The Italian design
duo first started producing menswear collections exactly twenty years
ago, in 1990, presenting them in a small showroom in via Santa Cecilia.
In the picture you
can see, among the maze of metal barriers that redesigned the spaces in
the square, one of the four multi-media installations inspired by the
Rubik cube and broadcasting images connected with Milan and Dolce &
The exhibition is a sort of compendium of three books published for the anniversary, “20 Years of Dolce&Gabbana for Men”, “Icons 1990-2010 Dolce&Gabbana” and “Fashion Shows 1990-2010 Dolce&Gabbana”.
There have actually been quite a
few debates surrounding this event: Milan’s City Hall is based in
Palazzo Marino and local councillors from different parties criticised
the decision of Mayor Letizia Moratti to offer the palace for a mundane
One of the
councillors, Basilio Rizzo, from the Dario Fo’s List group, highlighted
that Palazzo Marino is not a restaurant, adding that people accused of
tax evasion shouldn’t be granted public spaces, while representative of
the Northern League party asked for fewer shows and for more office
The Mayor claimed
the space was offered for this Dolce & Gabbana event in celebration
of the excellency of the "Made in Italy" (she is probably the only one
who doesn’t know that many fashion houses out there get their stuff
produced abroad…) and to thank the design duo for offering to put
forward for the restoration of the Sala del Trono of Milan’s Royal
Palace a rather consistent sum (€400,000 - an admirable decision and a
much more clever way to try and avoid paying taxes…).
Yet the D&G
exhibition is just one of the many events organised by the City Hall
during Milan’s menswear fashion week to prove the city’s allegiance to
the fashion industry.
Among the other
events organised with the support of Milan’s city hall there has been a
performance in Piazza Duomo by Dirk Bikkembergs, Brioni celebrating its
65th anniversary with a party at the Castello Sforzesco (on Tuesday)
and Ermenegildo Zegna presenting a historical exhibition at the
Triennale, "Dalla fabbrica del tessuto alla fabbrica dello stile"
(Textile Factory to Style Factory).
Yes, interesting, but I wonder why the city hall doesn't try to organise intelligent events linked with fashion throughout the
year rather than having a fashion orgasm twice a year when fashion week
celebrating fashion with proper events, lectures, documentaries or
workshops on opera and theatre costumes, and not just try to lure back
the consumers into spending their money by staging fashion events in
shows more accessible to ordinary people rather than wasting money on
parties crowded with celebrities (who actually don’t buy those clothes
but get them for free) is one of the antidotes to the crisis, but you
must also give people the chance to fill their eyes, hears and minds
with beautiful and inspiring images about fashion and style and this
doesn't necessarily happen during catwalk shows.
thinking I’m living in a utopian world, but I think that a massive
injection of intelligence, humanity and realism wouldn’t hurt the
Among dementedly stupid chats
about eliminating almost this or that type of food from one's diet to
avoid getting fat, on the bus back from the Jil
Sander catwalk show in Florence, I heard somebody remarking that it
was perfectly fine to send back the models to Milan that same night.
“They’re young and they
have the energy to do it”, I heard a voice commenting, as if they were
objects rather than people.
came back to my mind when just one day before Milan’s menswear week
started, on Friday afternoon, French model Tom Nicon was found dead in
the courtyard of the flat where he was staying, in via Papiniano.
According to the
news, there may be a love affair behind the suicide of Nicon, a
well-known face for people who follow fashion (you may have seen him on
Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Versace and Gareth Pugh’s runways, in different
photo shoots on magazines such as GQ and in advertising
campaigns), but in the last few months there have been quite a few
stressed and depressed male and female models committing suicide due to
While in Milan local politicians keep on
quarrelling and designers are scheming new (and often boring) plans to conquer alienated
consumers, not many people seem to realise that the rules of this system must be radically changed to save the
people who work and revolve around it and the consumers as well.
What about starting by turning fashion into a more intelligent and less superficial machine, capable of spreading positive creative vibes rather than engaging people into quarrelsome debates or pushing them to the darkest recesses of their minds?