The Pyjama in the history of fashion

And in the history of Dolce&Gabbana

The silk pyjama which hails from men’s loungewear is not only one of the season’s strongest trends, but also a sociological fashion statement.

Pyjamas are a hot topic this season, but not your basic run of the mill PJS. While today, leaving the house in your printed flannel may seem unseemly, for the fashion set and the trendsetters of yesteryear the pyjama was a stylish subversion of etiquette and a fashion statement which has survived cultural and historical changes throughout the decades.

Loungewear has not always been constituted by leggings and old tattered woolly tops (though immensely comfortable) and especially in menswear. The smoking jacket, for example, which used to be confined to the walls of the home (mansion) has become a fashion statement for public use, and an instant classic.

Similarly, pyjamas followed suit. Fashion pioneers and courageous feminist Coco Chanel started wearing men’s silk (or velvet) pyjamas on the streets in the 1930s and the fashion set has never looked back. Initially sported by women in casual occasions in lieu of beachwear for example, the eccentric ostentation of déshabillé became a nonconformist statement for the fashion forward nobility and artistic classes. Personages of the cult standing of Zelda Fitzgerald, Marlene Dietrich, the Marchesa Luisa Casati, Isadora Duncan and even men like Salvador Dalì and Garcia Lorca had no qualms professing their love for the comfortable style statement of the silk pyjama.

From the pioneers to the runways, pyjamas have cyclically come back into fashion, and one of the fashion houses most attached to the concept are Dolce&Gabbana. Masters of subverting the use of certain items of clothing from underwear to outerwear, think the corset, the men’s tank top, the bra strap and even knickers, Dolce&Gabbana has been experimenting with the pyjama as a stile statement from its earliest catwalks.

In the 1989-1990 collection, the same year when Dolce&Gabbana began owning the Italian creativity which launched their names into the stratosphere of fashion, as well as corsets, and Neorealist inspired 1940s looks, the collection presented two embryonic printed silk pyjama inspired looks which would pave the way for a long lasting relationship.

In 1995 Dolce&Gabbana moves its attention from Italian cinema to international glamour dedicating a collection to Hollywood. The designers were seduced by the old world fashion statements of the Golden Age of Cinema, and here menswear inspired smoking jackets emerged on the runway designed to complement the female body, transparent organza slip dresses were worn over knickers and balconette bras and silk pyjamas, worn loose over feminine underwear gave a glimpse into the relaxed downtime of some unforgettable divas.

Almost a decade after the soft inclusion of the pyjama statement on the runway, the fashion duo went all out and dedicated an entire collection to the look. In the Spring Summer 2009 collection the pyjama truly comes into its own, with plenty of different forms being interpreted by the designers. From total looks printed silk separates, to just the shirt worn over a pencil skirt, shorts pyjamas, knickers pyjamas, bikini pyjamas, trench coat pyjamas and even ballgown pyjamas.

Due to the cultural heritage of the pyjama, and the enduring influence of the pioneers of fashion who first adopted this look, the pyjama continues to appear on the runways in a never-ending trend cycle. Never more so than in 2016, where the Spring Summer runways presented a variety of different interpretations of this loungewear come outerwear staple. The elegance and understatement created by the pyjama, with its luxurious fabrics and stunning prints, as well as the nonchalantly elegant silhouette created by the look make it one of the must have items of the season. Dolce&Gabbana presented three stunning floral print pyjamas in the Italia is Love collection, and to accompany the runway statement have created a complimentary collection of pyjamas featuring both heritage prints like animalier, polka dots, stunning spring florals and block colours.

The pyjama from the Raj to LA

A staple of fashion through the changing world

The pyjama, an everyday item, or a glamorous subversion of fashion etiquette, remains unmoved in fashion, yet mirrors the changing times.

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Pyjama Party

Underwear as outerwear done right

A strong seasonal trend, silk pyjamas in bold prints become a timeless and exceptionally chic look for Summer 2016.

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