If there is one fashion name that has never been afraid to add a splash of culture to their line of clothing, it is definitely Dolce & Gabbana. They have already made quite the impression during this Spring’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, which began on February 6 and is currently going on until tomorrow. During this particular fashion week, D&G made the decision to advertise the entirety of their displayed clothing line as an Italian tourist department. Their goal is to gear their clothing to those who want a taste of the true Italian culture, while serving as an overall advertisement of the country of Italy itself.
The decision to dedicate their Spring line to the Italian culture came from co-founder, Domenico Dolce’s wishes to include a taste of his hometown of Sicily, Italy. The team of designers wanted to bring archaeology of the Italian island to life, with its many layers of history, drama and religion. The other part of the collection represents the Greek ruins of Sicily, in all of its springtime beauty. Stefano Gabbana refers to this part of the collection as “a dream of Sicily.” The goal was to represent these different angles, and to invite people around the world to purchase a glimpse into this Sicilian lifestyle.
The Italian theme of Dolce & Gabbana’s recent campaign is clearly depicted in their print advertisements. Each picture plays on stereotypes by humorously portraying the typical Italian culture (all in high fashion clothes, of course). Featured on-location in Italy, the photo-shoot captures the essence of a traditional Italian family, complete with the loud, boisterous women as the life of the party and their large families in tow.
Each advertisement exudes liveliness as models forgo their typical high fashion poses, and instead pour energy and Italian charisma into each shot. In the foreground, models can be seen wearing D&G’s new Spring collection, with fabrics and patterns that embody and were inspired by the Mediterranean’s local colors and Greco-Roman temples. The models also engage in stereotypical Italian activities, such as dancing, scorning their children, and buying goods such as fish and bread. Viewers are transported through the lens, across the world to experience traditional Italian culture in Dolce & Gabbana’s new campaign.
There is no doubting that Dolce & Gabbana have, in all their departments, uniquely used their cultural approaches to differentiate themselves in the high fashion world. The embedded concepts of history and culture will attract a vast variety of publics. Through their advertisements and on the runway, D&G have raised the high fashion bar, especially with competing Italian designers (Prada, Gucci, and Georgio Armani). Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2014 collection can accommodate any rendezvous a conservative woman may attend. They have taken a sort of “back road” approach which more than likely sells than other high fashion brands. They went for more doable than the over-the-top, un-wearable line that the average woman could not wear to any event.
Gabbana described the collection as “an unconscious dream,” in the sense that the clothes exemplified the blend of the real and the irrational that can only be found in dreams. The line is truly a dream and captivating at that. The Sicilian lifestyle has been opened for all to discover and enjoy through the D&G Spring 2014 line. The genius use of the culture of Sicily has provided limitless ideas of inspiration for Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, setting themselves apart from the rest of the high fashion domain. For the finale, the gilded army of women that strutted the catwalk offered another vision of female empowerment that has stirred conversations between other designers all week. Dolce and Gabbana have given the fashion world romantic maximalism at its best. The design duo’s cultural orientation without being too common or over the top. Innovative, not so much, but wearable, indeed!
D&G have definitely grabbed our attention with their new look. Does adding a splash of culture make their line more desirable? Or do you think the typical “high fashion” is more successful on the runway?
-Briana McWhirter, Emily Foulke, Hannah Turner