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The Exclusive Interview: Dolce and Gabbana

Famed for their glamorous, playful style, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana tell Junior about their new children's collection

Posted: 24 September 2012
by Catherine O'Dolan

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana
Black floral silk dress with lace trim, £418 by Dolce & Gabbana
Floral cotton dress with pussy bow tie, £245 by Dolce & Gabbana

Tell us your earliest fashion memories
Domenico Dolce (DD) I was born in a small village in Sicily and I grew up in my father’s tailoring shop. Everyone used to go there for clothes, from the aristocrats to the farmers. Instead of playing with toy cars, I played with a needle and thread and remnants of fabric. I spent hours with my father, watching as he cut clothes for special occasions, and for daily life. I followed each stage very carefully – the choice of fabric, the measurements that were taken, the fittings. My passion for fashion began then. Right away the spirit of imitation was born in me and, at seven, I made my first jacket.
Stefano Gabbana (SG) When I was young, I loved watching my mother carefully choose what clothes she’d wear each day. She has always been an elegant woman who pays attention to detail. However, my true love for fashion was born many years later, when, at the age of 20, I was studying to be a graphic designer and I found myself working with Domenico, both of us as assistants to a fashion designer.

What sort of clothes did you usually wear when you were children?
DD When I was child in Sicily, we used to wear shorts. I didn’t like them very much. I preferred the formal clothes we wore on Sundays: a jacket, trousers and white shirt.

SG I had to wear shorts, too, but luckily jeans soon came along!

What was the inspiration behind your children’s collection?  
SG We are focusing our creative energies in Dolce & Gabbana on strengthening our style. In recent seasons, we have looked back at our roots and origins, emphasising our Italian and Mediterranean DNA. That is the reason why we have decided to merge D&G within Dolce & Gabbana, and the launch of the children’s collection started organically.

Do you have a particular muse for your children’s collection?  
SG Not really. We are inspired by the children we see on the street. And the memories of the children we were.
DD I have nephews and I spend lots of time with them. I love them and I often imagine them wearing our collection.
Does the new children’s collection take inspiration from the adult collections?  
DD  Yes, completely. We have put lots of care and attention into the creation of this children’s range, using the same fabrics as our men’s and women’s collections. For little girls, there is twill silk, brocades, silk, chiffon, cashmere crochet, lace, prints and tweed, with linings made of crêpe de Chine. Among the prints, we have not forgotten our signature leopard print, using it to make mini garments and accessories. All the themes of the Dolce & Gabbana DNA are replicated, including the D&G logo, which is present on cotton T-shirts. Each season, we will offer a T-shirt with a different D&G logo, taking inspiration from the collection. We’ve even done a mini version of our iconic Sicily bag for little girls.
For boys, there are suits in velvet, pinstripes and tweed, denim, knitwear, felted wool and brocades. The sports theme follows the same path as for the adults, with sweatshirts and more technical fabrics, plus sneakers.
Describe the children’s collection.
SG I’d describe it as very nice and sweet, but characterised by irony, by the desire to play and dress up like Mummy and Daddy.
DD It’s pure DNA and the essence of the classic Dolce & Gabbana style.
What are the constraints – and the joys – of designing for children?
SG Actually, there is more joy…
DD We are experiencing this as a creative challenge, realising a dream and a project.
Do you like children to be mini-mes?
SG Yes, very much. In our new children’s collection, we have brought together all the themes that are dear tous. All the DNA of Dolce & Gabbana is present: lace, tweed, prints, brocades, precious yarns, leopard print. We actually really like the idea of stylish children who can dress like their mother and father.
DD We imagine it almost like a game, where children are trying on their parents’ clothes for fun. Now we can offer them the chance to have these clothes in their own size. We find a mini tuxedo or a mini leopard print bag irresistible!

Tell us about the conception of the new direction for the children’s collection
DD It is a real mini Dolce & Gabbana! We dedicate the same care to the children’s collection as we do to the adult clothing: the same attention to details, the research into fabrics and proportions. The standard is very high – but without ever forgetting that this is about children and we need to respect their practical requirements for movement and wearability.
Have you seen any celebrity children wearing Dolce & Gabbana outfits?
SG Yes we have. In the past with D&G Junior we have dressed many celebrity children. But our priority now is really to dress all children. And then, if some celebrities like the collection, too, we will, of course, be very happy.
What are your future plans for the Dolce & Gabbana childrenswear collection?
SG The childrenswear collection is the last piece of the puzzle in our grand plan to make the Dolce & Gabbana style both unique and immediately recognisable.
DD We will give the same attention to the children’s collection that we have always done towards every design project relating to the Dolce & Gabbana brand. 

Also... More hot fashion on Junior including our Q&A with Igloo founder, Karen Bailey and an exclusive chat with Eva Karayiannis, founder of Caramel Baby & Child

Don't miss... The Junior Meets hub of exclusive interviews, inside scoop interviews and quirky Q&As, with exciting interviewees including: Tommy HilfigerSir Paul SmithStella McCartney and lots of other influential fashion designers, authors and illustrators including Quentin Blake and Jeff Kinney, great business minds including Lord Alan Sugar and, everyone's favourite fashionable frog, Kermit.

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