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Virgin Mary Silk Chiffon

Dolce & Gabbana silk chiffon Virgin Mary print diamanté shift dress, ss 1998
By Dolce & Gabbana
Located in London, GB
Dolce & Gabbana silk chiffon shift dress with Virgin Mary print decorated with diamanté, chiffon
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1990s Italian Evening Dresses and Gowns

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Dolce & Gabbana for sale on 1stDibs

Shapely lingerie models, animal and floral prints and the Mediterranean heritage of Sicily have come to define the romantic and sensual style of Dolce & Gabbana, a leading international brand that from its earliest days of corsetry, copious lace and provocative silhouettes has challenged fashion with an audacious vision for femininity.

After meeting in Milan in 1980 while they were both working for Italian designer Giorgio Correggiari, Domenico Dolce (b. 1958) and Stefano Gabbana (b. 1962) would go on to establish their eponymous fashion empire in 1982. Three years later, a breakthrough for the duo materialized in the form of an up-and-coming talent showcase at Milan Fashion Week, where they unveiled an approach to fashion design that broke sharply from that of the era’s reigning Italian houses. By then romantic partners as well as a business, Dolce & Gabbana were outsiders. Soon, their distinctive garments — sexy, feathery skirts and stretchy jersey evening dresses that favored full figures — demanded the fashion world’s undivided attention.

Though Dolce & Gabbana forged a path in womenswear that would take shape with a 1986 collection called “Real Women,” the brand’s offerings broadened quickly to encompass knitwear, swimwear, lingerie, ready-to-wear, menswear and perfume. In the early 1990s, Madonna helped catapult the luxury house to international stardom: The renowned singer and actress famously tapped the brand to create the looks for her 1993 tour “The Girlie Show.” It saw Madonna working closely with the designers and even starring in their ad campaigns. Dolce & Gabbana has continued to develop a high-profile clientele that includes pop sensations such as Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. The latter donned Dolce & Gabbana’s armor corset dress in the music video for her hit single “Paparazzi.”

Rather than following the rapidly changing trends of fashion, Dolce & Gabbana have instead held to their close-fitting tailoring and decadent designs. The house continues to work with recurring themes such as the culture of Italy and Catholicism, which is manifest, specifically, in their widespread use of black lace, a fabric that references the dresses worn by Sicilian widows. The duo is also inspired by Italian cinema and its icons such as Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren; in 2015 they introduced the Sophia No. 1 lipstick in her honor.

Although Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana separated as a couple in 2005, they continued their business as a creative partnership. In 2012, they closed their less expensive D&G ready-to-wear line to focus on exclusive extravagance, such as their Alta Moda custom pieces. Today, Dolce & Gabbana maintains a popularity with a wealthy clientele, and the house’s 2020s collections have featured technological experiments that update traditional styles, such as a bouclé jacket with a pixel-like pattern, as well as throwbacks to the 1990s fashion that made the brand a household name.

Find vintage Dolce & Gabbana handbags, day dresses, shoes and more on 1stDibs.

Fashion of the 1990s

For fashion lovers, the 1990s have become associated with styles adopted by today’s supermodels and influencers, who never wear the same thing twice. And because fast fashion didn’t yet exist, the design associated with 1990s fashion — vintage '90s handbags, clothing and accessories — has a quality appreciated by the millennial generation: authenticity.

If there was one concept unifying 1990s fashion, it was the lean silhouette. “Fashion is a game of proportion,” Alexander Fury wrote in the New York Times in 2016. “Narrow-shouldered and narrow-hipped, the ’90s were skinny.”

If it takes a practiced eye to identify that single concept, that’s because in truth, ’90s fashion was many things to many people. After the 1980s era of strong-shouldered working women, glossy aerobicized bodies and Madonna, fashion branched out.

The industry gained momentum from big-money relaunches of the great Paris houses Dior, Givenchy and Balenciaga, rescued at long last from the constraints of licensing. Japan and Belgium gave fashion new avant-garde ideas to play with. From America came denim, minimalism, grunge and hip-hop. From Italy came sex appeal. And Prada.

For the colorful corsets of her 1990 Portrait collection, audacious British designer Dame Vivienne Westwood drew on 18th-century oil paintings — her models donned the pearl choker necklaces that have become a social media star and a favorite of influencers and fashion lovers all over the world. For a jacket-and-shorts suit from her Fall/Winter 1996–97 Storm in a Teacup line, the designer used the extreme asymmetry of a tartan mash-up to confront, according to Westwood, “the horror of uniformity and minimalism.”

“The ethos of the time was, you could have style, you could be into all kinds of cool stuff. It wasn’t about money, it wasn’t about status,” says Katy Rodriguez, cofounder of Resurrection. In contrast, “our last 10 years have seen the domination of nonstop luxury, money and status.”

