La dolce vita: a look at Dolce & Gabbana's latest couture collection

Presented in digital form, the Italian duo delivered a charming collection designed to lift the senses

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Despite not having a live audience to show to, Dolce & Gabbana still impressed with its latest collection.

Presenting the rare and sublime world of handmade couture, the Alta Moda and Alta Sartoria collections, meaning high women's and high men's, included outfits that are as staggeringly beautiful as they are expensive. The pieces were light, breezy and infused with insouciance.

Vibrant colour and rich textiles displayed on a look from the Alta Moda collection by Dolce & Gabbana. Courtesy Dolce & Gabbana

Normally shown in lavish spaces across the world, for this particular collection, the duo had to content themselves with a magnificent mansion in Milan.

They filmed the clothes on models who were spaced wider apart than usual. Social distancing rules also meant the absence of an audience, replaced by those bidding from home for the clothes on a strictly first-come, first-serve basis. The house has always maintained it will never make two of a design, meaning each piece is utterly unique.

A taste of Italy in the latest Alta Moda by Dolce & Gabbana collection. Courtesy Dolce & Gabbana

Of course, couture shows are all about the clothes and, more specifically, the mood and atmosphere they create. Many years ago, the Italian duo realised that with the rich heritage of Italy at their disposal, they would never run out of inspiration, and this offering of Alta Moda (women's) and Alta Sartoria (men's) is just another iteration of that.

Filled with the tangy colours of Italian fruit, against rich reds and sky blues, the women's pieces were a delight to behold. Flowing and light, there was a green button-front kaftan covered in huge, blousy flowers, where each petal had been lovingly appliqued by hand.

Alta Sartoria by Dolce & Gabbana. Courtesy Dolce & Gabbana

The same flowers resurfaced as the hem of a pure white kimono, counter balancing the crisp, oversized sleeves. Meanwhile, a light-as-air polka dot chiffon dress was the perfect clash of citrus lemon and lime.

Like wonderful postcards, many dresses were decorated with sketches of coastal cities, and in a youthful twist, scarves normally tied at necks were instead made into entire dresses, and used to line the underside of huge, floppy hats.

Inspired by the term "bel paese", meaning beautiful country, the men's collection continued the trip around Italy, through Portofino, Capri, Amalfi, Venice and Como.

Male models wore elegant kaftans in gold, or lavished with beading normally found on a 1920s flapper dress, or covered in sequinned signs of the zodiac. Pinstripe suits – the bedrock of Dolce & Gabbana's tailoring – appeared crumpled and with sleeves pushed up – presumably, to better steer the yacht.

Embroideries covered necklines, lapels and snaked down the outside of trouser legs, and were worn with thin printed silk scarves, finished in glossy silk fringing.

The collections had all the rich, evocative hallmarks that we have come to expect from Dolce & Gabbana, even if they were presented in a new format.