Tucked into a tight little niche in the heel of Italy’s boot, you’ll find the latest installment of Dolce & Gabbana’s highly anticipated Alta Moda. However, it’s not like any of the Alta Moda’s seen before; rather, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have taken the idyllic route to a palette cleanser this time.
Puglia, known for its bucolic and quaint charm, was perhaps everyone’s least-expected setting for a brand synonymous with scintillating sex appeal and over-the-top runway productions. Yet, the parenthetical design philosophy of Dolce & Gabbana’s latest show couldn’t be any truer to its roots. Much like the baskets woven by Puglia’s residents among its streets, this iteration of Alta Moda interlaces Italian heritage, craftsmanship, and tradition.
What does this look like, exactly?
A revisitation of age-old house codes. For one, its early-set affinity for the corset made its way from the sketchpad back onto the runway. There were reincarnations of the eternally revisited fashion icon with its bones glistening in silvered detail and others in wicker—yes, that’s right, wicker.
Perhaps the starring role of this season’s materials, wicker, appeared in bodices, handbags, and mini dresses galore. One striking of the latter took form in an earthy hue of tan. Recalling the rural harvest of grain, this dress whispered a folkloric feel of fantasy into the show.
Scaling back its seductive zest, Dolce & Gabbana pondered sensuality in a different context. Forgoing vibrance for translucence, taffeta took on delicate shades of cool; maximalist embellishments and crystalline clutter were subbed for thoughtfully measured accents mimicking the region’s architecture.
Not only was Puglia’s architecture emulated in the literal context with motifs of its trulli-topped skyline appearing on floor-length capes and in massive, show-stopping hats, but also in the peaks of its lace-clad lingerie.
Now, being the brand that’s always empowered women through sensuality, lace was a requisite for the show. Hence, the Italian design duo delivered lace—and then some. Either in trapezing patchwork ensembles that flared into mesmerizing trains or in rustling capes, this emblem of feminine fragility was evoked with dexterous detail.
Akin to its use of lace, diaphanous, sheer fabric, too, emanated grace and softness. Blooming among the fields of the waist, hips, and bust, the most sensuous peaks of the body were adorned with Pugliese flora. Delicately billowing in the breeze flowing through its runway, these floral creations captivated the gaze of onlookers.
As the presentation crescendoed to its final look, its seduction suddenly amplified. Translating to a ratio entailing much more skin and much less fabric, a sheer bralette whose peaks were adorned with petals was sent down the runway, topping off a sheer hoop skirt of gargantuan proportions. While the collection was careful to stave off its sex appeal for the very end, it couldn’t be helped, after all—it is Dolce & Gabbana.