Dressing for the G7 summit? Dolce & Gabbana’s dream of a simple Italian summer

'Dolce & Gabbana's volte-face in recent years to steer away from the streetwear and noise of Gen Z to the territory they built this monolithic house on,' writes Doig
'Dolce & Gabbana's volte-face in recent years to steer away from the streetwear and noise of Gen Z to the territory they built this monolithic house on,' writes Doig - AP

Perpetual rain in Britain and overcast skies in unseasonably chilly Milan; during this particularly dreary summer, Dolce & Gabbana looked to a simpler, more sun-bleached time at the power duo’s menswear show in the Italian fashion capital. The 1950s to be exact, and the evocative Italian noir cinema of Fellini and the timeless machismo of Marcello Mastroianni. The Italian south, which happens to be where the G7 summit is taking place, at the luxurious Borgo Egnazia resort in Puglia, holds a special place in the Dolce & Gabbana (sacred) heart – Domenico Dolce hails from Sicily – and the rustic charm of that region informed the clothes.

The formidable Signore Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who mark 40 years of the house this year, parlayed those filmic references into a nostalgic collection designed with the simple pleasures of a Sicilian summer in mind; crisp linens over flashy silks, basket weave over ritzy prints and a softness and sense of ease in tailoring where once it was high octane, va-va-voom playboy style. Colours kept to a monochrome and neutral palette, with occasional accents of plum and bottle green, when previously the clothes were a sensory assault of print and searing colour.

Stefano Gabbana (left) and Domenico Dolce
Stefano Gabbana (left) and Domenico Dolce - AP

Dolce & Gabbana’s volte-face in recent years to steer away from the streetwear and noise of Gen Z to the territory they built this monolithic house on – the chiaroscuro of 1960s Italian film and the impeccable traditions of southern Italian tailoring – has been a remarkable shift. Perhaps the milestone has made them sentimental for those early years, or perhaps in uncertain times it’s fortifying to consolidate what you do best.

Dolce & Gabbana Spring-Summer 2025 collection
Dolce & Gabbana Spring-Summer 2025 collection - Shutterstock
Dolce & Gabbana Spring-Summer 2025 collection
'Basket weave jackets and vests called to mind retro fisherman uniforms,' writes Doig - Shutterstock
Dolce & Gabbana Spring-Summer 2025 collection
Dolce & Gabbana Spring-Summer 2025 collection - Shutterstock

Either way, the result was a series of clothes that were as fresh as the breeze over a Puglian sunset: airy white linen shirts; softly pleated, voluminous trousers; and basket weave jackets and vests that called to mind retro fisherman uniforms, worn with woven raffia shoes and bags. Tailoring was upright and structured, but with loose proportions. There were elements of that irrepressible Dolce & Gabbana sprinkle of stardust – coral embroidery across trousers and flowing tops – but this was a more muted kind of Italian fellow than the flashy bello uomo they’ve spoken to in the past. He’s on a sunset stroll through the cobbles of Siracusa, rather than popping the prosecco at the Martini Bar in Milan. Much like Italian cooking’s capacity for making simple ingredients sing, the clothes allowed the cut and fabrication to do the talking.

Dolce & Gabbana Spring-Summer 2025 collection
Trousers were softly pleated and voluminous - AP

Perhaps more than any other designer, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have championed the sepia-tinged idea of Italian life across the course of their 40-year careers; the Italian tourist board should pay them commission. The shift in tempo to a quiet sense of simplicity was a palette cleanser, and a tender nod to the stories and themes that first put Dolce & Gabbana on the path to fashion greatness back in the 1980s. While blackened clouds rumble overhead, nostalgia for sunnier times is the best escapism there is.