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Dolce and Gabbana's Male Menopause

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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DULCE AND GABBANA Sweet side

Like their longtime muse Madonna, who they famously clad in that missile-shaped corset, design duo Dolce and Gabbana are now crying "reinvention." Today's WWD insert, a round-up of the Spring collections, reports that the provocative pair are now preaching a pretty, fangless, and buttoned-up approach to dressing that's a far cry from their usual Sicilian streetwalker thing. Which begs the question: Is the world ready for a Dolce and Gabbana your grandma might wear?

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The troops at Cond&eacute Nast say yes, and were psyched about the designers' new look, foaming at the pen over the "layered organzas, hand-painted tulle, crimson brocades, and feminine silhouettes," on which the duo are now staking the villa in Positano. After all, their last collection, which would have been best suited to a blow-up doll, didn't go over so well, with acid-tongued critic Suzy Menkes yawning: "Isn't it time Dolce & Gabbana came up for some fresh air?" So the "rebirth" as the pair describe it, may have been motivated by commerce as well as by art.

The resulting collection of fluffy, painted dresses for middle-aged ballerinas may win them applause from the folks at 4 Times Square, but you gotta wonder who will step up and start designing clothes fit for trannies again. Now that Tom Ford has turned his oily attentions to menswear, and D&G are designing for Darien garden parties, there is a vacuum waiting to be filled.

Could Posh be up to the pleather challenge? Also, does this mean no more rape ads?

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