Cocaine Bear. It was a 1985 incident involving a 200-pound American black bear that was found dead from an overdose in a Georgia forest, translated for the silver screen in a comedy horror that came out earlier this year, and – curiously – the inspiration for Dan and Dean Caten’s pre-fall 2024 Dsquared2 collection. Cast in a Canadian autumnal palette of vivid ambers and reds, the bear claws its way into the clothes, leaving his mark on outerwear, knits, boots, scarves, sweaters and jeans – even on the sides of long boots – with rugged claw tear prints. “Terror in the woods, Cocaine Bear on the loose!” the collection notes read. And it truly does feel like the clawed colossus had a hand in the design process.
The accompanying campaign returns to the brother’s true blue Canadian roots where cosy outerwear, lumberjack checks and tawny, lived-in corduroys soiled with rust and dirt dominate wardrobes. Denim, at times, arrives treated with smatterings of crystals and sequins, occasionally crimson to mimic the bloody gore of a bear attack.
Designed for wet weather – or, if you please, gazing out at the spectacular view Niagara Falls has to offer – a bonded yellow and tan felted wool raincoat comes to the fore of the collection. Suited for both men and women, it’s just as cool as it is functional.
Along with an offering of dresses and accessories for women, outdoorsy coats in plush faux furs and vintage-washed shearling make for perfect layering. Paired with a moodier version of the Gothic Belt Bag, you’ll be prepared for the remote darkness of the mountains at dusk. Beneath the lovely ambers, reds, rusts, smokey woodsy browns and greens that carry from garment to garment, it’s actually all quite gothic. In a nod to another horror movie character, even – Jason Voorhees we presume – “Dsquared2 See You next Friday”, is plastered across a red crew-neck jumper and red-and-black striped and tie-dye knit.
While women’s hiking boots feature a slightly higher heel than the men’s, both boast functional rubber soles, often with warm textured inners. There are also multi-strap velvet pointed ballerinas and pumps with gold interlocking D2D hardware (a definitive detail also appearing on velvet baseball caps, belts and shoulder bags throughout the collection) for women and buffed leather ankle boots with two buckles for the boys. Boots worn with off-the-shoulder tulle dresses will have the girlies hiking to the club.
This season, Dsquared2 is bringing it back to the woods.
Photography courtesy of Dsquared2.