Vintage 1990s Chanel bags, for example, are among the most prized of the brand’s offerings — at Newfound Luxury, proprietor L. Kiyana Macon has "clients who only buy ’90s Chanel because they recognize that it is the best quality.” 

Things were different in the ’90s, and the difference is reflected in the clothes. Pull up any recent “How to Do the 1990s” fashion article (or look at photos of current supermodels Gigi, Kendall and Bella), and you’ll see knee socks, cardigans, fanny packs, fishnet stockings, slip dresses, flannel shirts and combat boots.

Rodriguez has recently noticed something similar happening. Before COVID, customers searched 1990s stock “for very sexy Galliano, Dior, Cavalli — that kind of thing,” she explains, noting that just a few months ago, “people were posting [on social media] the poshest things they could.” Now, in the age of shutdown, “that would just look out of touch.”

Instead, people are looking for “things that are cool but also easy and comfortable, not necessarily super-luxe,” Rodriguez continues. They’re “heading back to the more avant-garde, anti-fashion designers, like Helmut Lang, [Martin] Margiela and [Ann] Demeulemeester.”

Late designer Franco Moschino shocked and titillated the ’80s fashion elite with his whimsical, irreverent parodies of bourgeois finery. Whether emblazoning a sober blazer with smiley faces or embellishing a skirt suit with cutlery, Moschino rendered high style with a hearty wink. He famously said, “If you can’t be elegant, at least be extravagant” — words that, with all due respect to Susan Sontag, epitomize the essence of camp. Vintage Moschino pants, jackets and other '90s Moschino garments remain so bold and fresh today that even the house's former creative director, Jeremy Scott, drew on the brand's past and the pop culture of the decade for his debut collection in 2014.

Find vintage 90s dresses, skirts, sweaters and other clothing and accessories on 1stDibs.

Finding the Right evening-dresses for You

With entire museum exhibitions dedicated to examining fashion designers and their creations, we’re finally recognizing that costuming is art. Fashion is a powerful means of self-expression, and sophisticated vintage evening dresses and gowns by our favorite couturier play no small role in making us feel wonderful but, perhaps more importantly, making us feel like ourselves.

Evening dresses over time have conveyed specific statements about social class, position and beliefs. In the 16th century, dresses and gowns were so important that England's Queen Elizabeth I defined rules about what dresses women could wear — guidance included long skirts and fitted bodices. Forward-thinking designers have responded to this history.

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel reimagined traditionally masculine garments for feminine shapes, and her elegant evening dresses and gowns promoted comfort and grace in women’s wear that had been dominated in the previous century by layers of fabric. French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent introduced innovative and highly coveted dress designs in the 1960s while at the same time challenging sexist stereotypes about which members of society could wear tuxedos. Works by unconventional British designer John Galliano — featured in houses like Givenchy and Dior — redefined limits that dressmakers faced in terms of material, construction and vision during the late 20th century.

Today’s designers target an increasingly broad audience with their boundary-crossing work, and their tendency to play off of each other’s ideas means that every walk down the runway is also a walk through an entire history of fashion design and dress craftsmanship.

Whether you gravitate toward backless maxi dresses or silk charmeuse gowns by Alexander McQueen or embellished, ruffled floral-print designs by Chloe or Versace, there is an extraordinary collection of vintage and designer evening dresses and gowns waiting for you on 1stDibs.

