On the last day of Milan Fashion Week, Dsquared2 took over an industrial space to digitally unveil its Spring 2022 womenswear and menswear collection. While many other designers took the opportunity to return to live shows, this season Dsquared2 skipped the spring catwalks in favour of a video presentation. It was staged and filmed as a runway show with a graffitied warehouse and its overgrown exterior serving as the backdrop.
Titled Fairytale Grunge, the collection stemmed from the idea of hanging out again. Dean and Dan Caten, the duo behind the Italian label, described it as “luxe grunge” and used the words “slouchy, grungy, chilly, frivolous, free” which sum up the presentation perfectly.
Threaded throughout there were playful contrasts between tough and soft, delicate and strong. The grungy fairytale came to life through a combination of rock and punk influences paired with more elegant and ethereal elements. Everything was layered heavily creating collisions and clashes of unapologetic style.
The silhouettes and materials were extensively eclectic. Vinyl biker jackets were layered over sheer minidresses, leather trousers were worn with feminine blouses, and vinyl pants were matched with romantic floral patterns and lace. The clothes were designed with soul—with a past, future, and a presence—flowery prints on gauzy fabrics, destroyed knitwear, patchwork denim and glittery tattered strands. Military-inspired, contemporary combat pants were carefully crafted from paperweight cotton and worn as trousers and shorts by both men and women. Tailored jackets featured a laser-cut tonal camouflage and were paired with t-shirts which looked vintage and overworn. Denim featured heavily throughout the collection in the brand’s jeans, skirts and jackets. Pieces were constructed by upcycling vintage Dsquared2 denim pieces; cutting them up and putting them back together in a bold assemblage of washes and textures.
The narrative of fantasy also extended to the accessories and styling. Sparkling fruit pendants, hearts and butterflies were depicted in the collection’s jewellery. The heavy boots of the menswear looks were softened by literal butterfly wings extending from the back of their pretty shirts. Whimsical and dainty, handmade crowns adorned the heads of models, adding a delicate touch to some of the collection’s more rugged looks.
The Caten’s described the collection as being about “cool girls and guys getting together and just having fun” and this casual attitude comes through in the effortless combinations of luxury garments. The delicate is meshed with the tough in textured layers and glimmering detail, embodying Dsquared2’s design language of combining dichotomy.