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Dean and Dan Caten are as tight-knit as brothers can be. Their shared goals have led their adventures in life and in fashion from Canada to Milan, from collection to collection. Tight-knit are their Dsquared2 garments, too, figuratively stitched with a unified message of self-expression, freedom, and love. In the past, we've seen their values of self—including self-acceptance, self-confidence, and self-love—imbued with clothing and accessories. Bold shapes and silhouettes catch the eye, draping both men and women with an unapologetic unisex approach.
This energy has propelled Dsquared2's Fall/Winter 2021 co-ed collection, presented two weeks ago during Milan Fashion Week. Loose denim pants accented with paint splatters, plaid button-down shirt-jackets adorned with dangling crystals from each square, and sequinned bralettes worn over elongated blazers with satin lapels were seen. Men in tiaras wore what they wanted, how they wanted, and women in ball caps and bold accessories did the same.
Whitewall spoke with the Catens to hear how their new collection executes casual luxury, and what they think the future of unisex fashion may look like.
WHITEWALL: How does the Fall/Winter 2021 collection continue Dsquared2’s approach to fluid dressing?
DSQUARED2: The collection knows no boundaries when it comes to an open mind for expression of creativity and style.
The collection is about a triple threat combination of the Canadian outdoors, metropolitan lifestyle, and impeccable Italian tailoring that fully intertwine creating a new-age storyline. The new collection also includes a collaboration with Patrick Cox, the shoe designer behind the iconic Wannabe loafer who has been a friend of ours since we were teenagers.
WW: Do you have a favorite piece?
D2: We don’t have a particular piece in mind, we love the full collection and the attitude and message; it is about a mash up of different styles in which everyone can identify. We love the maxi puffers with inlaid plaid shirts, mini bubble skirts, the sweaters combined with paillettes skirt for the womenswear, as well as the suit embellished with crystal. Balancing luxury elements and techniques with casual elements through a meticulous attention to detail has been our main goal.
WW: How do you think unisex clothing will fit into the future of fashion?
D2: We always have felt that the menswear and womenswear’s collections could be worn by both. Fashion is very fluid and there’s always a dialogue between the two lines. This is a modern approach to show them together. Perhaps unisex clothing can be the new fashion territory while gender difference is perceived less and less.
WW: How are you doing in Milan today? What is the climate like with the ongoing pandemic and the change of pace amid Milan Fashion Week without physical shows?
D2: Attention is always very high. We would like to hit the reset button, but it’s not possible, so it is necessary to always be responsible and never reduce our sensitivity on this delicate situation. When we have the chance to have a physical fashion show again, we will be very happy, but now we can only work hard on the new collections and take our seats at a virtual fashion show. We will see how the situation continues to evolve and evaluate according to the various improvements.
WW: Last summer when we spoke with you last, you mentioned you were spending time reading and listening to your favorite artists. What are you reading now? Who are you listening to?
D2: We are listening to different music right now. It always depends a lot on the mood or how we are feeling. Lately we do not have much time for free time but sometimes in the evenings we’re able to sneak in a good movie. A film that we loved and that in a certain sense inspired our FW21 women's collection was I, Tonia.
WW: At the moment, Ceresio 7 remains closed in Milan. Do you expect it to open anytime soon?
D2: Unfortunately, we cannot have a clear vision as the situation in Milan constantly changes and we have to respect all the regulations that the government launch periodically. It is a difficult situation, and we are trying to support our workers. We look forward to re-opening and enjoying a sunset aperitif safely!
WW: What are you working on next?
D2: New projects and collection. Honestly, we never stop, and we need to stay focused more than ever on creativity, customers ,and how to be real in this sensitive time.