Questions About Dolce & Gabbana
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Dolce and Gabbana is known for producing romantic, alluring fashions and accessories. Animal and floral prints are two signatures of the brand, and their apparel often features close-fitting, finely tailored lines. On 1stDibs, find a selection of Dolce and Gabbana.
    1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Dolce & Gabbana is known for bold prints and classic Italian glam. Dolce & Gabbana is also well known for their women’s suits, which are influenced by traditional masculine silhouettes. Shop a collection of authentic Dolce & Gabbana from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Dolce & Gabbana use a variety of fabrics in their designs, so it really depends on what piece you’re looking at. Dolce & Gabbana’s website lists the materials used to create each item and is a great site to use for reference. You can also shop a collection of vintage and new Dolce & Gabbana looks from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Dolce and Gabbana makes their products in more than one location. Most of the apparel comes from brand-owned workshops and factories in Italy and France. Manufacturers in China produce some of the brand's sunglasses and shoes. On 1stDibs, find a collection of Dolce and Gabbana.
    1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    The majority of Dolce & Gabbana garments are manufactured in Italy, with some specialty garments manufactured in France. Always purchase Dolce & Gabbana garments from a reputable seller to ensure authenticity. Shop a collection of authentic Dolce & Gabbana from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Dolce and Gabbana sneakers tend to fit true to size. The brand uses Italian sizing, so consult its official size chart to determine which is right for you. You can shop a collection of Dolce and Gabbana sneakers on 1stDibs.
    1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    The fit of Dolce & Gabbana sneakers is dependent on the style and other attributes. It is commonly said that the Italian luxury house’s sneakers run true to size, but you can find measurements and descriptions on the brand’s website for each pair of sneakers, and the products’ accompanying information features a sizing guide. Shop a range of Dolce & Gabbana sneakers from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    While retailer Dolce & Gabbana largely makes their luxury wear in Italy, some items from the D&G ready-to-wear label are made in Turkey. Shop a collection of vintage and new Dolce & Gabbana from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    No, Dolce and Gabbana does not usually go on sale. The brand's official online store and brick-and-mortar boutiques typically do not discount apparel and accessories. However, some authorized retailers and various online platforms may mark down Dolce and Gabbana or offer sales. You'll find a selection of Dolce and Gabbana on 1stDibs.
    1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Yes, Dolce & Gabbana items are occasionally marked down, usually at the end of the season. Look for reputable sellers to ensure you purchase authentic, high-quality Dolce & Gabbana products. Find a range of genuine Dolce & Gabbana garments from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Whether Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses are good is largely a matter of personal perception. The luxury manufacturer Luxottica produces eyewear for the brand and many other well-known labels, including Oakley, Burberry, Prada, Tiffany & Co. and Valentino. On 1stDibs, find a range of Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses.
    1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Yes, Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses are often regarded as good sunglasses. Dolce & Gabbana range between understated, classic and timeless styles to daring and bold statement pieces. Always purchase Dolce & Gabbana pieces from a reputable seller to ensure authenticity. Shop a collection of authentic Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Dolce & Gabbana are Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, the creative force behind the luxury brand. After they met while designing for Giorgio Correggiari, the two opened their own consulting studio and went on to present their first women’s collection in 1985. Find an assortment of Dolce & Gabbana apparel from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana own Dolce and Gabbana. The pair of Italian fashion designers met in 1980 and formed their own design studio in 1982. In 1985, they founded the luxury fashion house that bears their names. Shop a range of Dolce and Gabbana on 1stDibs.
    1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Dolce & Gabbana was founded by Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana in 1985. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were a couple from 1982 to 2005. However, they still maintain a professional relationship as the founders and owners of their brand. Shop a range of Dolce & Gabbana garments from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    ‘Alta Moda’ is Dolce & Gabbana’s women’s line of clothing. The designs are presented twice a year in tandem with ‘Alta Sartoria’, the men’s line. You’ll find a variety of Dolce & Gabbana designs from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    While it is recommended to either size down or stay true to size in swimsuits due to their stretch-rich nature, Dolce & Gabbana’s website also has a size chart you can reference for fit. Shop a collection of vintage and new Dolce & Gabbana beach looks from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    While the high-fashion brand itself does not offer a Black Friday sale, you may have more luck visiting official retailers of the brand to see if they offer discounts on Black Friday. On 1stDibs, find vintage and contemporary Dolce & Gabbana pieces from some of the top sellers around the world.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    It depends on which style suit you are buying. Not all Dolce & Gabbana suits are canvassed and each suit has its own specifications. Shop a collection of vintage and new Dolce & Gabbana suits from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Dolce & Gabbana’s Sorrento sneakers can be worn a variety of ways, it all comes down to a matter of preference. Pair them with a dress for fun laid-back vibes or with jeans when you’re running errands. Create your own unique look when you shop a selection of Dolce & Gabbana shoes on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    The main difference between D&G and Dolce and Gabbana is price point. Dolce and Gabbana is the luxury fashion house's high-end brand, while D&G featured apparel and accessories geared toward a younger demographic and sold at a lower cost. Dolce and Gabanna stopped producing D&G in 2011. Shop a selection of Dolce and Gabbana on 1stDibs.
    1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    D&G was the diffusion line of the Dolce & Gabbana brand that sold clothing and accessories. In 2011, Dolce & Gabbana opted to discontinue the D&G line to better focus on their signature line. Browse authentic Dolce & Gabbana garments from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    The Piazza di Spagna Dolce & Gabbana is open and its hours are from 10:30am to 7:30pm, seven days a week. On 1stDibs, find a collection of authentic Dolce & Gabbana pieces from some of the world’s top sellers, all from the comfort of your home.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Dolce & Gabbana bags are made in Italy. The luxury brand was founded in 1985 by Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. You can shop a collection of authentic Dolce & Gabbana bags from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    No, Dolce & Gabbana bags do not have serial numbers. D&G bags do come with an authenticity card that includes a small hologram on the bottom corner. Find a selection of vetted Dolce & Gabbana bags from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    No, the Dolce & Gabbana Ingrid bag does not have a long strap. The bag comes with two medium-sized top handles to complete its sleek look. You can shop a selection of Dolce & Gabbana handbags from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Dolce & Gabbana bags use a variety of materials for the lining of their bags - from crocodile skin to calf leather. If you have a bag in mind, you can check out the Dolce & Gabbana website for a breakdown of its material contents. On 1stDibs, shop a selection of Dolce & Gabbana designs from some of the world’s top-rated sellers.