Dolce&Gabbana have taken traditions, and made them their own. Over their 27-year history, many original Dolce&Gabbana items have become part of our imagination of Italian fashion and vice versa, the designers have taken classic Italian fashion and transformed it into Dolce&Gabbana classics. This instalment looks at the blouse, by no means an invention of Messers Domenico and Stefano, it has become a classic of their style and an instantly recognizable one.
Dolce&Gabbana have made their name though sexy feminine dresses and sexy masculine tailoring. For the latter, the blouse or shirt is a must. Dolce&Gabbana have partially helped to bring the suit, especially the trouser suit to the fore of sexy womenswear though the removal of the shirt from underneath- a fitted double-breasted blazer worn over just your skin.
Nevertheless, the classic, classy and versatile shirt has sparked the designers’ curiosity and creativity over the seasons.
Dolce&Gabbana’s first statement shirts appeared in the FW1989 collection. Maxi puff sleeve shirts with bows on the collar acted as 18th century shirts. The shawl blouse, edged in lace, which showed off the shoulders like the grand ball gowns from the early 18th century made real statements on the Eighties runways. Later, in the following collection, typical men’s Edwardian shirts with ruffles, taken from formal wear or military uniforms were deconstructed and paired with masculine trousers by the design duo.
In the Amore collection of SS1991, flowing voluminous organza blouses flowed almost in stark contrast the rigorous lines of the perfect figure shaping corsets. Throughout the 1990s blouses turned into more masculine shirts, boasting starched pointed collars, pleated bibs and cuff linked maxi cuffs.
In the late Nineties, Dolce&Gabbana became seduced by the versatility of the blouse and experimented with textures, colours and embellishments. In the Kitsch collection form Summer 1999 shirts were made of fluo PVC, while the following summer the team created zip up shirts in elaborate damasks and embroidery.
Later the shirts continued their metamorphosis from rigorous and masculine to billowing chiffon clouds like in the 2002 Vintage Sex and Love collection.
Dolce&Gabbana’s DNA is partially built on the tuxedo for women: rigorously tailored, masculine in form but feminine in content. Heavy fabrics and razor sharp constructions skim and emphasize the female form, and the intricate, embroidered, chiffon, organza or lace ruffled shirts worn underneath the blazers distil the essence of the style: the play between the masculine and feminine.
Its symptomatic of a great designer, a great mind and a great instinct to study, interpret and revolutionize the classics, whether furniture, literature of fashion. Dolce&Gabbana took the humble blouse, imbued it with their stylistic codes, imagination and irreverent edge, and transformed the blouse into part of their DNA.
Styled by: Yuri Ahn
Written by: Valentina Zannoni