Birthdays are always a good excuse for an over-exuberant celebration. Twenty years of the Dolce & Gabbana man is as good a reason as any for a fashion scribbling anniversary acknowledgement.
I’m sure as many fashion-conscious men will attest to; it is hard to leaf through any fashion publication without stopping momentarily upon a ludicrously over-sexualised and wonderfully masculine Dolce & Gabbana ad. Male beauty pushed upon us in statuesque glory.
The Fashion House
There are two main arms of the Dolce & Gabbana menswear world: D&G and Dolce & Gabbana.
The former is an eclectic, metropolitan lifestyle brand that marks the more contemporary and wearable end of the Dolce & Gabbana spectrum. The latter, which I will be focussing on for this article, is the luxury arm of this Italian heavyweight. With huge spoonfuls of Mediterranean flavour and modern classicism, designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana utilise their Italian character, implementing sensuality in to their collections and campaigns.
Dolce & Gabbana: Previous Campaigns
Here are some previous Dolce & Gabbana menswear ads from past seasons that demonstrate the strong iconography used:
The Dolce & Gabbana Man
I have always regarded the ‘Dolce & Gabbana man’ to be the epitome of what the modern man dreams of becoming – strong, sensual, sexy, and elegant – erring neither side of homoerotic or hyper masculine.
The aspirations of men – young and old – can shift and morph with the passing of time due to the fickle and ever changing nature of the fashion world at large. However, what I will attest to is that style and elegance are fixed and timeless.
It is this timeless quality that Dolce & Gabbana touch on in all of their menswear campaigns, collections and catwalk shows. It echoes what was said in a previous FashionBeans article attempting to define ‘cool’. It surmised that elemental factors of what we know about style is not necessarily a modern phenomenon but something classical, traditional and ever present.
So what is a Dolce & Gabbana man circa 2011?
Dolce & Gabbana SS11 Campaign: Sicilian Sensuality
Become a Dolce & Gabbana Man: The Collection
Despite its high end, escapist reputation, we can all follow Dolce & Gabbana through the year – adding a little luxury and style to our wardrobes. Using their nostalgic spring/summer collection of Mediterranean fishing-town heritage, we can achieve catwalk inspired, masculine looks using retailers we are familiar with and a little bit of imagination.
For this year’s spring/summer catwalk spectacular entitled ‘Sicilian Sensuality’, Dolce & Gabbana returned to their Southern Italian roots. Simple tailoring, casual linen and a rugged male line up.
The key themes running all the way through the collection appear to be a light, relaxed, with a Mediterranean feel. Casual linen suits, silk sweaters, breezy white worker shirts and sandblasted denim were at the forefront of it all. Rolled up shorts held with hand-knotted rope belts were teamed with loose fitting white shirts to create an ‘out in the sun’ rustic look that appears effortless.
Accessories, particularly bags, drew design inspiration from the farmers of Southern Italy with a strong interwoven leather look. The basket style weave design was also carried into their footwear picking up on those worn by traditional Sicilian fishermen.
A strong colour palette of white, black and a rich blend of browns – in conjunction with textured fabrics – help to build and layer this collection in to a simple, relaxed, elegant look.
Take a look at the catwalk show video from Milan Fashion Week and the Sicilian Sensuality look book and take a pinch of Italian sartorial inspiration.
Dolce & Gabbana SS11: Sicilian Sensuality LookBook
Become a Dolce & Gabbana Man: How to Wear
Now, I know what you may be thinking – this is all very well on a catwalk during Milan Fashion Week with an Annie Lennox soundtrack – but how the hell can I wear a hand knotted roped belt without appearing as though I’ve just raided a wheelie bin?
Well, my answer to this is to not take the catwalk show literally but follow some of the rules, themes, outfit structures and colour combinations from the collection.
For example, one of the key looks from the show is rolled up chino style shorts, adorned with loose fitting white shirts, worn signature leather sandals or shoes. This look does not have to be confined to the runway. Personally speaking, I am already trawling the high street for affordable copycat ideas.
A key piece for spring/summer are tailored shorts, which in my mind, will be an essential piece with the first appearance of sunshine. With regards to tailoring, it is becoming increasingly easy to find lightweight fitted jackets on the high street, particularly with the recent summer campaigns of H&M; featured in this month’s GQ.
- This summer’s Dolce & Gabbana look is all about a relaxed, out in the sun look. Keep the outfit loose, breezy and light.
- A splash of tailoring in your wardrobe is important, but keep it lightweight and follow a colour palette to avoid clashing with other elements of your outfit.
- If you can add a touch of interwoven leather to your ensemble then you’re on to a winner. Look out for belts, a pair of sandals or a bag.
- Don’t forget Dolce & Gabbana’s original inspiration for this campaign. Rustic, Southern Italian fishing-town heritage.
- No self respecting Dolce & Gabbana man leaves the house without being well groomed. Keep that haircut classic and sharp. Remember to look at people with deep, brooding eyes for that ultimate Dolce & Gabbana enigmatic effect.
- Six packs and jaw lines of steel are an optional extra.
Build a Dolce & Gabbana Man’s Wardrobe:
Here are some product picks from well known online retailers that are inspired by this summer’s Dolce & Gabbana collection. These will hopefully help you to take a step closer to achieving Southern Italian elegance (without the price tag):
Dolce & Gabanna Latest Spring/Summer Collection
So now we have shown you how to get the look on a budget, it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t show you some of the latest collection from the fashion house that has proven the inspiration behind this whole article…
No other fashion house captures the essence of what I, and many others believe to be the ‘ideal’ man. Whether we are right or wrong who wouldn’t want to age like David Gandy?