The maestros of Italian style Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are planning a clients-only couture presentation in Taormina, Sicily on 9th July according to WWD. But rather than a bells and whistles runway with VIPs and editors clamouring for FROW seats, this presentation will exclude the press entirely. While the foray into couture is said to be merely an experiment, the pair have reportedly been contemplating the move for some time. And with their one-off gowns being sported by the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Katie Perry and Kylie, it’s little wonder the red carpet kings have decided to give Haute Couture a punt.
The move could also be seen as part of a bid to reposition the brand. Last September the duo announced they were closing their diffusion label D&G, despite the lower price point line racking up significant profits. At the time we were told the merging of the mainline Dolce & Gabbana collection and the D&G line was to give, "even more strength and energy to our collections," with retailers saying the two lines “cannibalised each other as the D&G pricing was too close to that of Dolce & Gabbana.”
Left: Katy Perry in Dolce & Gabbana, LA premiere 'Part Of Me', Right: Eva Herzigova in Dolce & Gabbana at Cannes 2012
But could the move be part of a shift towards the lucrative ultra-luxury end of the market? While shoppers at the lower end of the designer market have been feeling the recessionary pinch, at the top the super-rich are spending like it’s 2007- see luxury conglomerate LVMH’s reported £2.5bn boom in sales last year. While we know couture is generally a loss-leader - bringing kudos to the brand which in turn drives sales of accessories and perfume – it is also considered a badge of true luxury standing. Following Versace’s return to the couture schedule last season after an 8 year hiatus, it seems that rather than dying in the economic downturn, fashion’s most fantastical catwalks are thriving. We just hope the D&G duo take some pictures – we can’t wait to see their imaginations running couture-style wild!
Left: Kylie wearing Dolce & Gabbana at Cannes 2012, Right: Scarlett Johansson wearing Dolce & Gabbana at Met Ball 2012