Made in Italy: Talking beauty with Dolce & Gabbana

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana blend couture with cosmetics, writes Tama Lung


Ever since Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana met at a design office in Milan in the early 1980s, the creative duo have been redefining Italian fashion. The strong, sensual designs of their namesake label - embellished lace dresses, gold chandelier earrings, perfect black pumps - are now the signature of Italian and international celebrities alike.

So it's only fitting that the Dolce&Gabbana woman has a face to match. "Since we started our adventure in the world of fashion, we always wanted to integrate our clothes with fragrances and a complete line of make-up," says Dolce, a tailor's son from the province of Palermo.

Described as "traditional femininity, perfect beauty and modern formulas", Dolce&Gabbana The Make Up makes its Hong Kong debut this month. The collection, developed with celebrity make-up artist Pat McGrath, includes everything from cream lipsticks and kohl eye crayons to liquid foundation and nail lacquers.

"The vision that we had - and we still have now - for Dolce&Gabbana The Make Up comes from nearly three decades in fashion," says Gabbana, who was born in Milan and studied graphic design before joining forces with Dolce. "We take our inspiration from everywhere, from what we have created over the years with our collections, and directly from real life - the women we see every day and when we travel the world, capturing their similarities and differences, their perfect beauty as well as those little imperfections that characterise them and underline their strong personalities."

Indeed, the designers have spent years developing and perfecting The Make Up in line with the Dolce&Gabbana philosophy. "Beyond the technical and quality aspects of the products, what is always important for us is that everything we do tells a story," Gabbana says. "In this case, when we were working on the launch of The Make Up, we had in mind how women used to [put on make-up] even in public - the act of seduction of putting on a lipstick."

More than anything, the designers have tried to create a mood that goes beyond the make-up's modern formula and distinctive gold packaging. "Perfect beauty is a way of being, not just a physical trait," Dolce says. "It's something that comes from within. It's a hand gesture, it's the way you wear the lipstick and look [at] who's in front of you."

While there's no one look that defines the Dolce&Gabbana woman, the creators point to defined eyebrows, accentuated "winged" eyes and a strong lip. "The make-up completes the dress and defines the look of a woman, since the face helps to express one's own character. Through make-up, you are even able to change an outfit," Gabbana says.

With 24 shades of Classic Cream Lipstick, 19 shades of Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick, 12 different Smooth Eye Colour Quads and 32 shades of Intense Nail Lacquer - to name only a few products - the variety of looks is limitless.

"It depends on the woman we are looking at, on her personality, on the occasion," Dolce says. "We have designed our make-up line having in mind that women always want to give the best of themselves in every moment of their lives."

From left: Dolce&Gabbana Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick, Smooth Eye Colour Quad and Perfect Luminous Liquid Foundation






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