A small rocky beach, kids playing, romantic orchestra music. A man beats a freshly fished octopus on the rocks and bites into it raw. Not far from there, he spots a woman getting changed behind a sheet held by two other women. She comes out wearing a black 50s-style one-piece. His eyes meet hers, and a bra gets dropped on a cactus. Cut to wind blowing through the embroidered curtains of her room, where she is laying on the bed. He is just outside her courtyard, breathing the perfume on her bra. She is Sicilian beauty Monica Bellucci, the music is written by Ennio Morricone, and the perfume is Dolce & Gabbana.
This is the memorable 1997 commercial that so poetically expressed the essence of the Italian fashion duo. Since then, Sicilian people, culture and sights have been the inspiration for the fashion label. My admiration for Dolce & Gabbana’s work, together with great movies and literary portraits of Sicily, made me dream about going there, and finally I did, just four weeks ago.
The power of the Mediterranean island and its people is truly strong and inspiring, and it’s no cliche’ to say that Sicily is a beautiful land of passionate people. Surviving centuries of invasions and foreign dominations, you’ll find still deep-blue sea, active volcanoes, harsh sun, Greek temples, Spanish castles, and hundreds of fishermen’s villages.
Sicilian women have the widest smiles and the darkest hair. All of them have a skin complexion to die for, but some of them are also blessed with enchanting blue eyes. They let their men think he is the one in charge.
In June Sicily smells like the sea, lemons and flowers, but the most distinctive smell I found is the one of freshly washed linen, hung from windows and balconies every morning. Not a folkloristic display for tourists, as I initially thought, but the fruit of every woman’s daily cleaning duty and pleasure, as my B&B host explained to me – making me feel very Aussie for sharing the laundry duties with my husband and the much-loved laundry shop.
It is after this amazing trip to Sicily that I appreciate even more how this year Dolce & Gabbana took their love for Sicily to another level, bringing 70 ordinary Sicilians up on the catwalk to display their 2013 Man Spring Summer Collection. Introduced by live traditional music, the boys and men walked proudly or hesitatingly, showcasing a collection of printed Sicilian icons and retro lines.
Such a powerful performance, compared to the usually freezing parades of supermodels.
The iconic 1997 Dolce & Gabbana commercial
Dolce & Gabbana Man SS 2013 fashion show