- Dolce & Gabbana
- Elsa Schiaparelli
There is fashion, and then there is the truly sublime. To fully appreciate Italian fashion one needs to walk the Quadrilatero, the handful of sacred cobblestoned Milanese streets where a new pantheon of deities are worshipped, the houses of Gucci, Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Cavalli, Tod’s et al. On these hallowed boulevards the fashion faithful from all over the world make their Haj. In just a handful of streets one can be awestruck by the temples of Italian luxury fashion. This is not some run of the mill suburban mall this is transcendence.
One time skilled artisans and humble shop keepers have exploded into globalised corporate powerhouses equipped with formidable engines of growth. Sophisticated multinational conglomerates who have mastered the arts of manufacturing desire with their use of marketing and image in addition to that of design and craftsmanship. They mastered the art of branding, line extensions, retail experiences, and product licensing strategies. Italian designers have sailed forth from their native shores like the explorers of old to conquer much of the new world with their coveted treasures and shiny retail palazzos. They have infiltrated the dream factories of Hollywood and now their names are as ubiquitous on the red carpets as they are on the runways. In the last 50 years Italian fashion has given us fame, scandal, murder and it appears there is nothing that can sate our appetite for more.