Newspaper article International New York Times

The Catens Celebrate 20 Years of DSquared2

Newspaper article International New York Times

The Catens Celebrate 20 Years of DSquared2

Article excerpt

An anniversary bash followed the runway show at the start of men's fashion week in Milan.

CORRECTION APPENDED

For DSquared2, the show's the thing -- that thing being an occasion to indulge in a side passion for scenography. In recent years, the brothers Caten, the Canadian-born twin designers of DSquared2, have conjured both tropical waterfalls and madhouses.

This time, the setting was the scene. For their fall men's show, uprooted from its usual date and time and plunked down on Friday night, the very start of men's fashion week in Milan, visitors arrived at the HangarBicocca, a contemporary art center some distance from the city center. They were ushered into a cavernous space dotted with enormous concrete towers: Anselm Kiefer's "Seven Heavenly Palaces," a permanent installation. The shortest is 14 meters, or 46 feet, high, and each weighs in the range of 90 tons.

"Normally we do sets and stuff," Dan Caten said backstage after the show. "These are the sets. You're in it."

The message, if you cared to read for one: DSquared2 is an institution among institutions.

But the timing was right. DSquared2 celebrates its 20th year in business in 2015, and the show was conceived as an anniversary bash. Much of Milan and at least one Paris -- Paris Hilton, who sat front row, mouthing along to "Wild Thing" on the soundtrack -- was there.

"I thought it was fantastic," Ms. Hilton said afterward. She was set to D.J. a party in Milan on Saturday but flew in early so as not to miss the show. "It was very fierce, and fun and sexy. So many hot guys!"

Longevity like theirs is cause for a celebration, as the Catens themselves appreciate, hence the raucous party that followed. "We weren't the only ones that started in 1995," Dean Caten said. "There was a lot of designers that started in 1995. We're still here."

And so, too, are some of the hits that have accompanied them along the way. The show, which included women's wear as well as men's, drew on their archives of two decades, tweaking and re- editing classics (the brothers called them "icons") in addition to the new looks. The spirit was vintage Canadian, trapper furs flying and Great White North anthems (including Bob and Doug McKenzie's "Take Off," a bit of Canadiana from the old "SCTV" show) blasting. …

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