In 1951, in Florence, Italian Alta Moda was born. It returned last night, for a spectacular showcase courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana, high above the city in the lush gardens of the Villa Bardini. The colors of the gardens served to inspire the sartorial creations, which, were entirely handmade in Italy. “The beauty of the park, with the harmony of the colors and the variety of the flowers, inspired many of our sartorial creations,” nodded the creative duo, who welcomed some 250 guests with exceptional generosity. Ahead of the show, the designers revealed that such desire to share extended through to their teams and that an atelier of young artisans, from 20-30 years in age, was erected to create the bounty of dresses, suits, and coats displaying a cornucopia of lush blooms, and in particular gold leaf, the protagonist of the show.
As the sunset, like nascent buds, women descended the steep Baroque staircase and the eye followed her and to Florence below. The city’s monuments, along with the Tuscan landscape, were featured on the first looks using a technique juxtaposing different fabrics like brocade, leather, velvet, silk, and lace in a special technique reminding of Florentine mosaics in hardstone and marble. Along with other icons of architecture, the Duomo’s three dimensions were thus recreated by hand using this collage effect and embellished with pearls and beads. Meanwhile, flowers inspired by those blooming in the Bardini gardens, such as roses, irises, wisteria, and dahlias, were embroidered using traditional methods passed down through generations.
As Monica Bellucci, who was offered the key to the city of Florence the previous evening at the Alta Sartoria presentation in the Palazzo Vecchio looked on from the front row along with Lady Kitty Spencer, models showcased silhouettes reminiscent of 1950s Italy, nipped waists, with blooming skirts, or otherwise pencil skirt suits. Delighted guests were further impressed when, for the finale, a stunning firework show lit up the early night sky to the strains of the voice of the late Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti. Afterward, guests meandered through to the gardens, where the artisanal theme continued with a seated dinner of mozzarella entrees, beetroot risotto, and beef all coated in gold leaf by candlelight–the dream of couture, alive, and thriving, and loved and appreciated like never before.