A couple of weeks ago Dolce & Gabbana designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana had everyone feeling allllll the warm and fuzzies when they presented their motherhood-inspired fall collection. The audience collectively awwwwed when the curtain lifted to reveal a group of mothers with their adorable children, applauded when a pregnant and glowy Bianca Balti hit the runway, and beamed right alongside model Ashleigh Good, who walked carrying her five-month-old baby Emily. (At least one of us texted her mom right away.)
Fast forward to today and all the good vibes have dissolved into a glorious shit storm of shocking quotes, threats of boycott and warring hashtags. The gist: over the weekend, Italian magazine Panorama published an interview with the design duo, in which they drop some seriously stank quote bombs. Some choice nuggets:
On gay adoption: “We oppose gay adoptions. The only family is the traditional one.”
On family: “I am gay, I cannot have a child. I guess you cannot have everything in life.”
On in vitro fertilization: “I call children of chemistry synthetic children. Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalogue.”
I think I just heard the sound of a publicist fainting.
Sir Elton John, who has two children with husband David Furnish, took to Instagram on Sunday to write: “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic’. And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF—a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children.” He punctuated his post with the now trending hashtag #BoycottDolceGabbana (there’s also a #BoycottEltonJohn hashtag now because of course there is). Courtney Love tweeted that she was ready to burn all her D&G pieces. Others have taken up the call to burn and boycott—not surprising considering the astonishing level of WTF happening here.
The crazy doesn’t stop there. Normally, when shit hits the fan in the celeb universe, the strategy is the same: make a statement and then shut up, take cover and wait for the storm to pass. That is not what’s going on. I invite you to peruse Stefano Gabbana’s Instagram feed, on which, over the past two days, he has posted 50+ pictures, screen grabs and clippings related to the backlash, including one that inexplicably compares their situation to the Charlie Hebdo massacre?? Literally, could not have made things worse.
For a fashion follower, stories like this make you wonder if you can separate a designer’s work from their personal views. Sometimes yes—we all have our opinions and our choices and we’re entitled to them. But in this case, you kind of can’t. They were being interviewed about their fall show, they were supposed to be talking about their fall show, and the thing is: they were. So much for those warm and fuzzies.