Marie Claire UK - 10.2019

(Axel Boer) #1



Concerned that the art of ‘Made in Italy’ craftsmanship is dying,

Dolce & Gabbana has opened its own tailoring school for
a new generation of makers. Jess Wood goes behind the scenes

Afloor-length gown covered in black sequins is
on a mannequin,andLa MaestraGiusi (aka ‘the boss’)
swivels it round to show me the zipper that runs down the
back. She explains how, when putting in the zip, every
single sequin around the entire length of it will be cut off
by hand, then reattached afterwards to ensure the
perfect finish. I’m a bit gobsmacked. Unlike the French,
Italian labels such as Dolce & Gabbana are more famous
for ready-to-wear than couture. But the country’s fashion
brands have a long heritage in specific ‘Made in Italy’
techniques. Much of it involves tailoring, and also their
way of dealing with the world’s finest fabrics

  • mainly still produced in Italy. Giusi has worked for
    Domenico and Stefano for more than 30 years, since
    they were a young duo personally stitching corsets for
    their collections. Decades ago, incredible tailors were
    everywhere in Italy, but nowadays, it’s a dying art.
    Dolce & Gabbana might be a huge global operation,
    but the label still makes nearly 100 per cent of its pieces
    in Italy. They also triple-check everything to a near-
    obsessive degree. The designers and their studio are

based in Milan, while in this compound in Lignano lies
the beating heart of the production operation. On
receiving the designers’ sketches, this team produces the
patterns, and the sartoria (workrooms) then produce
a prototype for each garment. This building is where
all the fabrics, buttons and trims are received and
inspected. Once all the elements for each collection have
been received and checked here, they’re sent to external
factories in Italy for production. Every piece produced is
then returned to this HQ for a final in-house quality audit
and shipped to the customer.
Even at the trusted factories, which have worked with
the company for years, there’s no escape from the Dolce
& Gabbana eye. The house has its own staff posted
within each one checking the collections. In 2012, the
duo realised there simply weren’t enough young tailors
trained to the meticulous standard they needed, so they
started their own school. They put Giusi in charge
and now, every six months, she welcomes a new batch of
around ten students into the ‘Dolce school’, most
of whom then go on to permanent jobs in the company.





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