While all the other couture designers mollycoddled us with their opulent creations during Paris Haute Couture Week, the designer duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are avowedly bucking the trend in a great way. The Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda runway show taking place twice a year and opening its doors to only upper-class blue-blooded society, this time around made tracks for Naples, the third largest municipality in Italy, the very venue that is galvanizing the duo of late.
The duo selected the piazza in front of Naples’s Chiesa di San Gregorio Armeno as the venue to bring out in the open the Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda fall 2016 collection. But whenever these two creative minds and idyllic souls join their forces, a fashion show goes above and beyond what one expects. To state it more clearly, behind any D&G collection stands a story, a tradition, an episodic memory or else a legendary inspirational figure.
The venerable decorations of the runway venue with red velvet curtains, royal chairs aligned in some opera style and uniformed attendants serving the special guests were all systematized to pay homage to the unique traditions and atmosphere of Naples and the movie goddess Sophia Loren against the background of that contrast-y city.
The 81-year-old actress has always been the greatest of the great muses for Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. And likewise, she is highly valued by the “popolo di Napoli” through some of her early roles speaking with a heavy Neapolitan accent and using typical Neapolitan gestures.
All in all, the pre-show period of the Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda fall 2016 collection seemed as a unique preparation and training for the attendees to let their hair down and revel in that opulence and luxury à la D&G. Starting from the backstage mood board filled with the diva’s all time images to herself seated in the central chair decked out into a sequined scintillating chic dress to a marching band playing the traditional Neapolitan tune – “Funiculì, Funiculà” – all served as the perfect grounding to have the guests feel the Neapolitan + Sophia Loren bewitching mélange.
The models made their way down the runway not so easily and effortlessly. Carrying heavy and elaborate headgear is not so easy a task, after all. Show after show we see the designer duo making their headgear pieces more and more intricate – huge flower bunches seemed nothing bothersome as compared to those gilded high-reaching bishop-mitre-imitating pieces.
Actually, the religious theme was appearing here and there throughout the whole runway show starting from that golden brocade cape with bejeweled cross appliques to multiple cross-shaped earrings and pendants.
The Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda fall 2016 collection had all the nuts and bolts to raise those sweet nostalgic feelings in Sophia Loren. The model appearing in a floral corseted swimsuit with a satin sash declaring “Miss Eleganza” rang a bell with the iconic beauty taking her back to the beauty pageant she had participated in her early ages. Then came that blue jersey with Sophia imprinted on the front and Maradona 10 on the back, as the tribute to the popular Napoli football team.
Neapolitan mandolin was also there on a black fit and flaring skirt paired with a checkered top with oversized puffed sleeves and sensual balconette neckline.
The Sicilian fashion connoisseurs brought another unique solution to the table literally couturizing typical street-style denim pants, embellishing them with opulent gems and teaming with lace elegant tops. There were some accents of passionate flamenco dance as well under the guise of a scarlet red multilayered sensual dress and tonal accessories.
Crinoline calf-length floral dresses rather fine-tuned for prom queens were making a lovely chapter of the collection displaying bunches of flowers of different enlivening colors. Want to see the apogee in that zone? The finale crinoline full dress with half-lace, half-satin skirt and bejeweled deluxe bodice appeared to once more declare all and sundry what adds up to Alta Moda à la Dolce & Gabbana.
Photos courtesy of Vogue