An army of adorable toreador-ettes and a massed flouncing of flamenco ruffles: You’d think that Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana had gone off to Spain for their spring collection. But not so fast! In fact, there was no need at all for them to step off Sicily, the psychic island of Dolce & Gabbana dreams, to absorb and joyfully appropriate all things richly Hispanic. As the designers pointed out in their studio, “The Spanish occupied Sicily for 300 years! There are so many shared things in our cultures—the music, the food, the decorated horsecarts!”
They might have added the Catholic religion, obviously. The silver-and-gilt Sacred Heart medals turned into rich embroidery; the devoted Mamas in black suits as if on their way to church—the designers were fully back on home ground here. It is a cheerful, celebratory zone from which they continue to release streams of extremely desirable cross-generational clothes, bags, and jewelry. “We have the mother and the daughter to think about!” said Gabbana. “They shop together now!”
Delightful, impressively made matador jackets in luscious duchesse satin or brocade, decorated with cornelli embroidery, could work for either. Daughter might fixate on the bloomer shorts, while mother might be extremely happy with a black brocade pantsuit with a heart-embroidered black velvet cummerbund. Impeccable white shirts with complex lace and pin-tucking would work for all generations—and in different contexts. As for the little flat slippers—the elongated, low block-heeled pumps studded with jewels and minute leather flowers, and the ankle booties—they are guaranteed to be top of next season’s fashion-insider trophy lists.
Linda Evangelista was in the house to peruse all this from the front row. No wonder she had a smile of recognition on her face. The black lingerie—substantial fifties cone bras and longline girdles—was a re-rendition of exactly what she and her sisterhood of supers wore on the Dolce & Gabbana runway back in the early nineties. Indeed, it was she, an Italian girl herself (via Canada), who called up Cindy, Christy, Naomi, et al. to walk for the guys for free. What’s remarkable, almost 25 years later, is to see how the designers can make it all seem so relevant—and if anything, better-made, more elaborate, and certainly far more accessible to women and girls on many continents.