The 'Ciao, Kim,' runway show featured "KIM"-adorned chokers, a T-shirt that's already on sale and a giant video of Kardashian eating pasta.
Dolce & Gabbana staged its Spring 2023 runway show at the Metropol in Milan on Saturday, for which the Italian fashion label partnered with Kim Kardashian in a presentation dubbed "Ciao, Kim." The 85-look collection melded Old Hollywood glamour with plenty of throwback '90s elements — and of course, plenty of not-so-subtle references to Kardashian herself.
The show opened with a giant screen projecting a clip of the reality star slowly eating a plate of spaghetti. Background sounds of camera clicks and screams of "We love you, Kim!" blasted over the speakers while Kris Jenner, Khloé Kardashian and North West sat front row, taking it all in.
The collection itself incorporates many of Kardashian's current aesthetic signatures, including vague references to both Madonna and Marilyn Monroe. A color(less) palette of black, white and gray seems to channel vintage films. There are decked-out suits — like a blazer dress paired with skinny pants — and fitted jackets with baggy trousers. Sheer mesh gowns are adorned with structured corseted bodices, while leopard-printed sets and billowing fur coats make for on-brand D&G drama.
There are also references to the brand's archival collections from the '90s, reimagined with a Kardashian twist. Select pieces are sewn with the years that inspired them: "1999" appears on a pair of pants and "1992" on a jewel-studded catsuit (one that Kardashian was spotted in just days before).
Accessories include itty bitty mini bags, black wraparound sunglasses, long evening gloves and "KIM" adorned chokers. Another homage to Kardashian is a white "Ciao, Kim" T-shirt that shows a still from the pasta-eating video in black and white; it's already available for purchase on Dolce & Gabbana's website for $195.
After the models made their final walkthrough, I admittedly inched closer to my computer screen, hoping to see Kardashian herself close the runway show, which she only kind of did. In a somewhat underwhelming ending, the gigantic screen parted as the star of the show emerged from the smoke, dressed in a figure-hugging, bejeweled black dress. Rather than walking the full runway, Kardashian instead gave a brief wave to the audience and was then joined by the designers for a closing bow.
Despite all of the flash and distraction of a major celebrity collaboration, it's impossible to view Dolce & Gabbana's latest collection without thinking of its problematic past. Among the many controversies with which the brand has been associated include having released a series of racially insensitive videos featuring a Chinese model attempting to eat Italian foods with chopsticks — one that nearly ended a model's career — back in 2018. It appears that the Kardashian-Jenner family has no qualms about partnering with the problematic design duo; and if the the Kardashian-Barker sponsored wedding wasn't enough indication of that fact, "Ciao, Kim" certainly is.