What make Dolce&Gabbana so successful, iconic and admired is that their basic stylistic codes are clean, clear and easily decipherable. Over 25 years Dolce&Gabbana have been able to adopt themes, fabrics or single items of clothing and re interpret it in their own style. The suit, the body con dress, the masculine look, lace, the corset are all historical fashion tools or phenomena which today have become synonymous with the brand’s style. In doing so, Dolce&Gabbana have not only been able to exhume pivotal fashion statements, but also ensure the brand’s relevance in the past, present and future.
Throughout their collections, with varied and imaginative inspirations, one of the items which has been a welcome, inventive and iconic constant is the bodysuit. True to form, the bodysuit, in all its incarnations, from bustier, guepiere or corset, is another tool used by the brand to elevate underwear to outerwear, and in many ways its one of the symbolic items from the history of Dolce&Gabbana.
The significance of these pieces is embraced by Dolce&Gabbana themselves, and the historic bodysuits and corsets from past collections are not relegated to the archives, but celebrated in the Dolce&Gabbana boutiques. Here is a selection of the bodysuits in displayed in the Flagship store in Milan.
The bodysuit made an emergence in earlier collections, but it really came into its own in the FW91-92 season inspired by Pin Ups. The fifties curvaceous silver screen icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor inspired a collection made up of jewel encrusted body suits and mini cocktail dresses and extravagant outerwear.
The corset for Dolce&Gabbana is not only a form of outerwear as underwear, its also a recognised cultural talking point.
For example, in FW 93-94, in a collection that looked back to the 19th century, frou frou corsets, similar to those worn by can-can dancers or saloon hostesses created the perfect nineties vintage look.
The Mediterraneo collection from the following summer, SS94, also saw the corset as a protagonist. In this case it was layered over flowing, romantic dresses, inspired by a mix of Ancient Greek and Renaissance fashion- well, humanism at its best.
And then came Fellini. The world-renowned Italian director, who gave an on screen life to the Italian way of life and the Italian woman is a great source of inspiration for Dolce&Gabbana. He portrayed real women in his movies, while Dolce&Gabbana dress real women with their fashion. The FW96-97collection was about real women and it included, of course the corset.
Fellini’s movie Rome from 1972 was what gave light to the FW 97-98 collection. The relationship between sex and religion, between real and surreal, between man and woman were explored in a collection awash with skin tight habit inspired coats worn with corsets, high heels and embroidered tights.
In SS09, Dolce&Gabbana looked back at their own archives and showed a collection which was inspired by their own style.
Corset dresses, corset bras and bodysuits were of course key items in the collection.
In FW2010-2011, in a remarkably clean sartorial collection, where form and fabric took to the fore, Dolce&Gabbana of course included the variations on brassieres, bodysuits and corsets. From clean satin ones, to exceptional embroidered ones with charms, the corset was the best supporting actor in an award-winning movie about tailoring.
Styled by: Yuri Ahn
Written by: Valentina Zannoni