Last year it was Capri this year an entire weekend in Portofino. What will this duo think of next? Continuing their work for the Italian Tourist Board, D&G chose Portofino as the location to launch their new alta moda 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. Yes, the duo’s own homes—on the outcrop of rock that distinguishes Portofino from its sister enclaves on the rest of the Ligurian coast. “Stefano’s house is the showroom, my house is a backstage for the models,” said Dolce, before Friday night’s mind-altering parade and extravaganza. “What’s real, what’s fantasy, you won’t know,” Gabbana teased before the show.
It was the designers’ biggest production to date—94 models, 80 performers—and the substantial uphill hike to the property was eased by beverage outcrops which were sufficiently disorienting enough that the audience was prepped for something out of this world. The outfits were alta moda one-offs, once sold, never repeated, pieces made from vintage fabrics, like a black lace caftan cut from a single bolt of cloth. Truly dazzling. A mid summer’s night dream hands down. Friday night’s event ended with a post-dinner handbag grab for the ladies, a time-and-place souvenir that proved irresistible to just about every woman on Dolce’s mini mountaintop. It was followed by an orgy of cheesy Italian pop that had the crowd vibrating with glee.
As if that first night wasn’t enough, Domenico and Stefano did it all over again Saturday night, this time for the men. “Our desire for vanity and beauty doesn’t change,” he said. ”We’ve just lost the way to deliver them.” Like the alta moda, this wasn’t intended as a seasonal proposition. Dolce claimed that fashion lay in the way the wearer himself would approach the duo’s alta sartoria, the onus therefore being on the customer to not surrender to fashion victimhood. Dolce was insistent that these clothes would be a purely private pleasure for the men who ordered them. Following the show, men got cigars and a swing combo from Palermo called the Bar Room Kings performed.
The weekend wrap party was a club night dedicated to oro, gold, the most antique symbol of human cupidity recast in a disco inferno. Of course it seems completely appropriate and I’m sure for those lucky few who jumped the Paris ship early and galloped off to Portofino for a weekend of over indulgence and one-off memories. Honestly, where do we get more of that? I think we need more of that!