A fashion film, but not as we know it. Federico Fellini has a legacy that has touched creatives whatever their discipline, with works such as La Dolce Vita and 8 1/2 a firm fixture of influential cinema 'best evers'. It's true for Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana too, who are fans of the Italian director and have leant their support to the restoration of Fellini Satyricon, his masterpiece based on Roman writer Petronius Arbiter's classic. Recently premiered at the 50th New York Film Festival, the restoration has been brought about by the film's director of photography Giuseppe Rotunno and Cineteca Nazionale, the work described by Fellini himself as "science fiction from the past" and widely regarded as his most visionary piece of cinema – so much so the fantasy drama, rejecting textbook confines and delving into parts of the unconscious, got a five minute standing ovation from critics at the 1969 Venice Film Festival. Beyond the director's influence, which has touched three of Dolce & Gabbana's archive collections, the cutural gesture is the latest of the label's open love letters to Italy, following Domenico and Stefano's Sicilian adventure for mens and womenswear SS13. We spoke to the designers to find out more.
Dazed Digital: What do you love about Satyricon?
Domenico Dolce: There isn’t just one scene which we prefer; we like the way Imperial Rome was depicted, with its decadence and its kitsch nature. Rather than singling out just one scene, we feel the entire film is a great source of inspiration: one-of-a-kind and memorable.
DD: How did you get the opportunity to help restore this great film?
Stefano Gabbana: The idea came about by chance, like many of our projects. Edoardo Ponti brought it to us and put us in touch with the Cineteca Nazionale, which was searching for partners to restore this masterpiece to its original splendour.
Domenico Dolce: Dolce & Gabbana has always had a special bond with Italy, with its culture and its values, and now more than ever, we feel it’s right to protect and promote the beauties of our country, through our collections but also through projects such as this one.
DD: How has Fellini, and beyond that, Italian cinema, influenced you?
Stefano Gabbana: We have always loved the cinema, especially Italian cinema, and Federico Fellini is one of our favourite directors. His films inspired many of our collections. There are 3 collections that are inspired by his masterpieces: La Dolce Vita (SS92), Nights of Cabiria (AW96) and Rome (AW97). Some scenes of his films have been around the world and have become classics.