MILAN, ITALY [JANUARY 16, 2015] – Armani sent flowers to Dean and Dan Caten tonight. That felt right. It’s been a huge month for the twins: turning 50 on December 19; orchestrating the reunion of 150 immediate family members for Christmas in Toronto; and now a big production to celebrate 20 years of their label Dsquared². But that’s always been the story of their lives, everything getting bigger: audiences, sales, and, inevitably, the numbers of people waiting for them to fall on their faces. Which won’t happen because, as Dan said before tonight’s show, “We’re born fighters. If it’s easy, it’s not worth the fight.”
The show was, as he said, “Almost a greatest hits.” Referencing one of their more famous customers, Dean chimed in with “The Immaculate Collection.” (Identical twins have no trouble chiming in because they are tied together for life.) Malgosia Bela opened proceedings in a tiny leather jacket and dirty denims, followed by a bared male torso in a fur trapper hat and jeans slung so low they were bouncing off his hip bones. The masculine objectification was vintage Dsquared². So was what followed. “A good-looking parka and some great-looking jeans” was Dan’s definition of his label’s quintessential look, and here it was, in a huge white parka trimmed in an extravagant drift of wolf, with worn, second-skin denims in support. You could call the look “Canadianism,” because the Catens are fiercely patriotic. (Their star on Canada’s Walk of Fame—on King Street in Toronto—sits right next to Céline Dion’s.)
But the Canadiana could only carry the show for so long. It inevitably surrendered to the longueurs of the anniversary presentation: one too many plaid shirts knotted round a model’s waist, an overload of jeans. So the last looks—sharply tailored tuxes, gussied up with embroidery—arrived as a vital reminder of the other side of the Catens’ work. And the evening suits they wore when they walked out at the end were even better. They accompanied Mary J. Blige, who sang U2’s “One,” which offered itself as an appropriate anthem for the symbiotic existence of identical twins.
And the promise of the evening? “The last 20 years we built the foundation…” said Dan. “The next 20 years, we go kick some ass,” added Dean. Can’t wait.