Thursday, July 3, 2008

Dolce and Gabbana

NEW YORK, December 3, 2007 – As editors, buyers, socialites, and a movie star or two swirled about Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana's renovated Madison Avenue boutique at lunchtime on Monday, the designers took a break from all the air kisses to talk about the pre-fall collection that was displayed on mannequins throughout the new three-floor space. "It's about what people need in the moment," said Dolce. "Party dresses inspired by orchids for early summer; D&G classics with a new style and volume for our new markets, like Japan; and gray everyday clothes," for, well, everyday. Practical though all this may have been compared with their runway collections, the designers did offer a nod to Spring's extravagant paint-splattered confections: Among the line's highlights was a pair of softly gathered day dresses draped in acid-bright tulle.

MILAN, October 1, 2004 – By a poignant coincidence, the news of Richard Avedon's death reached Milan just as Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were referencing the great photographer's work for their spring collection. "Avedon for the beauty, and Penn for Africa," said Gabbana, gesturing toward a collage of seventies glamazons (Iman, Kelly LeBrock, Lauren Hutton, Rosie Vela, and Brooke Shields) torn from Vogue and pinned on the wall backstage. Their key image must surely have been that famous photo of the naked Nastassja Kinski entwined with a snake. There was scarcely a single outfit in the entire collection that didn't involve python. It began with Naomi Campbell in a reptilian corset dress, with arms and neck full of tribal-deluxe metal jewelry simultaneously signaling Africa. That idea progressed into a vast continent of python-smothered outfits, from trenchcoats to Coco-esque jackets to jeans and evening gowns, not to mention boots, bangles, and minibags that swung from every available belt loop. In their African theme, Dolce & Gabbana also struck on the current Milanese taste for raffia fringe and feathers (quail fluff on a blouson, exotic green plumes as a skirt, quills to create a hip-slung mini.) Along the way, they managed to work in their personal penchant for lingerie, inserting lace into denim and splicing it into the kick-pleats of a python skirt. There was the occasional signature pantsuit (now with a puff-sleeved jacket) and, of course, the usual tableau of major evening gowns for a grand finale.

MILAN, March 3, 2001 – A moss-covered stone water fountain, flowery arches and floors strewn with autumn leaves left no doubt: Romance was in the air at Dolce & Gabbana. But needless to say, the Italian duo's idea of gracious country life is far from sedate. From a wooden farmhouse emerged glamorous desert bohemians clad in extra-long hip-hugging, double-belted distressed leather pants, billowy striped tops and dangling fox tails. The vintage feeling continued with fitted corduroy trousers and oversize blazers, flea-market suede and fur jackets, and tattered blue jeans. Dolce and Gabbana clearly had a blast mixing the old and the new; slouchy pants and oversize hobo sweaters and scarves alternated with sheer floral camisoles, sharp military coats with multiple diamanté buckles, Wild West fringed bags and tall prairie boots. In a nutshell: anything and everything a sensible girl could possibly need.