Dolce and Gabbana want to adopt a child

Discussion in 'Rumor has it...' started by khyrk, May 27, 2009.

  1. khyrk

    khyrk Oh Yeah!

    Apr 19, 2009
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    Stepping onto Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s yacht, La Regina d’Italia (Italian Queen), in Cannes is like walking into a scene from a Fellini film.

    Bronzed male models – clad only in the briefest swimwear – are draped over furniture and curled up asleep on sofas. Up on the top deck, some are enthusiastically rubbing sun cream into toned limbs, while others emerge giggling in packs from the kitchen, carrying snacks. “Fellini?”, trills Gabbana (the taller, darker one of the two), who looks more decent than most in micro-shorts and a blue shirt, which falls open to reveal expanses of flat, polished walnut stomach. “No, it’s La Dolce Vita, Dolce and Gabbana-style.” He effects a mini pirouette. “That’s why we throw our party here every year.”

    The boys first visited the film festival seven years ago, fell in love with the place and decided to return every year to throw their infamous bash on the penultimate night. “That first year, I remember partying so hard that I left a nightclub with a gigantic red bowl and walked home with it over my head,” laughs Gabbana.

    For no reasons other than their global success and Elton John-style celebrity clique, I had anticipated haughtiness from Dolce and Gabbana. Instead, they greet me with warmth and a flirty curiosity. Gabbana throws open the doors (the gold knobs shaped as two outstretched hands) to a dimly-lit sitting room, where I’m invited to come and lie with them on a leopard-skin throw.

    There is no strand of resentfulness in their make-up, as with so many celebrities. “We are lucky,” admits Dolce (paler, more timid and less manicured than his partner). “It’s so stupid when people complain about fame because we have this great job that we both love,” asserts Gabbana, who runs his eyes caressingly over your face, hair and skin as he talks. “Our favourite thing in the world is to be able to make a woman look beautiful,” – and this they have been doing, to great effect, for 23 years.

    Palermo-born Dolce, 50, and Venice-born Gabbana, 46, met in 1980. Both were working as assistants in an atelier in Milan “living off milk and pasta.” Six years later, the pair crystallised a style concept which would make them indispensable to women with bodies to flaunt – and planted the seeds of an empire with a £1.1 million annual turnover. Today, there are few areas the brand does not engulf: menswear, underwear, shoes, fragrances, phones and, most recently, make-up bear the stamp of those initials.

    What were their first impressions of each other? “I thought he was a monster,” snaps Gabbana. “Seriously, he was such a fashion victim. He looked like a priest, all dressed in black with that white skin and a shaved head. It wasn’t very impressive.” “Stefano was very Milanese, with his long hair and Lacoste T-shirt,” counters Dolce. Yet, that mutual disdain turned into a 20-year love affair which ended in 2005, when the pair split up. “Professionally, we are still partners, and we still love each other with that big love now. Domenico is a part of my life, but he has a boyfriend and I have a boyfriend,” says Gabbana. Are there really no feelings of jealousy? “No,” Dolce says quietly. “At the beginning it was problematic, but now we want to be an example to people because it’s not just gay couples who break up and it should be possible to have a good relationship afterwards. On our death beds, we would want each other there.”

    They still work closely from their 19th-century Milanese villa, and even harbour fantasies of adopting a child together one day – a dream dashed by European adoption laws. “Those are never going to change,” shrugs Gabbana sadly. “The problem is that you touch a really sensitive issue – particularly in [Roman Catholic] Italy – because of the Pope. Although I believe that it’s not so much about religion as it is about political opinion.”

    They are defensive on the subject of Madonna’s recent battle to adopt her second Malawian child, Mercy. “It’s her personal choice and part of her personal life so people shouldn’t judge her.” As one of the first celebrities to promote their brand (she wore a Dolce & Gabbana shirt in her film, In Bed with Madonna) and a close friend, the singer is clearly admired by them both. When I ask which woman the pair would sleep with if heterosexual for a single night, they chorus in unison “Madonna”, before bursting out laughing. “There are a lot of beautiful girls in the world, but she would be…” Gabbana trails off, overcome.

    Nowadays, the pair are not short of celebrity support. Scarlett Johansson, Beyoncé, Victoria Beckham, Monica Bellucci and Eva Mendes frequently slink down the red carpet in their corseted, feminine creations, while Matthew McConaughey and David Beckham are fans of their sharply tailored suits. Such is their list of high-profile admirers they are hard-pushed to think of anyone they would like to add to it, shrugging off Barack and Michelle Obama with a curt “We don’t do politics.”

    “I like Peaches Geldof,” volunteers Dolce. “And Alice Dellal. That new generation is very interesting. Oh,” – he claps his hands together – “and I love the two princes, William and Harry – they are sexy and beautiful.” Gabbana agrees. “We always take inspiration from the English, whether it’s the Queen, Oscar Wilde or those British bankers. You have this unique, eccentric, taste.”

    Yet the British have not always been so receptive to the vagaries of their vision, banning the brand’s famously controversial advertisements on several occasions. Two years ago, one featuring two men holding a wounded woman was withdrawn after complaints that it glorified knife crime. “We had asked Steven Meisel to reproduce a famous painting by Jacques-Louis David,” says Dolce, shaking his head. “It was about history and culture, but some people have dirty, sick mentalities.”

    After their fluid, pyjama chic spring/summer collection of 2009, their autumn/winter show may come as a surprise, they warn me. “It’s a reaction to the financial crisis,” they chirp excitedly. “Full of happiness, quite loco – all alice bands and big shoulders.” “We still love 'sexy’, but we’re not going for that 'bon temps’ look any more,” explains Gabbana. With the recession in mind, would they ever create a diffusion line as Matthew Williamson and Stella McCartney did for H&M? Gabbana pulls a face. “No, we don’t need to. That kind of exposure could be dangerous for us.”

    Talking over and around each other with the easy comfort special to long-term partners, Dolce and Gabbana appear divided only when the future of the brand is discussed. “If you look at painters and designers throughout history, there has always been a moment in life to create, but it’s important to understand when that time is finished,” says Dolce on the question of retirement.

    “But for us, it would almost be impossible to stop,” interrupts Gabbana. “We created the brand from nothing; the different elements of it are like our babies.” He pauses. “I think I’d die if I stopped. I would, I’d die.”

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