On their new podcast, Molto Italiano, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana give insight into the inspiration behind their iconic brand. The series is hosted by Isabella Rossellini, a film and fashion icon who shares her experiences working with the designers and narrates the history surrounding the symbols that make Dolce & Gabbana what it is today.
The Brassiere: Dolce & Gabbana
There are some iconic symbols that define Dolce & Gabbana. The first is the brassiere. In a D&G show, you’ll see the bra, often a simple black one, as a symbol of extreme femininity, of sexuality and sensuality. The brassiere is also a symbol of maternity. Both Domenico and Stefano have memories of an austere, corrective brassiere that was worn by their mothers. The brassiere in that context is made to hold and protect the breast which is not only a symbol of feminine sensuality, but also of maternal care and comfort.
The Brassiere: Opposites Attract
A brassiere is a perfect example of the pairing of opposites that is so essential to the Dolce & Gabbana style. A corrective bra can make any breast look perfect, transforming the maternal into the exotic. For example, a bra in D&G fashion is a game of opposites: an exposed, corrective brassiere beneath an open jacket or sheer blouse both preserves mystery and invites curiosity.
Domenico and Stefano’s partnership is based in the attraction of opposites. Stefano was born in Milan, a city that underwent a massive artistic and creative renaissance in the 1980s. While he loved the energy of the city, he was drawn to the calm and tradition of the South, of Sicily. Domenico, born in Sicily, couldn’t wait to escape from his conservative upbringing and raced North to Milan. When the two met, the mingling of the different elements of their homeland of Italy is what ultimately made their partnership so successful.
The Brassiere: A Symbol of Freedom
The brassier is a relatively new invention. It was first developed in the 1920s as a freeing alternative to the corset. As it developed over the course of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, the bra became a symbol of freedom and of womanhood.
Dolce & Gabbana fashion highlights the sexy attitude that you can have with the use of a bra. Author Nadia Terranova recounts her memory of receiving her very first bra and how symbolic it was of her passage from childhood to adulthood. She remembers comparing bras with her grandmother, aunts, and sisters, learning that no matter the style of clothes you were wearing, a beautiful bra underneath could make you feel confident and beautiful.
Icons like Marilyn Monroe became famous for the silhouette that was created with the help of a bra that is reinforced to help the breasts look more rounded and sexy. Sophia Loren, Madonna, and Lady Gaga each had an iconic look with some iteration of a corrector that helped to keep the back straight and enhance the breasts. The lace, satin, and silk that created the base for these looks made each woman feel luxurious and refined. Yet there was a degree of playfulness that made each style so charming.