Dolce&Gabbana and their Fashion Devotion collection

The designers called this their Fashion Devotion collection. It was made of everything from exquisitely crafted Vatican City vestment brocades, cut velvet (green, cardinal red, Venetian pink), and sumptuous embroidery all the way down to cheap, profane slogans on sweatshirts and T-shirts appropriated from the aesthetics of the souvenir stall.

Offended? To be honest, the Catholic church was the original marketer to millions before anyone else, depicting the gilded, artistic glories of faith and power to illiterate masses while turning a blind eye to the hawking of devotional trinkets and fake saint’s relics. And that was in medieval times.

Before anyone goes off the deep end about religious sacrilege, we can state this about Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana: In the era of identity politics, the designers sincerely identify as Italian Catholics, as well as gay people. “I have been to church before each show,” Gabbana attested, although he indicated that he deliberately stands at the back and stops his ears to sermons and dogma. “It’s just for me. But, you know, I do believe in God, and I believe in the Virgin. It’s only for me.” Cutting out the middleman in the conversation with the Almighty is the thing of today.
Really beautiful, tailored, sophisticated trouser suits and coats were on the “tasteful” side; the really blingy stuff on the other. But those Communion handbag drones, though? There’s always confession

“We’re not about minimalism; we’re massimalismo,” Stefano Gabbana has said. Gabbana and Domenico Dolce have built a billion-dollar luxury business based on a cinematic dream of Sicily. While they’ve worked through a succession of movie-world muses—Anna Magnani, Sophia Loren, Monica Bellucci, Scarlett Johansson, Isabella Rossellini—their stylistic signatures have remained remarkably consistent over the years: tailoring, la bella figura, leopard print, lingerie, and lace, all leavened by an attitude of playful mischief.