While we waited and waited for Kylie Jenner to turn up at Dolce & Gabbana this afternoon, Billie Eilish’s Barbie song, “What Was I Made For?,” played on repeat. It was 47 minutes past the hour when Ms. Jenner finally strolled in, so late you had to wonder why nobody shouted, “Not for this, I wasn’t made for this!” [Editor’s note: The brand later clarified that the show was delayed by other causes.]

Tardiness aside, this was a pretty terrific demonstration of what Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana can do. The designers are approaching their 40th anniversary, a milestone bound to prompt plenty of reflection, but they’ve been reinvestigating their archives for some time now, prompted in part by celebrities like Jenner, who’ve been requesting vintage pieces or sourcing them for themselves.

In the showroom, their spring mood board was pinned with photos of ’90s faces like Monica Bellucci, Linda Evangelista, and Nadja Auermann in early Dolce & Gabbana, mixed among images of Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour and Helmut Newton’s famous shot of Yves Saint Laurent’s then-radical Le Smoking. Seduction was clearly on the agenda.

If you’re on the hunt for a satin corset dress or a delicate tulle slip with a triangle bra, briefs, and garter belt to match, Domenico and Stefano are your guys. Post-pandemic, lingerie has become a regular sight on the runways and on the streets, but these two were doing this kind of thing before the young women rocking the look today were even born. Scrolling further back, Deneuve’s Peter Pan–collar ’60s shift got a fresh airing, and the glossy trenches and coordinating kerchiefs conjured a similar time frame.

Timeless is the word for the tailoring that’s the flip side of all their skin-baring corsetry. A traditionally cut double-breasted tuxedo in ivory with black satin lapels and pocket flaps was striking, but the designers did more playful things as well. Like twisting a jacket body to the side to create a one-sleeve look, and cropping a single-breasted tux at the waist to show off a pair of satin knickers worn over pantyhose. The pantsless look is gaining real traction at the shows, with influencers seen wearing versions of it. Why wouldn’t Dolce & Gabbana stake a claim to that?


September 23, 2023