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5 Essential Rules of Style from Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana

By Patricia Tortolani | August 30, 2018 | Style & Beauty

From the embellished corsets of the '90s to the recent technicolor tracksuits, designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been telling a story—a story about how to dress when you want to truly impress.


For more than three decades, Dolce & Gabbana has been the design house that lavish, sexy, feminine women go to for lavish, sexy, feminine dresses. Leopard and lace. Corsets and bustiers. Sensual and cinematographic. It’s Sophia Loren with a dash of Monica Vitti. “She is feminine, confident,” says Dolce of the brand’s ideal woman. “But not arrogant. She knows what she wants, as simple as that,” adds Gabbana. Here, the designers sit down to give a master class on how to dress for fall 2018, a season that is as much about the balance of classic and contemporary as it is about the element of surprise.

Rule One: Ladylike Bags Are Essential

When it comes to accessories, think long term. “A top handle bag never goes out of style,” says Dolce. For a dash of now, the designers reimagined their classic Sicily bag in marigold, lilac and cherry-red transparent rubber and covered it with tattoolike appliques.


Rule Two: Make Friends With Your Tailor

One trend the designers will never embrace: “Something that hasn’t been tailored properly or is ill-fitting,” says Dolce. “When you wear a perfectly tailored suit or a perfectly fitting dress and you feel good, you can’t go wrong,” adds Gabbana.

Rule Three: Never Underestimate the LBD

“Every woman should have a little black dress in her wardrobe because it is perfect for both day and night,” says Dolce. At the Secrets & Diamonds fall 2018 show, the black dresses were mini and maxi, minimal and covered with crystals, sheer and sophisticated. This season, the LBD is never dull.


Rule Four: Mind Your Age, Then Ignore It

“We make our clothes for people of all ages,” says Gabbana. At their spring 2019 men’s show in Milan—a tribute to the brand’s DNA—the designers sent a multigenerational cast of models down the runway, including four Milanese nonnas decked out in the tracksuits. It’s granny style-meets-street style.

Rule Five: Nothing Looks Better Than Confidence

“Looking your best is so much about feeling your best. Embrace your own individual style and confidence,” says Dolce. “And that’s different for different women,” adds Gabbana. For one woman, it may be a red lipstick and a corset dress, and for another, a buzzed head and white tuxedo.