After 27 years of designing, Dolce&Gabbana know what is important to their image and what their clients like. There is something exceptionally unique about Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s ability to reinterpret and update their classic items, without being repetitive yet without diluting the message. The corset dress, for one, is an item which has been present form the earliest collections, and has moved forward with the brand’s development yet stayed true to its original concept.
Dolce&Gabbana’s own brand of femininity was unique from their first shows, and is now established into a modern reading of womanhood. Suits born of menswear tailoring traditions and transformed into figure hugging feminine versions, lace and transparencies as well as the corset have al contributed in creating their overtly feminine fashion. One item that was always feminine, and always in full view, unlike the corset, is the corseted dress. Body-con, with a prom skirt, transparent or even as a jumpsuit, the corset dress has characterized the Dolce&Gabbana collections and earned the maison a cult status.
From their second ever show, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana began to explore the concept of the corset as an item of clothing and in the SS89 collection, the corset graduated to full on ready to wear through the corset dress. Developed in elastic and stretch satin, this corset dress was more like a basic guepiere. To create more drama, the dress was presented with a flowing organza skirt in a mermaid shape which emerged from underneath the corset.
From the undeniable success of the first ever corset dress, the style developed throughout the collections. In SS90, the item was embellished with crystals and charms, to make it even more luxurious.
The corset dress moved with the times and altered silhouette as the fashions came and went. In the early Nineties, the corset dress developed a full tutu skirt, like a mini prom dress. From prom dress to fur dress, in FW92, the corset dress was embellished with fox fur tails as a skirt, showing that Dolce&Gabbana are not afraid to take their classic commercial ware and experiment.
In the mid Nineties, the designers went back to the original concept of the corset dress and loaded it with more bondage related imagery. The dresses were taken back to the body con silhouette, made of stretch satin or of transparent waxed organza. In FW96, the models even walked the runway brandishing whips.
Dolce&Gabbana love to experiments and one of their favourite is mix and matching. In that vein, in FW97, in a collection inspired by Fellini’s movie Notti di Calabria from 1957, and for the occasion the corset dress was realized with thick tweeds. Further on the experimentation road, in a controversial collection in 98, also referencing Fellini, Rome and the Vatican, corset dresses took on an irreverent edge, and even became coat-like garments akin to a priest’s cassock. And last, but certainly not least, in SS99, the corset dress became a corset palazzo pants jumpsuit.
The corset dress for Dolce&Gabbana represents much more than their DNA, it’s a garment that is so closely associated with their style, innovation and feminine brand, that over the years it has become a blank canvas for them to experiment with. From fringed guepieres to crocodile skin and Swarovsky crystal tiger print, the Dolce&Gabbana lovers will ever chase the latest incarnation of the corset dress and Messers Dolce and Gabbana will continue to embrace and project onto one of the garments that made them into who they are today.
Styled by: Yuri Ahn
Written by: Valentina Zannoni