The final day of festivities from Dolce&Gabbana’s recent gathering in Sicily concluded with the presentation of the Alta Sartoria collection. For this show, guests were invited to Marzamemi, a picturesque fishing village in the province of Syracuse which is entirely surrounded by the sea.
This village has an intrinsic link to the Arab world as it was Arabs who founded this little jewel back in AD 1000. It was then that the first “Tonnara” in Sicily was built, a building which for centuries would remain the most important in all of Eastern Sicily. The name of the town seems to be derived from the Arabic “marsà al-hamama”, which means “bay of the doves”, due to the abundant passage of these birds in the spring.
Over the years, this beautiful destination became a working fishing village that would provide seafood for much of the Mediterranean region. In 1630 the prince of Villadorata undertook numerous works in the village which would see it become what it is today.
He built the picturesque fishermen’s houses and the ancient church of San Francesco da Paola, he expanded the Tonnara and La Balata harbour and encouraged the best workers and the most skilled craftsmen from the Syracusan area to move there. In 1752 the construction of the sandstone Palazzo di Villadorata, the prince’s residence, was also completed.
It is this stunning backdrop that set the scene for the latest Alta Sartoria collection which took inspiration from the many generations and cultures that have passed through this small village.
There was clear inspiration from armour throughout the collection. Armour was embellished and bejewelled with crystals, pendants gold thread and seed beads. These creations, reminiscent of ancient armour were paired with denim-dyed jeans and satin kimonos, offering a juxtaposition between era and cultures.
Kaftans paid homage to the Arab history Marzamemi, presented in leopard jacquard and lace the also signified key codes of the house. Velvet was a key fabric throughout, appearing on ready-to-wear and accessories.
In formal wear, suits and jackets were given the Dolce&Gabbana magic touch with embroidery and embellishment from sequins, bugle beads, crystals and pearls. Lurex jacquard suits featured peaked lapels and a double-breasted cut. Tailcoats were finished with delicate hand embroidery with pearls, crystals and gold-would thread.
And the show-stopper? An impressive “chain mail” creation was made entirely of micro-crystals.
The collection featured an incredible 107 looks in total, highlighting the importance of menswear for the brand and the clear demand for men’s designs of this calibre. Combining the delicate elegance of embellishment and embroideries with the strength of armour this collection represents the coming together of many worlds.