British Vogue’s fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen breaks down the five biggest takeaways from the ’90s- and ’00s-inspired show.
The collection was curated by Kim Kardashian
When she stepped off her private jet in Milan three days ago, the cat was out of the bag: Kim Kardashian was working on the Dolce & Gabbana show. It wasn’t a collaboration but a curation. The designers asked the superstar—who has an extensive private collection of their archive pieces—to select her favorite looks from their own archives between 1987 and 2007. Then, they remade them, flew to Los Angeles, and started putting together the collection with Kardashian. “About 80 percent of the clothes are exactly the same [as the original pieces], we just corrected them a little bit,” Domenico Dolce explained during a preview. Kardashian said she was most drawn to pieces from the ’90s and early ’00s. “The simplicity and tailoring, for me, has always been so important. Obviously, I love the glitz and you see some of that in the show, but when something is tailored properly, it changes everything, no matter how simple or ornate it is.”
Kardashian paid tribute to ’90s and early ’00s Dolce & Gabbana
The show played out like a dream scenario for any original Dolce & Gabbana fan. With a brilliantly cheeky film of Kardashian eating a bowl of spaghetti in slow motion as backdrop, her affinity for the ’90s and Y2K epochs of the brand—something anyone who grew up in that era will relate to—manifested in black, grey and beige silhouettes. There were nostalgic icons like bandage dresses, ripped denim trousers, metal bustiers, crystal-encrusted dresses and tops, diamanté bras and belts and chokers, low-riding rodeo jeans, and plenty of leopard-on-leopard. Nods to Kardashian’s current wardrobe included boots that morphed into leggings and the kind of lightweight bodycon dresses that paved the way for her brand Skims. “This conversation has been so interesting because it opened up our memories of Linda Evangelista, Isabella Rossellini, Monica Bellucci wearing these clothes,” Dolce reflected. “There’s a story behind every outfit. Somebody will remember the moment, the model, the actress, pop star…” Gabbana said. Describing the quintessential Italian sensuality that defines that era of the brand, Kardashian said it was about empowerment.
It all started with Kourtney Kardashian’s wedding
It was thanks to Kardashian’s sister Kourtney that the cur-labo-ration came about in the first place. When Dolce & Gabbana offered to dress the bride, her husband Travis Barker and all their guests for their wedding in Portofino in May this year, her sister Kim approached the dress code a little differently. “Everyone was getting these amazing ornate looks done,” she said, “but I brought the archive looks I had been collecting. Every night we had dinners and [Domenico and Stefano] would say, ‘Oh my God, this is from 1997! We don’t even have this in our archives!’ It sparked the idea of reimagining the pieces from the archive that really spoke to me,” Kardashian explained. “This process has been a dream come true. To see everything remade, and to see the originals come in… After all these years, this is the stuff we want to wear today. As a designer, I would think that was so cool when you see people emulating that. We wear it so similarly today to how it was shot and worn back then.”
Kardashian grew up with Dolce & Gabbana
The partnership was an instinctive match for Kardashian, who was familiar with the Dolce & Gabbana genetics from an early age. “I remember my mom’s very specific Dolce & Gabbana dresses that she’d wear when she’d go on date nights with my stepdad. She always looked so smart and so strong,” she reminisced. “One year, all I wanted to do was borrow my mom’s Dolce & Gabbana dress and wear it in one of our Christmas cards, and I did a full photo shoot in front of her garage wearing this black dress with a built-in bra and a choker attached to it. I’ll never forget that look.” As a teenager, Kardashian worked in a store that carried D&G. “All I wanted was D&G dresses. I would use all my pay cheques to buy these dresses and the jeans and the belts. I remember using my dad’s credit card because I didn’t get my pay cheque yet, so I got an advance from my dad. For Christmas, he paid off my D&G bill,” she laughed. “I still have the dresses to this day.” So strong was the Kardashian devotion to the designers that they paid tribute through man’s best friend. “I mean, our dogs were named Dolce and Gabbana! When one Gabbana passed away we got another one and named him Gabbana, too. He was a black lab and Dolce was a little chihuahua,” she said. “It’s very close to the reality,” Gabbana quipped.
It was about diversity, inclusivity and wearability
Asked how she would like the history books to remember her impact on fashion, Kardashian said her objectives were always founded in broadening its appeal. “I hope that they will recognize how important to me it is to be inclusive and diverse with all body types.” She imbued her curation with the same values. “There will definitely be something for everyone in this collection. It’s very wearable. The one thing I feel that I’ve gotten my confidence in is finding something that can look intimidating—like a crystal dress—but if you simplify it, more people can feel comfortable wearing it, and I think we really achieved that. There are pieces that fit all different body types. Age diversity is really important to me. I know my grandmother is gonna call me begging for some pieces, and so are my friends,” she said. “I want to see all women wearing this. My younger sisters are gonna die when they see our 2000s references.”
This post was originally published on Vogue UK