Dolce & Gabbana presented its Alta Moda and Alta Sartoria collections in Italy’s Lake Como this weekend. The Italian duo’s answer to haute couture included womenswear, menswear and high-jewellery presentations, which unfolded across a lavish four-day extravaganza reserved for top clients and a handful of international press.
This year’s womenswear collection was inspired by Como itself - its historic waterfront villas, the aristocrats who have flocked to them throughout the ages, and the rumours and intrigue that followed them - as well the works of Italian author Alessandro Manzoni, who wrote I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed) and whom Stefano Gabbana refers to as “our Shakespeare”.
But in among the literary and Como-specific references were plenty of international elements, including a custom-created sari worn over a midnight blue blouse with oversized sleeves; and a more “modest” look sported by Halima Aden that consisted of a voluminous tiger-print kaftan fringed with ostrich feathers, and topped with a matching turban.
For the sari, Dolce and Gabbana took their cues from model Dipti Sharma. “We have a model, an Indian girl, and we told her: ‘We'll give you a piece of fabric and you do, by yourself, the sari and after that we’ll customise the outfit. We love the tradition. In this case, we love to put our touch on the Indian tradition,” Gabbana tells The National.
“We have a Muslim, too, with a headscarf, and we did the same. We said: ‘This is the fabric, make it the way you dress, because we don’t know exactly which way you do it,” Gabbana continues.
“This experience is beautiful because we discover all the cultures. We respect all the religions, all the cultures, all the sizes, all the ages. This is the modern life,” Domenico Dolce adds.
“There’s not just one reference in one outfit; maybe you find five different references and five different points, in one outfit… It’s like a dream; our dream,” says Gabbana.
Other highlights included Naomi Campbell's turn on the runway in this dress with a magnificently bold botanical skirt and Eva Herzigova in powder blue, tails and all.