Model walking the Dolce & Gabbana runway

The Evolution of Dolce & Gabbana's Style: From Bold Prints to Modern Elegance.

Written by: Stephnora Peterson



Time to read 5 min

In the dynamic realm of high fashion, few brands have managed to consistently capture the essence of their heritage while simultaneously adapting to the changing tides of style. Dolce & Gabbana, the iconic Italian fashion house, stands as a prime example of this balance. Known for their Mediterranean-inspired designs, this label has evolved remarkably over the years, transitioning from its initial bold prints to a more refined, modern elegance.

The Early Years: A Celebration of Boldness

7 Things to Know About Dolce & Gabbana

1. Founding and Founders:


  • Founded in 1985 by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana in Milan.
  • The partnership created a pivotal moment in fashion history..
  • A collaboration rooted in a blend of traditional craftsmanship and modern aesthetic.

Story: The duo met in 1980 while working at the same Milanese fashion house. Dolce, born into a family of tailors in Sicily, brought deep-rooted expertise in traditional tailoring. Gabbana, with his Milanese upbringing and graphic design background, contributed a modern and innovative perspective to their partnership.

Their decision to launch their own label came after five years of collaboration, combining Dolce’s understanding of classical Italian fashion with Gabbana’s contemporary vision. Their first collection, introduced in 1985, was a testament to their unique blend of sensual elegance and audacious design, setting the foundation for Dolce & Gabbana’s evolution into a renowned global fashion brand.

Dolce & Gabbana dress sale at Ellie Belle
Ellie Belle 

Some Unique Dolce & Gabbana Products

2. Signature Aesthetic    


The brand is renowned for its Mediterranean-inspired designs, featuring bold, expressive prints, intricate lacework, and sensual silhouettes. This style often reflects the designers’ Italian heritage, particularly Sicilian culture. Dolce & Gabbana's signature aesthetic is deeply rooted in the Mediterranean, with a strong emphasis on the sensuality and vibrancy of Sicilian culture. This distinct style, developed and refined over the years, sets the brand apart in the world of high fashion. 

One of the most recognizable elements of Dolce & Gabbana's style is their use of bold and expressive prints. These often include florals, baroque patterns, and animal prints, each telling a story that resonates with the rustic charm and lively spirit of the Mediterranean. The prints are not just decorative elements but are symbolic of the brand's ethos, embodying a blend of tradition and modernity.

Intricate Lacework: Lace, a material deeply associated with Italian fashion, is a staple in many Dolce & Gabbana designs. The brand reimagines this traditional fabric in a contemporary light, using it to create pieces that are both timeless and modern. The intricate lacework in their garments showcases exceptional craftsmanship, paying homage to the skill and precision of Italian artisans.

Dolce & Gabbana Men
Photo from Ellie Belle 

3. Breakthrough with “Sicilian Dress”: 

Story: Dolce & Gabbana gained significant attention with the introduction of the “Sicilian dress” in the early 1990s. This piece, known for its feminine silhouette and traditional Italian elements, became a symbol of the brand’s aesthetic.  The “Sicilian Dress,” captured significant attention and acclaim. 


This iconic dress was distinguished by its feminine silhouette, embracing and enhancing the curves of the female form, a design approach deeply rooted in the Italian fashion tradition. What made the Sicilian Dress stand out was its blend of sensuality with a touch of classical elegance, reflecting the cultural heritage of Sicily, Domenico Dolce’s homeland.

The dress often featured traditional Italian elements such as corsetry, lace, and floral prints, embodying a nostalgic yet timeless quality. It wasn’t just a garment but a statement that celebrated the strength and beauty of femininity. This design became emblematic of Dolce & Gabbana’s aesthetic, illustrating their ability to fuse traditional Italian craftsmanship with a modern, alluring style. The Sicilian Dress’s popularity and influence in the fashion world helped to solidify Dolce & Gabbana’s reputation as a leading luxury fashion house.

