Menswear Fall 12/13

6 Mar

★ Dolce & Gabbana ★

Dolce and Gabbana are arguably the most powerful and influential designers of our time. Their clients include some of the best dressed people in the world, such as the Beckhams, Madonna and Sophia Loren.

Stefano Gabbana was born on 14 November 1962, in Venice, Italy. Domencio Dolce was born on 13 September 1958, in a small village in Sicily. Dolce studied fashion design in Sicily and gained experience in his parents businesses. Gabbana, however, studied graphic design and gained some work experience in fashion, as an assistant in an atelier in Milan, where the pair first met in 1980.

By 1982, they had started their first fashion consulting studio and, in 1985, they showed their first women’s collection in Milan, winning national acclaim.

The collection was mainly homemade, and consisted of instructed designs and complicated systems of fastenings. Inspirational figures for the collection included Italian actresses Sophia Loren and Anna Magnani.

Later signature designs would include corset dresses, gangster pinstripes and sexy black suits. However, it was a visit to Sicily at the end of the 1980s which was instrumental in emphasising their celebration of the curvaceous female form.

The designing duo next tried their luck in Japan and signed an agreement with the Kashiyama group. In 1989, they opened their first boutique in Japan, and two years later they were presenting their first men’s collection.

Dolce and Gabbana are now fundamentally known for wanting to make women look “fantastically sexy”. Many of their designs are adapted from the feminist-era, before being glamorised and modernised.

They describe their style as “sweet and sharp” and “New Millennium cool”. They were once quoted as saying they are mostly concerned with creating the best, most flattering clothes and sparkling trends.

D&G began achieving long awaited awards in the 1990s and, in 1991, they were awarded the ‘Wollmark Award’ and ‘Best Fragrance of the Year’ in 1993. By the end of the 1990s, it was reported that their sales were around $500 million per year. They have now become one of the world’s most successful ready-to-wear companies and are considered Hollywood’s number one choice of designer.

The couple currently reside in a 19th Century mini-villa in Milan, with an apartment next door. They have also recently renovated one of their properties on the French Riviera.

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★ Menswear Fall 13 ★

This season its all about the coat. Classic, exquisitely embroidered or in the form of a cape- the coat is the item around which the Dolce&Gabbana FW13 world goes round.

The baroque inspired collection was a real coupe de theatre. The setting was reminiscent of the grand ballrooms of the past, and the models looked like princes in this setting. The mood was vintage, but the craftsmanship was bang up to date.

Jackets are where tailoring truly comes to life. For FW13, Dolce&Gabbana have stripped the jacket and reconstructed it in its original, yet contemporary form. Details like piping and the fabrics are firmly set in the traditional, yet the outer form is very contemporary. The new seam at the waist serves to emphasize the svelte silhouette of the wearer, while the unlined interior gives movement to the fabric. The jacket is no longer an armour, it’s a sensual piece of clothing. The sensuality of the jacket is also expressed in the materials, brocades, chiffon and lace. The surprise for FW13 is the neck, it’s a masterful mix of Nehru neckline with traditional lapels.

The coat is the linchpin of the FW13 Dolce&Gabbana menswear collection. It is interpreted as a cape- think Victorian outerwear, or as a traditional double-breasted tailored masterpiece.  Designed in a wide variety of lengths, the coat is a real protagonist. Lined in fur or with contrasting lapels, the coat maintains its classic silhouette with modern twists in the details.

The coat was treated like a real star in this collection. Clad in gold, it took centre stage. Hand embroidered baroque designs graced this linchpin of men’s sartorial tradition. To give the gold a more antiquated look, the embroidery was washed and treated for a vintage feel. The coat is also emblematic of the brand’s love for mix and matching.

The smoking jacket is decadent and aristocratic. The idea of a man relaxing in the most sumptuous of fabrics is a true statement of nobility. Here, velvets, lace and silk twill are all used at their best. In particular, there are a few rigorously tailored jackets made of satin, with lace overlay and finally embroidered. A true luxury for an evening in. That, is the Dolce&Gabbana man.

In a fall winter collection knitwear cannot go a amiss. A few choice pieces, in the darkest anthracite grey give the collection a softer texture. A top to bottom cable knit “suit” softens the rigorouls lines of the collection. While for a true contrast, the jumpers are also embroidered with handcrafted baroque shapes in gold thread.

Gold thread was used aplenty in the FW13 collection. Metres of this uber precious material where hand sown on blazers, coats, hats, and even socks. The baroque designs, worthy of hand crafted Venetian mirrors are a truly mouth-watering. For a more dandy inspired look, these embroideries are on velvet. The rounded hem and traditional Austrian knots and cuff braids to hone in on the military references. A collection worthy of the emperor Napoleon himself.

The finale reiterates the most important item in the collection: the coat. Designed in a way that is both rigorously sartorial and bang up to date, the coat is the key item of FW13. A less rigorous and traditionally irreverent addition to the collection, and a romantic reference to the 18th century dandy look is the soft, slightly floppy bow tie.

Watch the show

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