Duality Redefined: Dsquared2’s Transformative Elegance

Fall 2024 Unveils a Bold Duality in Style, Merging Daytime Casual with Nocturnal Chic in Dsquared2’s Latest Fashion Narrative

By Mark Wittmer

Duality is at the heart of Dsquared2. Not only is it right there in the brand’s name, but twin founders and creative directors Dean and Dan Caten have always positioned their story of brotherhood and double identity at the heart of their creative practice. This idea of twoness is also inextricably woven into the Catens’ design DNA, creatively expressing multifaceted individuality through a dramatic clash – or synthesis – of opposites: self and other, inner and outer, low and high, day and night.

For their Fall 2024 collection and its brilliant runway presentation, Dean and Dan are setting out to explore this concept of duality at the molecular level, undertaking like mad fashion scientists an experiment of transformative power. The Impression’s Mark Wittmer caught up with the creative directors amid their hectic pre-show schedule in Milan for an exclusive first look at the collection and its high-concept runway show.

In conceiving the collection, the twins found themselves drawn to eveningwear – a category to which they bring the same material experimentation, bold expressiveness, and lux layering as their more casual day-ready offerings, but which may not have enjoyed as much of the recent runway spotlight.

Design-wise we knew we wanted these gorgeous, polished evening looks,” reflected Dan. “Then we kind of asked ourselves what we are great at and what we have been doing recently that we can push in this kind of new, nocturnal chic direction – things like tailoring, bold outerwear, unexpected uses of things like faux fur and other interesting material moments.”

This thought experiment developed into a runway concept that puts a literal, larger-than-life spin on the idea of the fashion experiment. The collection is divided into pairs of complementary looks: a daytime look that taps into the brand’s penchant for distressed, lived-in layering, and a nighttime look that maintains the core design motifs and silhouette while transforming them into a chic, polished, and elegant incarnation. This transformation is brilliantly built into the runway, a high-gloss, starkly scientific set with an experimental chamber where the first model will disappear, then instantly reemerge as a renewed and rebeautified version of themselves.

The secret to the transformation? A smart spin on the casting trend of using identical twins. The daytime twin disappears; their nighttime doppelgänger appears like an elegant distillation of the same individual. “It’s a great way to show day looks and night looks together,” says Dean, “rather than a normal show that opens with the day looks and kind of blends into night by the end of it.” It’s also an excellent way to emphasize the designers’ understanding of style and silhouette while showing a broad range of product. While the daytime looks gravitate toward the relaxed looseness of streetwear and the night looks have a more elegantly rakish close-to-the-body sensibility, the silhouettes and design details still cohesively echo one another across the two looks.

But perhaps most impactful is the personal narrative and celebration of the multiplicity of identity at the heart of the collection.

“You see the exact same person in two different ways. Dean and I are twins, we understand how it is to be twins, and we are different personas with different looks. We love to be evening and we love to be day. Everybody has their options, and we want to celebrate all the sides of each person.”

Tune into The Impression’s livestream of the Dsquared2 Fall 2024 show in Milan to witness Dean and Dan Caten’s fashion alchemy unfold in real time. We’re looking forward to the show.