A model walking the runway  in Dolce & Gabbana dress
Photo from MatchesFashion

Trending Dolce & Gabbana Accessories

4. Innovative Fashion Shows: 


Story: Dolce & Gabbana fashion shows are renowned for their innovation and theatricality, often transcending the traditional runway presentation to become immersive experiences. These shows are characterized by their dynamic atmosphere, where elements of performance art are seamlessly integrated into the display of the collection.Opens the chest and shoulders.


Dolce & Gabbana is known for its dynamic and theatrical fashion shows. They often incorporate elements of performance and are known for their creativity, extravagance, and ability to tell a story. 

A woman in a red Dolce & Gabbana dress
Photo from Ellie Belle

5. Dolce & Gabbana Masterpiece Black Crystal Swarovski Stars Sheath Dress Child’s 

  • Model: Sleeveless Sheath
  • Collection: Star Collection
  • Logo engraved detailing

About: Dolce & Gabbana Masterpiece black sequined clear crystal swarovski stars sheath mini dress. This item comes from the exclusive Main Line Dolce & Gabbana Collection.

  • Material: 70% Polyester, 25% Crystal, 5% Silk
  • Linning: 52% Nylon, 35% Silk, 13% Elastane stretch. 

"The worst times can be the best if you think with positive energy"

Domenico Dolce

6. Celebrity Influence & Diverse Product Range

Dolce & Gabbana has been a favorite among celebrities for decades, regularly featured on red carpets and in high-profile events. Iconic figures in music, film, and fashion often wear their designs, further cementing the brand’s status in popular culture.


Story: Beyond high fashion, Dolce & Gabbana has expanded into various markets including perfumes, eyewear, accessories, and even a line of cosmetics. Each product carries the brand’s signature style and luxury appeal.   

The Dolce & Gabbana store of Via della Spiga in Milan
The Dolce & Gabbana store of Via della Spiga in Milan, image from Wikipedia.

"Dreams can still come through, you need a great deal of energy and determination, and a little bit of luck"

Stefano Gabbana

7. Commitment to Artisanship

Story:  Despite their global presence, Dolce & Gabbana maintains a commitment to traditional artisanship, particularly in their high-end collections. They employ skilled artisans and use high-quality materials, ensuring that each piece reflects the brand’s dedication to craftsmanship and luxury. 


Dolce & Gabbana's commitment to artisanship is a defining feature of their brand, especially prominent in their high-end collections. This commitment involves employing skilled artisans who bring traditional craftsmanship to each design, a practice deeply rooted in Italian heritage. The use of high-quality materials is also central to their approach, ensuring that every garment and accessory exemplifies luxury and durability.

Dolce & Gabbana's focus on artisanal techniques and luxurious materials reflects a dedication to preserving Italian craftsmanship. In a fashion world increasingly dominated by mass production, Dolce & Gabbana's commitment to these traditional methods sets them apart, underscoring their reputation for exclusivity and high-quality luxury products. Each piece is not just crafted; it's a representation of a rich legacy of artistry and Italian elegance.

A model walking the runway
Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2021. Photo: Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana.


The story of Dolce & Gabbana is one of constant evolution, marked by a deep respect for tradition coupled with a forward-looking vision. From the bold and flamboyant designs of their early years to the sophisticated elegance of their current collections, the brand has continually adapted to the changing landscape of fashion while staying true to its Italian roots. Their innovative fashion shows, commitment to artisanal craftsmanship, and ability to capture the essence of contemporary luxury have solidified Dolce & Gabbana's position as a stalwart in the world of high fashion. As they continue to blend traditional techniques with modern trends, Dolce & Gabbana not only honors the legacy of Italian design but also shapes the future of global fashion. 

If you're looking for unique Dolce & Gabbana pieces,  check out more on our store

Stephnora, the founder of Ellie Belle

The Author: Stephnora Peterson

Stephnora Peterson is the visionary founder of Ellie Belle, a boutique known for its curated selection of high-end fashion and accessories. With a keen eye for emerging trends and a deep appreciation for timeless elegance, Stephnora has built Ellie Belle into a destination for fashion enthusiasts seeking unique and sophisticated styles. 

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I love Dolce & Gabbana. Their designs are truly unique. I love that you guys carry a lot of their products at such great prices.

Miles Harper

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