Dolce & Gabbana: Elegance without drama
The big question everyone asked when entering the Dolce & Gabbana show this Saturday in Milan, was how many Chinese people would actually attend, given the cancellation and internet massacre the duo had suffered in Shanghai in December.
In the end, it was hard to spot anyone from the People’s Republic at the show, which featured a collection that highlighted just what great clothes Dolce & Gabbana are capable of dreaming up.
Entitled "Eleganza", the show was held under tight security in their custom-made show space on Viale Piave, with a group of a dozen tailors on stage, busily sewing and assembling real bespoke suits.
The Milanese house was clearly in the mood to be gracious. A team of waiters in red livery stood inside the foyer, serving guests with flutes of chilled champagne.
As the lights darkened, a master of ceremonies in tails took to a lectern and introduced each section in somewhat grandiose prose. Comparing Dolce & Gabbana to Leonardo da Vinci, the mosaics of Ravenna, Renaissance popes and Roman emperors. Though the true inspiration was in fact “high Sicilian aristocracy,” as the compere underlined.
Above the audience of 700, video screens projected black and white images of tailors dutifully sewing and cutting. On the runway, on the other hand, it all turned into an explosion of color. Initially, some deftly cut black suits, made with enormous flairs – editors note, the skinny jean is out for anyone earning over a quarter of a million dollars – then a brilliant insider vision: a combination of herringbone, Harris tweed, Prince of Wales and chalk stripe that should have been a hippie mess but looked extraordinary.
Overall, however, the designers packed the catwalk with scores of looks featuring dazzling brocades. Sicilian baroque to the max. Glittering golden dressing gowns and smoking jackets that made a matador’s suit look fit for a funeral.
They cut everything strictly, nipped-at-the-waist jackets with peak collars and taut wee trousers – dazzling as much with their cutting as the stunning fabrics. Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce took their bow in all black, looking almost relieved to receive such respectful applause, after the debacle of Shanghai were a tactless video and some very unwise words on Instagram had led to them calling off a massive runway show in the city last minute.
Backstage, the two gents looked suitably bashful, given their internet bashing last year. Though perhaps not quite blessed with the strict silhouette of their collection. They say stress can lead to an exaggerated appetite.
"Buon Anno!" said Domenico; "Happy New Year to Elegance," added Stefano.
In the end, a collection of highly coveted clothes, albeit a great deal of them tried and tested. And, above all a return to the runway devoid of drama.
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