Isabella Rossellini shot by Steven Meisel for the Dolce & Gabanna Fall 1989 campaign.
When the duo broke out in 1986 they quickly became known for purveying a unique and sophisticated sexuality. Formed from their own Italian/Sicilian heritage, the inspiration was more Visconti and Fellini than anything banal or pulp — as it could easily be misinterpreted for. Coming into their own as the decade petered away from excess and androgyny, it was Dolce & Gabanna’s hyper-classical take on femininity, as subdued and understated as it could be, that would lead the way. In 1989, with photography by Stephen Meisel, this overlooked facet of the designers’ universe was perhaps no better illustrated and, at the same time, obscured.