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Daily Context: Madonna Channels Anna Magnani for D&G

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Daily Context: Madonna Channels Anna Magnani for D&G

Dolce & Gabbana

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Even with the recent launch of Madonna's and daughter Lourdes' "Material Girl" collection for Macy's, which could easily be described as a retrospective collection showcasing highlights from Madge's 25-plus year career, the iconic fashion and pop icon continues to show off her ability to shift from one look to the next, this time channeling Italian cinema star Anna Magnini for D&G's latest ad campaign.

While the black and white images (shot by Steven Klein) are undeniably Dolce in their context and aesthetic, the direct attribute to Italian actress Anna Magnini is one worth noting. Magnini (1908-1973) is perhaps best known stateside for winning the Best Actress Academy Award in 1955 for her role as a Sicilian widow in The Rose Tattoo, however her dark brooding looks and often forecful demeanor earned her the nickname "La Lupa"—the wolf—in her home country, where she was a favorite among directors like Roberto Rossellini (with whom she had a love affair).  

Unlike other Italian bombshells Sophia Loren or today, Monica Bellucci (another D&G ad campaign star), Magnini was known for exuding a different kind of appeal. Less sex symbol than fiery earth mother, the actress was loved for her natural beauty and complex portrayals of working-class housewives.

Klein's images of Madonna feature the blond chameleon, often clad in black lace, set in various quotidien scenes: grocery shopping at the local market, enjoying a family lunch, relishing some time alone with her newborn daughter, which are meant to convey that same kind of beauty found in the simplicity of everyday life. “We believe the campaign is comforting and that people will somehow identify themselves in the images, which again display a more human and approachable side of Madonna,” said Stefano Gabbana to WWD.

Overall, the campaign is mostly indicative of how designers are exalting this throwback to old-school European glamour. From Marc Jacobs' embrace of corseted, form-enhacing frocks for Louis Vuitton's Fall 2010 collection, to the rise of curvier models like Lara Stone, it's clear this aesthetic is no longer mutually exclusive to D&G's la dolce vita.

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