La Dolce Vita

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(Spring/Summer 2015, Runway Show)

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(Fall/Winter 2014, Runway Show)

Founded in 1985 by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, the brand Dolce and Gabanna puts sex into Sicily. They swept away the preconceived ideas of widows and vendettas and reinvented it with seduction and shades of Sophia Loren. Dolce and Gabbana are experts in mixed metaphors of flyaway beading, corsetry and cleavage, often accessorized by curled locks and a sweep of 1950’s style eyeliner.

Launched in 1985, their early collections concentrated on corsetry, the promotion of cotton/Lycra underwear as outerwear. In 1993 the duo designed costumes for Madonna’s Girly Show. By 1997 they were Hollywood hotshots, dressing the stars for a variety of awards. “The show is only the fantasy”, said Stefano, underplaying their reputation in 1997. “It’s not even that representative of what we do. People think Dolce: glamour, curves, sexy. But, we also do suits, cardigans, skirts- clothes women can wear to work.”

(a promotional film featuring stunning Sophia Loren)

Dolce and Gabbana are widely considered as the inventors of a Mediterranean style that constantly seeks inspiration in women of Italian realism. At the beginning, they opted for women such as Anna Magnani, Claudia Cardinale or Stefania Sandrelli, but we also vividly remember stunning Monica Bellucci, don’t we? In the 1990’s era when women were stuck with padded shoulder suits, they offered an alternative in tulle and angora, lace, wool and silk. Their publicity campaigns were always bursting with Italian culture, with a modern twist. Focusing on their image, campaigns have always been handled by the world’s finest photographers, such as the Sicilian photographer Ferdinando Scianna, Fabrizio Ferri, and Steven Meisel.

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(Fall/Winter 2013 campaign, featuring Monica Bellucci)

Dolce & Gabbana is one of the best examples of the explosion in Italian ready-to-wear that occurred during the mid-1980s. Creativity and versatility, the union of the press and the star system, a range of products and clothing lines, and careful attention to distribution are all elements that contribute to the realization of an integrated system of communication. And it is the creativity and the adorable “al fresco” Italian charm that keeps them the most dolce brand of the industry.