Black is the new black and a hologram, being a projection of the original, can of course, also be black.
The Dolce&Gabbana Spring Summer 1999 collection was a contentious one, which ended up creating rifts in the aesthetics and taste of the two eponymous designers. Mr Dolce’s and Mr Gabbana’s difference in taste and direction was palpable, and the temporary rupture created between the two only served to strengthen their view and define a new stylistic look for Dolce&Gabbana in the coming seasons.
The hologram collection caused a schism between the designers as well as between the clients, Dolce went as far as calling it “ a disaster”! However it is from mistakes that one learns life’s most valuable lessons. As well as taking into account that too much innovation in one collection can alienate the customer, the duo also learned where to direct their innovative streak and how to make it blend in perfectly with their traditional stylistic codes and the brand’s DNA. So, where did this innovation take the brand?
The inception of the collection can be traced to the study of the body, of its movements. And in order to accentuate the body, its in the fabrics where the real innovation is most visible. The traditional silks and lace were layered with plastic to give a new movement to the fabrics and lend the body a different dimension.
The holographic element of the collection was both a look into the future and homage to the past. The materials, like PVC covered satin were very much an innovation, but the prints, especially the lobster were a clear reference to Elsa Schiaparelli, a harbinger of surrealist imagery in fashion.
The linchpin of the difference between the two designers, and their disagreements, was the corseted jumpsuit- in their own words, Dolce is the jumpsuit, while Gabbana is the cropped bolero. The former being forward looking and innovative, while the latter an incurable romantic.
The engineered PVC, as light as satin was fashioned into cargo pants, dresses and coats. Same treatment was reserved for the lace, which Mr Gabbana described as “plastic tablecloths”, which of course were revisited in the SS12 collection.
In the end, this collection raised stylistic issues which were addressed and developed successfully by the design team for the future. This collection also serves as a lesson in life, as it demonstrates the difference between the two designers and that even in the creative sphere, compromise, trust and understanding are not always second nature.
Styled by: Yuri Ahn
Written by: Valentina Zannoni