Are Dolce & Gabbana the best tailors in the world of luxury fashion? At least one of their Milan rivals says so. Spelling out who here wouldn’t be wise, for them or for me, but I do have it on good authority. This collection delivered on the promise of that reputation.
“We love in some way to start from the beginning,” Stefano Gabbana said at a preview in their atelier yesterday, explaining they wanted each look to have the purity of a sketch. Flash and excess have become house codes equal to their sartorialism over the decades, but Domenico Dolce was trained as a tailor. That’s the foundation. “I’m obsessed about the cut,” he confirmed.
Kim Kardashian was in the house this afternoon. Last season Dolce and Gabbana worked with her to identify archive pieces worthy of modern tweaks. Today she was a front-row guest, but the project they started together has kept the designers’ interest. An hourglass shaped black double-wool coat bearing the label 1997-98 at the left cuff is a fine example of Dolce’s obsession; ditto a white tux with black satin revers and cummerbund, the model of which seemed specially chosen for her resemblance to the icy blonde Nadja Auermann, a favourite of the photographer Helmut Newton, who liked a woman in a strong suit as much as these guys do.
Lingerie dressing is a look that’s been embraced by a new generation of designers and their young followers, but Dolce and Gabbana were ahead of this particular curve by a good 30 years, a fact proven by the exposed corset from 1991 that they paired with a suit whose cropped jacket and cigarette pants were evocative of a matador’s outfit. There was much more of this kind of thing on the runway: lacy teddies, embroidered tulle slips, and bras with poured metal cups mixed with other corsets bearing hooks-and-eyes, lacing details, and gold whaleboning.
Where does their instinct toward classicism and the timeless come from? “This last year, when it was fashion, fashion, fashion, volume, volume, ’80s—it was exhausting,” Dolce said. “You know when you eat too much, and you need still water? We just want to work with the best quality silk, the best quality wool. No strange fabrics.” But that doesn’t mean they completely neglected the extras. One parka looked glossily gold-leafed and another was lined entirely in feathers. Anok Yai’s show-closing red crystal wiggle dress was a knockout.
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This article was first published on Vogue.com.