Dolce & Gabbana today during Milan Fashion Week showed a gorgeous collection, whose theme was a tribute to mothers. Many of the garments featured red roses and phrases in Italian expressing appreciation for moms. Putting aside the amazing offerings, what popped out was that for this show some of the models carried babies or walked hand in hand with little girls.
One could argue if ever there was a runway that should include wee ones, it would be one whose tribute was mothers. Still, looking at the runway and putting aside the usual depressing lack of models of color, it’s hard not to feel bummed by the baby theme. There were the models on a very high pressure assignment doing their best to make the outfits they’re wearing look amazing aka their actual job, while also trying (and often failing) not to appear awkward or overly burdened by the task of carrying heavy and anxious babies.
If anything, it felt like an actualization of the concept of the second shift, whereby a working woman’s job is never done. She finishes her paid job and then comes home to fulfill household and/or childcare duties, in every study easily outflanking her male partner’s contributions. Except in this case, the models didn’t even get a chance not to mother while at their jobs, even on the clock they’re required to add on the role of nurturer to their duties.
As well, models festooned with babies are just another unreal visualization of a fantasy mom: young, pretty, skinny and carrying around a heavy child in full make up and heels like it’s nothing. Look around at women–including the model ones–who actually are caring for children for extended periods, they do not wear heels, even kitten ones. Not only is it tiring and painful to wear heels while carrying the extra weight of a child, dress shoes are borderline dangerous when it comes to maneuvering around after a wiggly and unpredictable baby.
Granted, no runway has ever pretended to present reality and Dolce & Gabbana essentially is built on a Sophia Lauren integrated Madonna/ho mother prototype so it’s doubtful it will ever commit an about face and show women torching their push-up bras while sashaying down the runway. But still, given the talent level, one has to believe there are slightly less worn out ideas about ways to present a modern vision of young women other than a Stepford who in the latest version not only has to do all the jobs but has to perform them all at the same time.