This week I reread Tavi Gevinson’s blog post where she discusses what it was like sitting next to Anna Wintour at New York Fashion Week. Tavi begins to detail the beginning of her disillusionment with aspects of the fashion industry. After this I too felt somewhat disenchanted with the superficial facade and the problematic strands of the industry that actually have nothing to do with the art of the clothes themselves. That is why I find myself with a distinct fondness for Dolce & Gabbana’s Autumn/Winter 2015 collection, which celebrated the wholesome theme of motherhood. Fashion can often seem like a detached narcissistic world separate from the private sphere of family, humble origins and innocent love, but Dolce & Gabbana honed in on the importance of appreciating the home and the family in fast-paced modern life. The reaction to North West’s tantrum on the front row at New York Fashion Week last month appeared to reveal an attitude of almost (only part ironic) dislike towards young children, or at least a dislike towards their annoying behaviour.
Dolce & Gabbana's Fall 2015 collection reminds us of the power of mothers, and just in time for Mother's Day too. The maternal glow represented through the array of pastel dresses and rose embellishments was conveyed as powerful and individual when far too often mothers in popular culture are boxed into prototypical roles. Though bringing into discussion notions of gender, the collection was not over politicised or bordering on distasteful as such ideas have been presented through fashion lately. It made the point that being a mother does not replace a woman's identity as an individual, but simultaneously, it does add an important layer to female identity. The woman's traditional role no longer need be oppressive. Obsession with being a strong and independent working woman has somewhat marginalised motherhood, but having children should not prevent us from being any of those things if we wish to be. We can be both. However, with talk of freezing eggs and glass ceilings, it seems that becoming a mother still holds its limitations within the career ladder, so perhaps now is the perfect time to celebrate motherhood in defiance of such injustice.
Fashion is about looking forwards but its moments of nostalgia and themes of memory are not limited to never-ending 1960s revivals. The children's drawings printed onto the clothes are reminiscent of Angelina Jolie's wedding dress that her children doodled on for her wedding to Brad in 2014. The Dolce & Gabbana drawings are based on the drawings of Domenico's nieces and nephews and some were done by the child of the printer. Following the leitmotif of memory is the use of roses as a repeated motif throughout the collection which was inspired by Stefano's childhood smell of his mother's rose scented red lipstick. Though this demonstrates the personal meanings of the clothes to the designers, the collection has a universal appeal. Its glamour is not cold and empty. It is a breath of life, and it is real.
Unfortunately, Dolce & Gabbana did not use this to incorporate more diversity into the show. It would have been the perfect opportunity for more diverse ethnicities, body types and ages. The fact that they did not grab onto this is disappointing, but not unexpected.
Despite priding itself on being forward-thinking, fashion can sometimes get so caught up in the moment and what is happening right now that the future is disregarded. But, as Stefano said of the collection, "Children are the future." This idea balanced out by the nostalgia of home creates a charming contrast. Young children on the runway never usually comes across as holding any moral fibre or good will, but here it seems so innocent and joyful. Had this concept been brought to life by another fashion house and it may have come across as tacky, but Dolce & Gabbana has always seemed like a family. Their campaigns depicting Sicilian families are joyfully endearing. This collection is merely a lovely extension of that. Furthermore, the clothes are so artfully constructed. The collection itself consisted of shift dresses, lace, gold embellishments and high fashion headphones (perhaps bringing in the teenager into the Dolce & Gabbana FW15 family?) Dolce & Gabbana are the absolute KINGS OF FOOTWEAR. Here are some of my favourites from this collection:
Have a good week!