Byline: Lorna Koski, November 1994

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana aren’t the usual diners at the Four Seasons. In fact, when they went to lunch there one recent Tuesday, they startled some: Dolce sported a baseball cap with the D&G initials; Gabbana wore a tight, Edwardian-style pinstriped suit without a tie, but with an earring and a diamond bracelet. In the room with them was half of power New York — Dawn Mello, S.I. Newhouse, Philip Johnson, John Lindsay.
“It was very strange; it’s not our world at all,” Dolce says. “I was fascinated by the decor and mood of the place. It was very businesslike and very Eighties, but the decor was very Seventies. Rich, high, very opulent business chic…..
“I like New York for the people in the street,” Dolce says. “The things that normal people wear are very interesting. New York is like the world. Even if you don’t have any ideas, you see people, you see things happening in New York, and you get a lot of different ideas.”
As for the Dolce & Gabbana collection itself, the mood they’re trying to achieve, according to Dolce, is “a comfortable elegance.”
“The Eighties canceled all elegance and taste — it was all money. How much did it cost? If it was very expensive, it was OK. Elegance didn’t matter anymore,” Dolce says.
But the Nineties aren’t much better. “I would like to come home and find my wife in a beautiful chiffon dress, not like what women wear now…jeans, sneakers,” he adds.
“Rollers,” says Gabbana.
“We don’t think only men can be powerful and strong,” says Gabbana. “Behind the heads of the Mafia, the leaders of culture, there are always very strong women. European culture is a matriarchy, especially in the South. The women have a lot of power.”
“Maybe you don’t see the women, but they’re making the decisions,” says Dolce. “They wear the pants, make the decisions…”
“The fashion system now is very inconsistent,” says Gabbana.
“It’s very stupid,” Dolce states.
“Trendy is not chic, not elegant, not something that stays,” says Gabbana. “In fact, that’s what happened to fashion in the Eighties. It would last two months. Trendy, trendy, trendy — it lasts two months, then it’s finished.”