CASHING IN ON ‘NEW SENSE FASHION’
Dolce & Gabbana launches haute couture collection designed for China. reports.
European luxury houses have been staging their couture shows in China after debuting them in Paris for some time now. But no one has ever created a special haute couture collection for the Chinese market, until last week, when Italian designer house Dolce & Gabbana decided to bring a special event to Hong Kong.
For the first time, the brand’s haute couture line made its China debut in Hong Kong at The Peninsula on Dec 2.
Under the theme “Italian tribute to Oriental culture”, the Alta Moda and Alta Sartoria collections offered 104 looks for men and women in total, all presented by Chinese models.
At the show, the brand’s signature Sicilian style was re-created with Asian influences like intricate embroidery and hand-painted flowers.
Furs, sequined fabrics and extravagant headpieces added a touch of festive glamor.
This is also the first time for Dolce & Gabbana to show men and women’s collections at one event.
Dresses, gowns, suits and coats were interspersed with bathrobes and kimonos, all of which are essential parts of the wardrobe of their couture clients.
“This is Dolce & Gabbana, but with a Chinese influence. It’s like our tribute to the Chinese world,” says Stefano Gabbana.
“We have a lot in common, the sense of family, food and beauty.”
And Domenico Dolce adds: “This is our love for China.”
The red-carpet runway was lined with clients from all over Asia, many of whom flew over to see the brand’s haute couture lines for the first time.
The next day, the designers made an appearance at their boutique at Alexandra House, where they posed for pictures and took selfies with local fans.
The same evening, the designers threw a big party, where VIPs and socialites, all dressed up in Dolce & Gabbana, sang and danced into the night.
First held in 2012, the Alta Moda shows have been staged twice a year in the most iconic places in Italy, like Sicily, Capri, Portofino and Napoli.
To distinguish the Alta Moda collection from the ready-to-wear lines, an atelier was set up in downtown Milan that is exclusively dedicated to the haute couture section.
All the pieces are one-offs sold on a “first come, first serve” basis. And the clients usually start texting their orders while watching the show, in order to get ahead of the others.
The number of clients has grown from less than 100 in the beginning to about 400 today. But the designers have been careful to keep the group as an intimate, exclusive community.
“We can’t do too many (pieces) because we are not machines. And we can’t be so fast,” says Gabbana.
Would they consider bringing the show to Beijing or Shanghai in the future? The designers say they are open to idea.
Speaking about how they come up with their designs, the duo says that their clients and their lifestyles have also been a source of inspiration.
“People’s attitude toward fashion is different here … It (China) is a country with a new sense of fashion,” Gabbana says.
He recalls that one of the male clients once wore a pajama from Alta Sartoria with flip-flops, which inspired a similar look in the Hong Kong show.
“It’s not something you need to be. It is just made for you. You are unique in the world. This kind of approach is very stimulating for us. Because it’s new.”
Gabbana also says work is not just work for the duo. It is a way for them to express their love and passion for life.
“We love life. We are two positive men. We express ourselves in our job. This is a Dolce and Gabbana world. It’s not a job, it’s a passion,” he says.
Contact the writer at sunyuanqing@ chinadaily.com.cn