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After meeting at the studio of Giorgio Corregiari in the early 80s, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana established a consulting studio in 1982, before launching their first women’s collection as Dolce and Gabbana in 1985. What began then as a two-man start up run from a tiny studio has become a multi-billion dollar international fashion superbrand. In everything fashion’s most successful design partnership has built over the last 36 years, the DNA of Dolce & Gabbana is clearly visible.
So what is D&G DNA? From the composite of its name through to its constant balancing of tradition and innovation, the Milan-based luxury house is the union of many elements and the combination of contrasts and opposites. The starting point has always been their shared love for fashion and the desire to tell beautiful stories through it. Ultimately, each collection is a chapter in their never-ending love story for Italy, for Sicily, and for the infinite beauty of their world. As their autumn/winter 21 collection, aptly entitled Next Chapter, launches at LN-CC, we invited another one of fashion's most dynamic duos and frequent collaborators, Carly Scott and Lola Chatterton, to shoot the back to the future designs.
The Next Chapter collection, much like the autumn/winter 21 menswear collection DG Together, is driven by the desire to reimagine 90s Dolce & Gabbana and the continual search for a new aesthetic language. Signature shapes and iconic prints are reinterpreted with a contemporary twist, with a focus on the search for new materials, technical experimentation and lines inspired by the world of robotics. For the show itself, Dolce & Gabbana and the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) came together to celebrate the excellence of Italian research in the technological field and its infinite applications. Alongside the 140-strong looks, multifunctional humanoid robots iCub and R1 were involved in the event, thanks to IIT’s highly specialised research activity in the field of service robotics and Artificial Intelligence. “The most important thing about technology is humans, humans make technology, it’s handmade,” the designers explained back in March, While uniting different handmade disciplines, the catwalk collaboration encapsulated the shared challenge of looking to the future with curiosity and a desire to experiment.
Some of the more ingenious results of Dolce and Gabbana’s research were their technological—or perhaps futuristic—adaptations of the heritage icons of fashion. One bouclé jacket had been digitised through glistening patchwork that looked like pixels, while another was wrapped in ladylike necklaces like they were cords. Expressed in bionic shapes, silhouettes evoked the armored bustiers of the spring 2007 collection, itself a superhuman take on the designers’ corseted, black boudoir wardrobe of the 90s. As archival memories echo in tomorrow’s world, the show was dedicated to today’s e-kids’ nostalgia for a fashion moment they didn’t experience firsthand. For years, young people have asked the designers to revisit their signature 90s sexiness. But as the world has changed, the designs had to be updated. As this is sexiness to be showcased through screens, we’re treated to digitally enhanced features, exaggerated silhouettes, and a kaleidoscope of hi-tech textiles. Wear your ‘90s Supermodel’ T-shirt with pride.
Throughout both Next Chapter and DG Together, garments, accessories and embellishments have been supersized for a digital mentality in which everything has to jump through the screen. Whether you turn the page or scroll on, Dolce & Gabbana will help you make it pop as you travel back to the future. Get dressed, tomorrow’s world is here.
Photography Carly Scott,@carlysscott
Styling Lola Chatterton, @lola_chatterton
Photography Assistant Will Corry, @willcorry
Hair and make-up Zana Moses @zxana_moses
Models Maggie O, @margadddddddddd
Luke Chandler, @lukechandler_