Dolce and Gabbana chose Portofino as the location to launch their new haute couture ( alta moda in their mother tongue) on the world. Not just alta moda, but alta sartoria and alta gioellia: womenswear, menswear, and jewelry, a world of one-off splendors, essentially showcased in their own homes. Their sixteenth-century hilltop fortress Castello Brown was covered in twinkling fairy lights.
It is not every day that a couture show is staged by moonlight with the sound of the sea lapping against rocks and the lights of the clients’ mega-yachts twinkling in the near distance.
Guests converged from all over the world to participate in the designers’ weekend of “at home,” deliberately surreal entertainments. By the time the music of Verdi’s Aida had filled the dusky sky, the show had already lived up to what Stefano described as an experience “between fantasy and reality”.
“The fashion system is more than just labels,” he said, to explain the significance of Alta Moda. “You have to offer a sensation and an emotion – you have to tell a story.”
The event was one of those moments of enchantment, transporting fashion into a magical world of suspended disbelief, while still resting on a firm art and craft foundation.