. We want to be as positive as possible, chilled down and more connected,” said Dan Caten.
The designers embraced the easy-going mood by mixing references, from surfers’ laid-back attitude and style to the king of reggae, Bob Marley, whose “spirit, energy and messages” inspired the overall vibe. The singer’s face and quotes also appeared on T-shirts and accessories as part of a collaboration between the brand and the Bob Marley Foundation.
Further nods to Jamaica popped up through yellow-black-and-green striped knits among the heavily-layered looks the duo conjured. A clash of floral prints, checkered patterns, tie-dye effects, denim patchwork, nylon shorts and ‘70s flared pants dragged around the expansive runway, conveying a free-spirited attitude. Sarongs tied at the waist featured swirling designs and sun-like motifs in vibrant colors.
In the mix of layers, knitwear stood out with its oversize fit and bold patterns, as seen in distressed striped sweaters, graphic cardigans and mood-boosting crochet options with flowers. These pieces were mixed with loose tailoring featuring sloped shoulders, blazers shaped like scuba gear and fancy tuxedo jackets in white and baby blue.
To add a little rush of adrenaline, the designers debuted a tie-up with motorcycle maker Honda, yielding leather biker jackets and logo leather inserts on washed denim pants.
The Catens impressed with their inventive layering and the variety of looks it produced. “This show is about character and individuality,” said Dean Caten, explaining that looks were changed, tweaked and created around every model according to their personality.
The show was about freedom, too, which the designers defined as the ultimate luxury. And so the Catens ditched their flip-flops and ran from opposite sides of the venue to take their bow barefoot.