Since they launched their first couture collection in Venice four years ago, Dolce & Gabbana’s spectacular Alta Moda shows have become known to those less familiar, and to some that are more familiar with the fashion industry, as “over-the-top”. But season after season, in both ready-to-wear and couture, Stefano and Domenico’s formula of ornate, more-is-more unabashed Italian glamour evokes a gut-level “wow” from its many fans. And this season’s collection was an ode to one particular, very important, very Italian fan – Sophia Loren.
“We asked her where in Italy she would like us to show it,“ explained Domenico Dolce, “ and she immediately said Napoli”. The iconic actress was raised in Pozzuoli, just outside Naples, and shot many films in the city. With its gritty reputation, the choice was a stark contrast to Alta Moda locations of previous summers, including Portofino and Capri. But while it may not be the obvious choice for sashaying around in couture and fine jewellery, it certainly has a characteristic charm, which proved a beautiful contrasting yet complementary backdrop. The show started at the piazza in front of Naples’s Chiesa di San Gregorio Armeno as the locale for its Alta Moda show, outlining the area with gilded velvet chairs.
There were many references to Loren’s on-screen characters and life, from a 1950s floral bathing suit and sash embroidered with ‘Miss Elegance’ (it was winning a beauty pageant aged 15 that launched her career) and the peasant blouses she wore in both 1954’s L’Oro di Napoli and 1955’s Pan, Amore E...
The rest of the collection ran through other traditional Italian themes, from soccer to Catholicism, and included some truly standout embroidered coats and elaborate bejewelled headdresses.
Regal, striking and deeply entrenched in a theme, Dolce & Gabbana once again showed us a few things that Italians do better.