Dolce, Gabbana, Miley & Millennials

Maria Posted by Maria at June 20, 2017 15:47:32 June 20, 2017 15:47:32

If you follow any annoying millennial socialites or the offspring of famous people on Instagram, you may have noticed Dolce & Gabbana had a fashion show stacked with many not-quite somebodies (like Dylan Bronson, Presley Gerber, Brandon Lee, Roberto Rossellini and the Stallone sisters).

Doing my regular research for Smutty Social Media, I noticed a brewing drama between Miley Cyrus, her brother Braison, and Dolce & Gabbana but I ignored it because I wanted to have a think on what it meant beyond the emojis and exclamation marks. Here is the exchange.

 

Congrats @braisonccyrus on walking in your 1st runway show.... It's never been my little brothers dream to be a model as HE is one of the most talented musicians my ears have ever been given the gift of hearing.... BUT it is a Cyrus family trait to try everything once (within reason HA) and to embrace opportunities that encourage you to step out of your comfort zone! We believe in trying something new everyday! I love you Prince Suga Bear and seriously congratulations on your experience! I am so proud of you always.... From Nashville to Italy! 👑❤️👑❤️👑❤️ PS D&G, I STRONGLY disagree with your politics.... but I do support your company's effort to celebrate young artists & give them the platform to shine their light for all to see!

A post shared by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

 


Stefano also left a few comments on a couple of Miley’s post that included “Ignorant!!!” and per THR, “For your stupid comment never more work with him" and the thumbs down emojis with "#boycottdolcegabbana.” 

While it’s easy to assume the politics Miley is referring to is D&G’s dressing of Melania Trump, it could also go all the way back to their remarks on IVF, “synthetic” babies and same-sex parents. Either way, Stefano Gabbana was not in the mood.

They both look bratty here, but in different ways. Miley’s post comes off as entitled. She’s trying to make it clear that she supports her brother (but not the brand) but the way she positions his experience is eye-roll inducing – well he’s actually a musician, he’s just modeling for fun.

The show clearly considered surnames in its casting and he’s capitalizing off an opportunity that his last name afforded him. That is all fine and good. So why didn’t she just let him do that? If all this is about her brother, why did she feel the need to insert her thoughts on D&G’s politics in a lukewarm way? She then proceeded to post a lot of his coverage, which… why? If he’s a musician who just models for kicks, what’s with the fist pumping.

This was supposed to be his introduction to the world. Hey, look at me, I’m the Cyrus brother without the face tattoos! Miley is incredibly seasoned and would know that her comment could get some attention. Why did she do it? Was it really politically motivated, or was this ultimately a way to get Braison more press? I’ll leave that on the gossip buffet.

On the other side, Stefano Gabbana is loving the publicity his brand gets from dressing the First Lady. Many houses have dressed Melania (and Ivanka) since the US election, including Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Reem Acra and Carolina Herrera. D&G is seeing by far the most traction for this “controversy” (which Miley has played right into).

His response to Miley is not personal inasmuch as it is ultra-sensitive and opportunistic. He loves attention and hates bad press. Business of Fashion, a very well respected trade, just caught his wrath for writing about D&G’s stunt casting and lack of innovation in recent years. He is so salty about it.


Fashion people being c-nts? My favourite. But there is something simmering underneath it. In his response to Miley, Stefano posted that politicizing fashion is wrong… and that Italians don’t care about politics, particularly American politics.


Being first generation Italian (with a huge family in Italy), I would definitely disagree with that. Italy has a tumultuous political system, a financial structure on the brink of a collapse, and it grapples with massive economic disparity, blatant racism and deep anti-immigrant sentiment. (See more here, here, and here.) I think it’s hard for North Americans to marry Italy’s deep problems (like domestic violence at epidemic proportions) with the romantic, culturally rich image we have of the country. Italians are supposed to be uncomplicated, joyful, passionate, pasta-eating bon vivants and with that there’s very little acknowledgement of the machismo, economically stifled social system that has to eek out progress for women and minorities with little support.

Keeping the status quo is essential to maintaining tradition, which Italian society guards obsessively. When the traditions keep silent women in pretty dresses alongside the men in power well, what’s not for Stefano to like? To broach the subject of what it means to dress Melania draws rebuke from Domenic and Stefano. They have said dressing Melania is not about her husband, because for them, there can be that disconnect. Their lives will not be affected by American policy or even the constantly changing pendulum of Italian government.

Domenic and Stefano have said politics do not belong in fashion. If so, why market an ironic Boycott Dolce & Gabbana t-shirt, which mocks the very idea of political activism? Simply put, it’s because Domenic and Stefano do not give a f-ck. They don’t care about change at home or abroad because the system has absolutely worked for them and their most valued customers.

At a time when other brands (like Dior) are making feminist T-shirts (which can also be viewed as cynically co-opting a movement, a whole other discussion), D&G is riding the populism wave against PC culture. And they are doing it by tapping into millennials (probably the most PC generation of all), who are expected to take their $240 t-shirt and show it off on Instagram.

With that, there’s another angle to #boycottdolceandgabbana from someone who was asked to model in the show: Atlanta musician Raury. He arrived in Milan knowing very little about the show, was showered in free clothes, and had a huge opportunity before him. Still he chose to educate himself on what was going on. He knows the value of a boycott because he has to. Which is why he ripped off his clothes at the end of the show.


The risk he took could have some real life ramifications (unlike Miley, who risked and gained nothing). Stefano might be annoyed by Miley, by it will be the millennials like Raury who are going to effect the change that will make the old guard – D&G included – irrelevant. And no t-shirt can stem that tide.

Attached - Miley Cyrus performing at 2017 BLI Summer Jam last week. 
 

Photos:
Kevin Kane/ Getty Images

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