It is already a tradition for Dolce & Gabbana. Every year, straight after the couture collections, the brand flies top clients and select guests to Italy, to indulge them with Alta Moda and Alta Giolleria collections. Fully handmade, these designs showcase the highest levels of craftsmanship, putting on display the one-of-a-kind savoir faire of the brand. It is also a moment when Dolce & Gabbana can celebrate its veramente italiano DNA, and fortify its relationships with clients coming from Brazil, Russia, and the United States, among other countries.
After a long negotiation with the local institutions, Dolce & Gabbana was able to bring this edition of Alta Moda to Sicily. This is a special island for Domenico Dolce, as the designer hails from the region. However, not any location is enough, and the brand took over the most spectacular historical venues. A win-win situation for all parties, as the Italian brand has made substantial monetary donations towards the preservation and restoration of these spaces. Yesterday’s runway show was a standout moment of epic proportions, as Domenico and Stefano hosted a magnificent 125-look runway show in Agrigento’s Temple of Concordia, an archeological landmark built around 440 BC, considered the best preserved Doric temple on the island.
“The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento is one of the finest artistic expressions that the ancient Greeks have handed down to us, comparable only, in terms of the beauty and perfection of its architectures, to the Parthenon in Athens,” comment the designers. “Alta Moda creations evoke the enduring myths of classicism, which have continued to fascinate poets, painters, and sculptors for centuries now. And just as those artists who have never tired of reinterpreting them in their masterpieces, so the DG seamstresses have incessantly painted, embroidered, and sewn them onto the garments. The unmatched power of those myths has conquered the uniqueness of Alta Moda, just as the unique beauty of Sicily seduced the imaginations of the Greeks thousands of years ago.”
As the sun went down, Ennio Morricone’s music filled the space, and models appeared through the majestic columns of the construction, walking over a sumptuous golden runway. Accessorized with gladiator sandals, golden shields, and arches, crowns, and wings, the first looks were all in gold, heavily embroidered in sequins, bugle beads, and crystals. There were short numbers, but also long column dresses paired with capes that paid homage to Greek goddesses Athena, Hera, Aphrodite, or Artemis. When supermodel Helena Christensen emerged wearing a dress in silk tulle hand-painted with gold leaves it truly felt like a visit to Mount Olympus, but in a very Dolce & Gabbana way.
As the show progressed, other elements of antiquity brought the collection to life. A corset made in filigree of Hellenic inspirations was paired with a full organza skirt reproducing the work of Jean Antoine Giroust Oedious at Colonus (1788). Statues, Doric columns, and ancient Greek pottery were also embroidered in full glam looks, while the heads of the models were crowned with Hera leaves, ribbons, and fascinators inspired by classic architecture. Adding a touch of poetry, looks also featured Homero verses.
To close the show, Dolce & Gabbana favorite models Jessica Stam, Isabeli Fontana, and Bianca Balti wore spectacular ball gowns in muted shades of pink, blue, and gray, with double organza skirts hand-painted with motifs that highlighted the qualities of divinities Artemis, Hera, and Afrodite. One by one, they took over the façade of Concordia, being joined by the other 122 models, forming a powerful image that makes us think that although internet can take us everywhere, there are things that should be witnessed in real life. And as the crowd stood to applaud the designers, so did we.