Kicking things off for the latest Men’s Milan Fashion Week, DSQUARED2 showcased a womenswear and menswear collection on January 12. The brand presented a show that stirred buzz on social media for its well-executed gimmick — a literal rags-to-riches transformation. 

Showcasing Duality

Well-known for its sultry, gritty and eclectic image, DSQUARED2 surprised guests with a runway set against a clean all-white background. Models then strutted down this futuristic backdrop dressed in outlandish attire. The initial looks embodied the signature DSQUARED2 spirit that audiences are familiar with. The Americana influence was notable on the denim and chaps, while the eccentric-yet-grungey undertones translated into distressed textures, fringes, and chunky accessories.

Models then walked into a machine where they changed into strikingly different outfits and walked to the end of the catwalk. After these quick transformations, models were dressed in sleek formal clothing. Denim, flannels and fur replaced sheer fabrics, sparkles and leather. 

But make no mistake, DSQUARED2 didn’t actually find Sabrina Spellman’s secret to a quick outfit change. This too-good-to-be-true changeover was a trick pulled off by a cast of identical twins. 

Looks to Note 

In the pre-transformation half of the show, models sported brash, rowdy looks that flaunted just the right amount of camp. Graphic knitwear contrasted against furry textures, jersey-inspired tops were paired with cut-out denim and denim chaps were styled with wrestling-style belts. In one of the runway’s outstanding moments, a model donned a sporty one-sleeved top paired with baggy cargos, fuzzy moon boots, and a bedazzled denim slash. Over-the-top, raunchy, and cool; the look was a melting pot of Y2K-esque aesthetics and Americana fashion.

In the après-transformation segment of the show, models embodied DSQUARED2’s more dressy side. However, the brand didn’t neglect its wild and vivacious essence. Featuring touches of leather, skin-bearing cut-outs and deep necklines, the looks were bold — to say the least. Yet, the use of accessories and the color palette allowed the ensembles to retain a sense of elegance. One of the head-turners to step out from this section was a nude cut-out dress with weave-like paneling placed to create a bandage effect. Complemented with a voluminous off-white fur coat, this look was the epitome of glamour.

Photos courtesy of DSQUARED2

Distinct Doubles

The twinception concept inspiring DSQUARED2’s runway was a nod to the brand founders themselves — identical twins Dean and Dan Caten. “People love to depict twins as identical people, but we have very different personalities. This show was an opportunity for us to show our different sides through daywear and eveningwear, presented with a twin casting,” the brothers told Hypebeast.

The Caten twins took an interest in fashion from a young age. In fact, the duo was already creating outfits for their sisters at the age of 10. After moving to New York to study fashion at Parsons The New School for Design, they ventured into the industry with a womenswear line, DEanDan. The brothers then gained experience with design stints at Versace, and Diesel before launching their own label, DSQUARED2.  

To craft the brand’s aesthetics, the Caten siblings took inspiration from the world surrounding them — from the people they met to phenomena unfolding around them. During the design process, the brothers would also keep their preferences in mind to ensure that their creations would be items they would purchase. With this philosophy, it’s only natural that the twins designed a collection inspired by themselves. 

While the show gained interest and buzz for its memorable gimmick and camp designs, it could also mark a new chapter for DSQUARED2. Right before the presentation took place, the brand posted a series of images captioned “Renew, Rebeautify, Rebuild,” hinting at a turn of a new page.

Interested in more Milan Fashion Week content? Check out the most compelling front-row appearances by APAC stars here.