Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana presented their latest Alta Moda and Alta Sartoria collections (the design duo's answer to haute couture) in Milan yesterday.
Staged in the historic Palazzo Litta in Milan, this was the first time that the house has presented Alta Moda, for women, on the same runway as Alta Sartoria, for men, in a show that featured a staggering 200-plus looks. Never a house to do things by halves, this latest presentation was a homecoming in many ways. After its recent PR disaster in China, which resulted in the cancellation of its much anticipated The Great Show in Shanghai, this was a return to familiar and friendly territory. But it was also a return to themes that are fundamental to the brands DNA: culture, life and the arts.
The collection was inspired by the Milanese renaissance, and saw masterpieces by Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci translated into rich dresses, coats and jackets, encrusted with embroidery and alive with handwork, in the splendid earthy tones of the enlightenment. Theatrical, beautiful and a celebration of Italian history, this was a journey through the house's undisputed technical know-how, but also a showcase of the designers' undimmed passion. Given their recent troubles, it was good to see the duo leave politics aside and get back to doing what they do best.