Whatever a anniversary theme—postcard prints or votive paintings—the work of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana is, above all, molto Italiano. Some 30 years into their career and a span are still desirous by their Italian heritage. The Sicilian widow—“that serious woman,” as Isabella Rossellini put it in Vanity Fair, “dressed in black that we see in a cinema of Italian Neo-Realism,”—is a figure they have glamorized again and again, mostly by teasingly alluding to a underpinnings of her dress.
The happy widow’s closest internal competition, though, is arguably Angelica Sedara, a illusory Sicilian peeress played by Claudia Cardinale in Luchino Visconti’s 1963 masterwork, Il Gattopardo (The Leopard). Set in a 1860s and formed on a novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, a film tells a story of a vanishing elegant approach of life. Adding to a allure are a ethereal, saturated crinoline gowns ragged by Cardinale with festive hair jewels. It’s a princess-worthy conformation that Dolce and Gabbana have referenced many a time. As a twin told Vogue’s Hamish Bowles, in Sicily to form a house’s entrance Alta Moda collection in 2012: “It’s about a concept. It’s not only a dress, it’s a dream—the Dolce dream.”
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