Dolce & Gabbana's First Ever Couture Show: Opera, Fireworks and Scarlett Johansson!

11 July 2012 by

Photo: Jason Lloyd Evans and Greg Kessler courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana via Telegraph

Since Stefano and Domenico hinted that the amalgamation of D&G with mainline Dolce & Gabbana would potentially open up an opportunity for a bespoke or couture range, the entire fashion-universe has been on tenterhooks. And rightly so – a regular Dolce show is spectacle enough, but couture? *EEEEP*

In this week’s issue Grazia’s Style Director Paula Reed talks of the now rather quashed (but constantly rife) rumours that couture is all but dead. In fact, reporting from last week’s haute couture schedule in Paris, it seems that this mega-luxury sector of the fashion industry is booming and livelier than ever – with particular buoyancy in the Russian and Asian markets. So, after 27 years on the ready-to-wear runways, it’s not so loco that the Italian design duo has decided to tread this traditionally heritage-brand-heavy track.

Dolce & Gabbana fluff the finishing touches on an Alta Moda look. Photo via Telegraph.

The result? Well, instead of a standard 30 second catwalk show, the boys executed their first couture foray – or Alta Moda collection - as a two day experience. Opera, fireworks, magnificent dinners and a show to end all shows set in a monastery. No wonder it was molto grande - they’ve spent six years planning it. As Lisa Armstrong of The Telegraph explained, this was “Not the modern version of a couture line, which is essentially another branding tool in which far more couture-show pictures are beamed around the world than outfits are actually ordered… this was about the clients and the clothes.”

So it wasn’t about FROW papping ops, and guests were strictly forbidden from taking pictures, let alone allowing them to ‘oops!’ slip onto Instagram or Twitter. An elite and selective guestlist were invited to Sicily’s San Domenica Hotel – and amongst the serious couture buyers (many of whom flew in via private jet), sat very few journos and a quiet headcount of A-listers like Scarlett Johansson, Naomi Campbell and Stephanie Seymour.

One of the many seamstresses from the new Milan atelier.

Photo: Jason Lloyd Evans and Greg Kessler courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana via Telegraph

The 73 looks displayed rang true to the Dolce signatures – Sicilian widow's black, lace galore, corsetry, jewel embellishment, watercolour florals, full skirts, sheer dresses with lingerie peek-a-booing, sheath silhouettes…. But each and every detail was pushed to very maximum level of luxury: the fabrics were hand-woven, the plentiful studded jewels were real, and their famously brilliant interior garment construction was more figure flattering than ever. Stefano Gabbana explained that the aim "Was not to do new, new, new. It was to craft something beautiful, special and unique." It was so impressive that one couture client – who wasn’t even in attendance – judged the brilliance via pictures and requested many of the 73 outfits.

Stefano Gabbana's Instagram pics of the Alta Moda font and Naomi Campbell with Stephanie Seymour

And if there was any doubt of the verdict – a quick scan of the attendees’ reactions heralds this as pretty damn good start for Dolce’s couturier… “@stefanogabbana and Domenico Dolce made all of us floating in Visconti movie with the BEST DolceGabbana Alta Moda show ever!so UNIQUE moment,” Tweeted Anna Dello Russo. Italian Vogue editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani exclaimed that “A new chapter in the history of Italian fashion was written today.” And Charlotte Dellal expressed her time on Twitter, “Dolce&Gabanna Haute couture show was a special experience. Lived and breathed D&G for 2 days.”  


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