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Kim Kardashian Curated a Dolce & Gabbana Collection Determined to Break the Internet

Kim Kardashian Curated a Dolce & Gabbana Collection Determined to Break the Internet

The Ciao Kim show in Milan reimagined the brand’s most iconic looks from 1987 to 2007 for the vintage obsessed of today.

The internet is Kim Kardashian’s kingdom, so what kind of clothing collection does the queen of social media create for her subjects? Obviously the answer is 85 pieces of Dolce & Gabbana, inspired by her favorite archival looks, hand-selected from among the brand’s output between the years of 1987 and 2007. Debuting Saturday in Milan, the Spring 2023 show positioned Kardashian as the collection’s “curator,” creating modernized versions of the ultra-influencer’s vintage selections. The extravaganza was titled Ciao Kim. But it felt more like a greeting to the internet. A hi to the haters.

In a move that also felt inspired by the internet—specifically, the bygone era when staged photos of models eating pasta inspired the then-popular @youdidnoteatthat account—models walked the Ciao Kim show, held in a 1940s movie theater, against a video backdrop of Kardashian in a restaurant, surrounded by men in suits, eating an enormous plate of red-sauce spaghetti in slow-motion. But Kardashian didn’t merely eat. She ate.

Each look for the collection was rooted in the past, but re-envisioned for today. A visible white rectangular tailor label attached to each garment signified from which year the origin garment came. Missing were the loud floral prints and bold colors that have become the brand’s more recent signature. Instead the only “color” included, as Kardashian called it backstage, was not actually a color at all, but crystal, embellished on mostly all-black, lingerie-inspired pieces. Leopard print was only included because the designers allegedly convinced her to add it.

Kardashian’s devotion to the brand goes back to her teen years; she grew up with a black lab named Gabbana and a tiny Chihuahua named Dolce. Her amore per Dolce, as it were, was heavily documented on Keeping Up With the Kardashians and now, on her Instagram. Her sister Kourtney Kardashian’s wedding earlier this year was even held at Dolce & Gabbana’s L’Ulivetta villa in Portofino. For the festivities, Kim dressed all of her sisters in pieces from her personal D&G collection, which she has been building up ever since she made a book of over 100 wishlist pieces with her stylist years ago.

On TikTok, vintage Dolce & Gabbana also reigns supreme; it is rare to find a viral designer haul that doesn’t include archival D&G from the late ’90s or early ’00s. While the buyer will often go on to call the collection “iconic” or a “slay” (or “an iconic slay”), that sense of enthusiasm, at least among these armchair archivists, often does not extend to current collections. Many simply cannot afford the newer clothes, while others await the opinions of critics and historians to cement the next decade’s iconic slays. (This seems to be the reality for many major brands and fashion houses who have felt the glow of the archival fashion phenomenon.) Vintage designer has never been this mainstream popular but Dolce’s archive is particularly beloved; even fashion fans who evangelize consuming less always seem to make an exception for old Dolce. While brands like Prada and Fendi have eagerly dug into their own archives for new collections, this is the first time a house has paid such direct deference to its finest past creations.

A model wearing a Kim Kardashian x Dolce & Gabbana version of the Fall 1991 look originally worn by Yasmeen Ghauri on the runway, and over three decades later by Kim Kardashian at her sister’s wedding in Portofino.

Kardashian has certainly set the stage well for the project. (She was also one of the earliest celebrity champions of the current fervor for archival fashion, wearing ’90s Versace to the brand’s show back in 2018.) One of the looks Kardashian wore for her sister’s wedding was a crystal embellished bustier with matching bottoms sewn into an all-black catsuit, as seen originally on Yasmeen Ghauri on the Fall 1991 runway. The idea for the Spring 2023 collection apparently stemmed from this moment, with Dolce and Gabbana discussing it with Kardashian over dinner. In the show notes they refer to her as “the ultimate muse.”

A tailor tag on a Kim Kardashian x Dolce & Gabanna Spring 2023 corset top indicating the year of the Stromboli Spring 1998 collection, which famously featured butterfly appliqués, and inspired the new runway piece.

On Instagram, Kardashian gushed back, writing, “You could feel the moment you put on a D & G dress that the intention when it was designed & made was to celebrate the woman wearing it. To make her feel like she could do anything, be anything, own her confidence & her beauty.”

The Kim Kardashian x Dolce & Gabbana collection is poised to be irresistible amongst younger fashion fanatics, even the most skeptical. After all, it’s made up of the type of pieces that only last minutes when listed for a premium on TheReaReal or 1stDibs.

Now, a much larger audience will be able to get their hands on things like a silk butterfly appliqué corset top inspired by the famous 1998 Stromboli collection or a crystal-embellished catsuit like the one worn by Naomi Campbell on the Fall 1991 runway. Even the iconic Sex chokers, modeled by Gisele Bündchen in 2003, were remade in silver instead of gold. And now, they spell out a 2022 equivalent of the word: Kim.