TIT FOR TAT: “Is Milan relevant in fashion? Our answer is yes,” stated Italy’s Corriere della Sera this week, reacting to a New York Times article that questioned the focus and importance of Italian designers. “No, we don’t agree [with the accusations],” said the Corriere. “Who says that quality does not mean creativity? The first cannot exclude the other, stitched together as they are by the threads of culture and good taste,” it responded, challenging the Times’ belief that Milan’s fashion is not intellectual compared to Paris and London.
“The Italian fashion industry now understands that it must show a united front[…]We had not seen such a powerful and vivacious Milan Fashion Week, in terms of content and attendance, for years,” continued the daily. Corriere also did an interview with Stefano Gabbana and Antonio Marras. “I have never had so many foreign clients as in this season, nor seen as much interest from the press. I am only a grain of sand, surely, but I very well know that everyone carefully observes what happens in Italy,” Marras is quoted saying.
“Fashion should be joy freedom and happiness. What’s the point of talking about politics? Please stay home if you are not able to enjoy all this beauty,” Gabbana posted on Instagram. “This is the way to destroy fashion: looking at it with wrong eyes and soul!! Please deal with your fashion and if you only come to Italy to criticize our fashion stay home. This is not a positive attitude. Fashion is another thing and you are probably not able to enjoy it!! Italy is the excellence place!! And the best place to be.”
In the Corriere interview, Gabbana elaborated on the issue. “Milan has everything, everything.[…]We know how to produce everything: fabrics, accessories, buttons, even the clothes’ labels, the shopping bags. So it’s convenient for the others to diminish us, make us feel at fault.” Responding to the accusation of being too commercial, he said that “not everyone must necessarily be intellectual designers. Is Sophia Loren an intellectual? No, but she is famous even on Mars.” In the article, the designer championed his own answer to the First Amendment: The New York Times reporters have been banned from the Dolce & Gabbana shows for years — as have those from WWD. “We were tired of the insults, so we left them out. I hope the others will do it, too[…]. You don’t like what I do? Go see someone else!”