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Sicily is proving a truly bottomless well of inspiration for Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. Today was their umpteenth collection drawing on yet another facet of Sicilian culture, in this case the island’s interaction with Greece in the ancient world. Sounds kind of academic, but it wasn’t. Dolce and Gabbana are designers, after all, not history teachers. So when they used old photographs of ruined amphitheaters as prints, they had a pleasing graphic quality. Ionic columns reproduced as heels on shoes were a flash of wit. So were the gold coins that exploded into chunky prizefighter-like corset belts, especially when those belts gripped delicate dresses petaled with Sicily’s almond blossom. That hard/soft contrast is a Dolce & Gabbana signature, the same way that a woman in a bustier and black lace slip (she’s a stock character in the designers’ repertoire, and she reappeared here) is anything but vulnerable with her go-on-I-dare-you attitude. Women like Bianca Balti and Bianca Brandolini d’Adda, in other words, who were both front-row today.

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