It’s no secret that designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are inspired by their home country of Italy. Even their latest collection (which they showed in Milan last month) was inspired by the island of Sicily and its vibrant textures, colors, and smells. They’re longtime fans of Italian cinema as well, enamored by the old-timey glamour of Cinecittà—Italy’s answer to Hollywood.
Indeed, the original auteurs of Italian cinema—Fellini, Visconti, and Antonioni among them—have immeasurably inspired the designers’ work, so much so that they recently sponsored the restoration of a rare Fellini film, Fellini Satyricon, from 1969. Timed with their recent project, Dolce and Gabbana pick their favorite Italian films of all time.
Il Gattopardo (The Leopard); Luchino Visconti (1963)
This movie is an Italian masterpiece and serves as a milestone in Dolce & Gabbana’s history. The photography, the lighting, the setting, the costumes are so perfect to us and totally reflect our aesthetic. Visconti was a real genius. We sort of thought of a modern version of this movie when shooting our Spring 2009 advertising campaign with photographer Steven Klein.
La Dolce Vita; Federico Fellini (1960)
We love this movie by master director Fellini because it shows how glamorous life was in Rome and Cinecittà in the 1960s, but at the same time gives a very intimate look at that time in society. The film stars Marcello Mastroianni, one of our favorite Italian actors ever; a real gentleman, a stunner, and an incredible talented performer. We were so inspired by the movie and used it as a reference for a campaign we shot in the 1990s with Monica Bellucci and Isabella Rossellini.
Pane, Amore e … (Scandal in Sorrento); Dino Risi (1955)
This movie is all about fun, color, tradition, and one of our all-time icons, Sophia Loren, is in it too. The film really has all of the elements to make you smile and have a good time. The music and Sophia singing “mambo Italiano” always makes us want to dance. We thought about this movie when creating our Summer 2012 Women’s Collection—if you see it, you’ll understand what we mean.
L'Avventura; Michelangelo Antonioni (1960)
Set in the wonderful island of Sicily (everyone knows how dear this place is to us), this stunning movie is an impossible love story, directed with impeccable elegance by Antonioni. Monica Vitti, who we deeply love, plays the main female character and her beauty and femininity have inspired us in many ways. We especially love the scene when Monica gets lost in the city of Noto and is observed by all the local men; the scene is aesthetically perfect and served as a reference for one of our advertising campaigns shot in the early 2000s with Gisele Bündchen.
Roma Citta’ Aperta (Rome, Open City); Roberto Rossellini (1945)
We look to this movie with great respect because is the poster of Italian Neo-Realism and its master, Roberto Rossellini. We admire neo-realism because it always aims to tell the truth and it works as a sort of documentary/reportage of our country post-war. Rossellini for the first time casted his characters from the street instead of using professional actors, with the exception of the main female character: a magnificent Anna Magnani, who with her intensity and her unconventional beauty is our long time muse.
Cinema Paradiso; Giuseppe Tornatore (1988)
This film won an Oscar in 1989, and we love how it shows Sicily through the eyes of a boy.