Wikipedia states that the island of Sicily measures 9,927 square miles. Not that big, really, but for more than three decades, Domenico Dolce (it’s where he comes from) and Stefano Gabbana have harvested an incredible amount of inspiration from it. And never more so than for this coming fall, as they looked to the exquisite Venetian and Byzantine mosaics of the twelfth-century cathedral in the city of Monreale, a place of worship consecrated to Santa Maria Nuova. (This last comes not from Wikipedia, but from the press release.) They drew on the workmanship and allure of these painstakingly produced mosaics and used them for their stunning vision (heavenly or otherwise) of elaborately gilded and embroidered glamour: dresses that gently traced the lines of the body to a few inches above the ankle, or which were cut loose and short, and bejeweled tees worn with even more bejeweled tiny skirts.
That, though, was only the beginning, as the designers took us on a journey that went northward to Rome to the era of Fellini and Cinecittà. Not just in the look of the bella figura double-peplum jackets and hourglass dresses, cut from a salt-and-pepper herringbone tweed; the show’s sound track was from the director’s musical collaborator, Nino Rota. (Incidentally, if you think that tweed appears a tad substantial weightwise, don’t worry; on a preview of the collection a couple of days ago, a curtain was whipped away, and lighter versions are all ready to go.) From there, it seems we journeyed far westward to the New World, to Hollywood, alighting at the set of Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest and Marnie, with tweedy check clutch coats and abbreviated A-line dresses. Then, like Dorothy clicking her sparkling ruby slippers and chanting, “There’s no place like home,” we were back in Sicily, with a gorgeous closing finale of a multitude of evening dresses worked in red lace, though not one that was long, many encrusted with gemstones.
What came through the strongest in these was the sense of how to elevate day clothes, which have been missing in action, and much missed, too in these past few weeks of shows. Still, things weren’t too practical and workaday. Accessories lent an element of fantasy, with crown headpieces that were part saint, part principessa, huge cross earrings, and delightfully playful shoes, that variously incorporated rich papal purple or cardinal red velvet, baroque carved platforms, and golden cage heels entwined with little floral buds. All in all, an upbeat and uplifting way to approach the end of the Milan season.
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Photo Credit/Source: Dolce & GabbanaMore To Love ...