Wonderland.

DSQUARED2 MENSWEAR FALL/WINTER 2023

Unabashed flamboyance dazzles as the brand shows at Milan Men’s Fashion Week.

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The idea of seeing the world through the eyes of a youngster ostensibly denotes a kind of unfledged worldview, but for Dsquared2’s Dean and Dan Caten, the concept goes beyond innocence. For their Fall collection, the duo centred on “teenage liberty” as a theme. The way the growth process moves from being courageous and free-wheeling to slowly being able to perceive consciousness through confidence. In lesser hands, that could have meant a Western-influenced leeway for this season’s energy. It reads: fringed jackets and denim with stars on the knees mixed with crop jersey tanks printed with ‘Darlin’ and ‘Emo’, paired with heeled embroidered boots. Often the clothes spoke for themselves without major intentions of inner dialogues. In a way, more ambitious than clean-cut ensembles since it leaves no pattern to follow. Their preppy insignias—fully embroidered onto V-neck sweaters, chests of men’s outerwear and on the lapels of women’s bomber jackets—looked universally wearable; less so, widened duchesse satin parkas, lace-crafted underwear and camisoles sewn like a curtain valance.

The designers are skilled at revitalising the familiar. In a season filled with maximalism, neutral button-downs, and plays on denim, they managed to infuse their collections with enough quirk to make it feel original. There were a lot of layers to unpack within Dsquared2’s Fall offerings. First up, one could spy breezy jerseys that swerved into a seductive layer of coolness, which had details such as cropped ribbed undershirts and pants mixed into men’s wide shorts, while cropped check jackets were paired with women’s shorts. Two different moto-style leather jackets with asymmetrical shoulders were cut up and melded into a new design, worn with matching leather pants. Then came playtime: volumes got slinkier for added appeal, further packing “the geek, the jock, the goth, the emo, and the femme.”

Dsquared2’s collection shares stereotypes that get broken up and put back together again with contemporary conviction, the freedom to be who you want to be. The reason why denim, better put elaborately quilted with contrasting proportions of ultra-wide or tiny templates, and pants over chinos, outerwear with a flourish and the Dsquared2 DNA of mashups became mixed with a cowboy feel, puffers or chunky knits with lingerie lace tanks and shorts. Yum.

Because in Dsquared2’s ever-changing style category, off-beat ideas prove the most interesting. With their generous volumes and all-out eccentricity, these are clothes sure to find fans among people unafraid of a slit or cold shoulder. Tailoring likewise was also an emphasis: Denim aprons were layered atop men’s boxer shorts or women’s hot pants, while brayed denim jeans and skirts had low-slung waists. In conceptual terms, these are staples brimming likewise with sin and innocence, intentional and brisk, resulting in a by-product of youthful newness, a phenomenon that has become a standing fixture in recent seasons.

The finale, a slew of jackets, jumpers and sporty numbers with a flamboyant edge. But that’s what makes it such a success. Unabashed flamboyance, with tongue placed firmly in cheek.

Head below to see the looks for yourself, right now…

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Words
Chidozie Obasi
DSQUARED2 MENSWEAR FALL/WINTER 2023

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