Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have just touched down in Dubai to present their first ever runway show in the Middle East on Sunday. Titled “Day & Night,” the collection is set to unfold at Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue and will feature over 100 runway looks, including womenswear, menswear, and garments exclusive to the region, showcased by international models who have flown in specifically for the occasion.
“The reason we present shows in different locations throughout the globe is because we want to share our culture and the Dolce & Gabbana brand DNA with the world,” said the designers, speaking to press at a private conference in the One & Only Royal Mirage. “With these different shows, we try to mix our DNA with the DNA of the country, because we don’t want to colonize anyone’s culture — we love and respect all cultures,” reveal the Italian design duo. Dolce & Gabbana’s first show out of Milan took place in Hong Kong in 2016, and the label has gone on to present collections in Tokyo, New York, and Shanghai.
Read on for everything you need to know ahead of Dolce & Gabbana’s first Middle East show.
There will be some familiar faces on the runway
In addition to the international cast of 120 models who flew in to Dubai for the occasion, guests can expect to see some regional faces parading down the catwalk on Sunday. The designers, who admit that they are captivated by the beauty of the Middle Eastern woman, have previously tapped Arab beauties to showcase their collections during Milan Fashion Week. Among them is Sheikha Dana Al Khalifa, who walked the most recent Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2019 show; meanwhile, Lana El Sahely was personally handpicked by the Italian designers to walk amongst the sea of mothers, daughters, toddlers, royalty, and millennials at the Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear show. Though the designers have kept today’s cast under wraps, recent Dolce & Gabbana shows have seen the likes of Halima Aden, Naomi Campbell, Ashley Graham, and Monica Belluci to name a few, grace the catwalk.
You can expect Dolce & Gabbana abayas and headscarfs
In addition to its range of womenswear and menswear, the storied Italian house will be presenting a collection exclusive to the Middle East, which will comprise luxurious abayas, sheilas, and veils. The brand first made headlines in 2016 when it produced a capsule collection of hijabs and abayas targeted towards consumers in the region. “We have special abayas and veils for women, and for men, there will be a lot of tuxedos and suits in a plethora of rich colors and materials,” said the designers. While the abayas are engineered for modesty, customers can expect the same flair of any other Dolce & Gabbana collection. Think jewel embellishments, patchwork, flower embroidery, and black lace trims, styled alongside the label’s cocktail jewelry, oversized sunglasses, and patterned bags. “The UAE and Italy has a similar taste in clothing,” said the designers. “In fact, Italy was greatly influenced by the Arabian people. This is why it is easy for us to create clothes targeted to the Middle Eastern market.”
It won’t be like anything you’ve ever seen before
“Every show we do is completely different,” said the designers. “We don’t want to replay the same format everywhere. The show for Milan is only for Milan and the show for New York is just for New York. You aren’t going to see the same clothing, music, or atmosphere in Dubai. The show for Dubai is only for Dubai.” However, this doesn’t mean that the designers will be incorporating stereotypical Middle Eastern elements into the show, which is held to inaugurate the brand’s new flagship located in the Fashion Avenue expansion.
“At the same time, we don’t want to imitate local culture. We respect the region and its deep traditions, and we don’t want to make a mistake or miss the mark by trying to replicate it. We are going to incorporate elements of our Italian culture but with a Middle Eastern touch.” If there’s one thing we know about the designers, its that they know how to throw a show. Who can forget Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2016 show, when models emerged on the catwalk equipped with iPhones, snapping selfies that were then posted onto giant screens and directly onto their official social media platforms? More recently, Dolce & Gabbana replaced models with drones to present its Fall 2018 handbag collection. We’re sure tonight’s show will be just as memorable.