Dolce & Gabbana continue to use their unique design vision to salute the endless geographical, architectural, and artistic variety of their native Italy. Their latest Alta Moda show, staged in a historic Apulian village, was in many ways as gently breathtaking as the region that inspired it. While maintaining the artistic essence of Dolce & Gabbana, the collection seemed to make greater room than ever for the soul and traditions of Italy.
A Fashion Showcase in a Fairytale Setting
World Heritage site Alberobello was the most recent location to serve as a backdrop for the Dolce & Gabbana design magic. D&G served up this year’s Alta Moda on a looping walkway in the village’s main square. The scene was lit by a dramatic lighting display, but also by the lime-washed walls of the Apulian architecture. From fashion-world favorites like Alessandra Ambrosio and Rosie Huntington-Whitely to Hollywood goddesses like Angela Basset and Kerry Washington, celebrities of all stripes turned out for the event in Puglia’s Iltria Valley, lending additional glamour to the gorgeous setting. Surrounded by the characteristic buildings of Alberobello and having pre-show exposure to the work of the skilled artisans of the village, attendees were primed to appreciate the pieces inspired by this locale.
A Handmade Homage to their Homeland
For their latest show, Dolce & Gabbana immersed their audience in the history and handiwork of Puglia. Puglia is a corner of Italy so enriched with traditional arts and unique scenes that it easily stimulates the creative imagination. The guiding principle for the show was authenticity and the commitment to remaining true to their inspiration paid off. Every element of the collection has been imbued with a sense of deep respect for the area and traditions referenced in the designs.
Perhaps more than any prior collection, it seems D&G strove to create designs especially close to the reality of the region. The arts and crafts of Puglia were referenced in ways both subtle and overt. Puglia’s traditional crafts of basketweaving, crochet, and embroidery stand out in almost every design. The whorls and loops of basket-like mini dresses were among the most memorable pieces. Bohemian crochet and lace dresses felt especially rooted in the intricate yet earthy handicrafts of the locale. While this collection features more of a subdued color palette than some D&G collections, the pieces were no less intricate in construction.
The design duo remained true to their signature style even as they hewed closely to the heart of Puglia’s heritage. The ever-present D&G drama and eccentricity appeared in the form of exaggerated forms and more-is-more decoration. The more exaggerated local references included some models wearing hats mimicking the conical roofs of the signature trulli huts of the region. Putting the Dolce & Gabbana twist on ancient handicrafts resulted in a perfectly modernized interpretation of tradition.
With their July 2023 show paying tribute to Puglia, Dolce & Gabbana once again showed how everything old can be made new again. Follow the winding road to Alberobello for more of the sights and sounds of D&G’s latest Alta Moda presentation.