The last places we’d want to be today are in rooms with Whitney Houston or Madonna. And normally, those are the first places we’d want to be. But today, those two women could be sputtering with irritation, perhaps full-on rage. Last night they wore the same gray leopard-print Dolce & Gabbana dress. Whitney wore it for the seminal launch of her comeback CD in London, while Madonna wore it out to dinner in Milan with Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana themselves.
That the divas weren’t photographed at the same event or even in the same city doesn’t make the gaffe any better. When celebrities borrow clothes (and we assume Madonna and Whitney borrowed these frocks), they invest a fair amount of trust in a label’s public-relations department. They trust these publicists not to loan them a dress another celebrity was photographed in last week. They trust these publicists not to give them the same dress they gave another celebrity for the same event. Especially when you’re making one of the year’s (decade’s?) most highly anticipated musical comebacks, especially when you’re Madonna, you trust these publicists, even if only motivated out of pure fear, not to screw up your photo op in any way possible. Given that high-end fashion houses operate with the organization, finesse, and efficiency of, say, the CIA’s most elite units, how did Dolce & Gabbana let this happen? Perhaps Dolce publicist Ali Wise, who was recently arrested for hacking another socialite’s voice mail and has been a fixture in the tabloids since last week, has been a little distracted.