Spectacle, luxury and fantasy: Dolce & Gabbana Haute Couture is all about escapism.
The renowned designers, Dolce & Gabbana, kicked off their 10th anniversary Alta Moda runway show with a performance of Cavalliera Rusticana, Pietro Mascagni’s one-act opera about a pair of love triangles. They paid homage to their homeland with a fabulous, star-studded show full of references to Italian culture.
The incredible show took place in Piazza del Duomo in Ortigia, an island in the Sicilian region where the designers are from. The models walked down a staircase and walked around the front of the cathedral under the gaze of two religious steps, Santa Lucia, the patron saint of Sicily, and a Christ.
Sicily is a special place for Dolce. He was born there. “Syracuse is a special place for us,” Gabbana explained before the fashion show. “It’s in the southernmost part of Sicily, facing Africa. I love the feeling, I love the atmosphere, I love the stones, the colours, the people.”
“Tonight, we tried to create an experience that has to do with the DNA of Dolce & Gabbana,” said Dolce.
“Alta Moda, for me, is about surprises,” Gabbana said. “Every time we start a collection, I want to surprise myself. Every time it’s a challenge. I want to say something more. And I’m full of curiosity.”
There were certain aspects which inspired the collection: The soul of Sicily, its culture, religion, traditions, gastronomy, natural sites, such as the grotto of the cordeleros, the baroque of Caravaggio, the devotion to Santa Lucia and its people.
The collection featured 106 outfits that appeared at the top of a staircase as the church bells rang. The opening look consisted of a short white dress with oversized sleeves in the shape of cherub statues. This was followed by life-size wings coming off the shoulders and voluminous bridal gowns covered in three-dimensional flowers.
In a marked departure from the brand’s signature prints and vibrant Mediterranean-inspired colour palette, the collection was presented almost entirely in black. “If you ask anyone, in their imagination, what the Sicilian woman wears, it’s black,” Gabbana said.
But it wasn’t all black and gold. There were white robes with angel wings or structured baroque statues on each arm; a huge billowing pink coat, her proportions further enhanced with silk roses to an orange dress that covered her model’s head.
Of course, the fashion show was full of familiar faces. Drew Barrymore, Mariah Carey, Sharon Stone and Helen Mirren were among the highlights.
Other stars in attendance were actresses Emma Roberts and Lupita Nyong’o, and singers Anitta and Ciara, who attended with her husband and three children. They all chose models in keeping with their style.