La Dolce (& Gabbana) Vita

This past week, there was a Balmain frenzy when the designer’s capsule collection for H&M hit stores worldwide. Lines were formed, cops were called, and the racks were stripped bare in mere minutes, with nary a belt or sparkly mini dress left in sight. While I love my French designers, I did not participate in the insanity of trying to snag a $200 logo tee while being trampled by hundreds of other shoppers.

Instead, I’m saving my Euro in the hopes of splurging on a piece from Dolce & Gabbana’s latest line (but let’s be real, that’s probably not going to happen considering I’m an under-employed recent MFA graduate). Regardless of my current financial state, a girl can dream, so FYI Dolce & Gabbana employees: if you see me standing outside your Beverly Center store for hours, I swear I’m not stalking you and/or plotting to steal your entire inventory, I’m just admiring your wares.

Dolce & Gabbana have always culled inspiration from their Italian upbringing, particularly Domenico Dolce’s Sicilian roots, by including classic silhouettes and patterns synonymous with the Italian island. They have often spoken of the importance of home and family and how that has influenced their work as designers. In their current winter collection, they have taken this inspiration to the next level. Their Italian heritage and strong familial ties not only influenced the collection, they’ve now been integrated into the collection.

The duo took actual drawings by their nieces and nephews and emblazoned dresses and skirts with these whimsical sketches. Also included in the collection is a heavy dose of black (a signature Dolce & Gabbana color), and dresses adorned with roses and sayings such as, “Amore Per Sempre.”

I recently read an article where Stefano Gabbana said, “Fashion, when properly done, is like poetry. It speaks to your heart, evokes powerful memories.” That’s exactly what this collection does for me. Not only does it evoke memories of my many trips to Italy to visit my family, but it also reminded me of my early years when I lived in a northern Italian city as a child. I don’t remember much of my toddler years – just a few brief moments and scattered images – but I do have keepsakes from that time, particularly drawings and art projects that I made while I was in preschool.

preschool photo 1

As I thumbed through them recently, seeing the early stages of my creativity blossom in the form of colorful flowers, portraits of my family, and a very odd looking puppy (my teacher had labeled it “ un cagnolino”, otherwise I would have no clue what it was), it’s easy to see why D&G were inspired by their nieces and nephews own creative impulses.

When we moved to the U.S., we had to pack light, so my parents left many of the items from my childhood behind. I used to be jealous of other kids that still had their first blankie, or their first doll because I didn’t have those traditional childhood keepsakes. But, I realize now that my parents chose to bring things that held special significance for them. The drawings I made as a child were moments on paper that would last forever. They are beautiful memories that I now also get to cherish, and maybe one day pass on to future generations.

Thanks for the memories D&G.

DZ

(Below are some of my masterpieces.)

preschool photo 2 preschool photo 3