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More is More, More or Less, for Dolce and Gabbana Spring 2009

Restraint has never been a strong suit of Domenico Dolce or Stefano Gabbana thus its reassuring that even as the rest of the world focuses on the downsides of bailing out America's financial industry that excess is still on the mind of these Italian eccentrics. Either that or its profoundly disappointing that the duo has found no way to rework their brand to leaner times and wary consumers.

Ballgowns at once weighed down with flowers and buoyed up by with crinolines of metal mesh are certainly not the sort of reasonable garment one expects from a ready to wear collection, least of all in a time of belt tightening. And yet there they were in all their baroque splendor. Reaching for couture in an age where the future is positively opaque dazzles and yet we wonder why? But then surely we could wonder that about the entire parade of fashion weeks we are following and will follow again in six months time. Plus ça change?

Thankfully for buyers plenty of well merchandized pieces were mixed into the heady vision of ridiculous rococo from silk pajam tops to brocade sirts (almost appropriate for the office even) and some very attractive wedges. The commercial element ever lingers. A fact that makes us heave a sigh of relief.

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