I think that Dolce & Gabbana is only superficially similar to Versace.
Well, yeah, but you make that sound like it's a bad
thing. The only way I'd ever want to be similar to Versace is superficially (and fiscally, of course). Dolce & Gabbana is likewise superficially similar to Gucci; it depends which parts of which collections we're talking about.
Â Dolce and Gabbana derive much of their inspiration from rural and poor Sicily, and these influences manifest clearly in their collections...
I think that "clarity" is limited to a handful of fashion connoisseurs. There's a whole lotta glam going on in their collections, too. No, it's not the decadent, big city opulence of Versace, but neither is anyone going to mistake a Dolce & Gabbana suit for the "poor Sicilian farmer's...best (and only) suit," either. To said poor farmer, that D&G suit looks more like Kiton than it does his own...and I daresay Dolce & Gabbana's work has more in common with Versace's than with Paone's. Anyway, my main point was that, like Versace, they're a colorful counterpoint to the drab severity of all those "serious" designers working studiously in distressed monochromes. That hardly means they represent the same aesthetic.
I don't think that either label is "witty" in the same way Moschino tries to be (I'm not a big fan).
Well, Versace isn't witty at all. Dolce & Gabbana haven't the deadpan wit of a Martin Margiela, nor are they as prat-fall jokey as Moschino, but there is a sense of humor in their oeuvre that I would think is at least as evident as their Sicilian roots. Certainly they smile more often than Tom Ford. But, y'know, if I really want chuckles, I'm gonna go with Gaultier (who also cuts better than most of these guys, even if he obscures it with frou-frou lunacy).