Como Loco

Ken­neth Goh es­capes for a week to the he­do­nis­tic king­dom of Dolce&Gab­bana’s Alta Mo­daoda in Lake Como—a fan­tas­ti­cal court where noth­ing is ever enoughugh

Harper's Bazaar (Singapore) - - COVER LOOK -

Avolup­tuous Bri­tish girl, her blonde locks fram­ing a peaches and cream com­plex­ion, en­ters the buzzing Villa Bo­li­vian­ina at Lake Como, Italy. She looks vaguely fa­mil­iar, her large eyes look­ing down on the floor when­ever a stranger’s gaze catches hers. It is Lady Kitty Spencer, and she bears a strik­ing re­sem­blance to her fa­mous late aunt, Princess Diana. The 27-year-old Bri­tish model stands pa­tiently as Domenico Dolce and Ste­fano Gab­bana make last-minute al­ter­ations to the out­fit she’ll be wear­ing to open the Alta Moda show later this evening. Tears stream down Spencer’s face as she catches sight of her­self in the mir­ror as Dolce fits her.“This is so beau­ti­ful.Thank you, thank you so much,” she blurts out, sob­bing into the arms of the diminu­tive Dolce. She’s dressed in a bil­low­ing 18th-cen­tury-in­spired skirt and corseted top; em­bla­zoned across the puff sleeves are ex­tracts from I Promessi Sposi ( The Be­trothed), the Ital­ian his­tor ical novel by Alessan­dro Man­zoni. On her skirt, in bright tech­ni­color prints, are the book’s ill-fated lovers, Renzo and Lu­ciana. The fi­nal gold crown that Gab­bana low­ers on her head seals her look and com­pletes her royal re­galia.

It’s an ap­pro­pri­ate look to start what must be the most ex­trav­a­gant fash­ion event Lake Como has ever held on its shores. Alta Moda is the Ital­ian duo’s ver­sion of haute cou­ture; there was also Alta Gioiel­le­ria (high jew­ellery) the day be­fore and Alta Sar­to­ria (menswear) that is to take place the day after—a chaotic, in­fin­itely ex­ces­sive, four­day shop­ping ex­trav­a­ganza, set in some of Italy’s most pic­turesque sur­round­ings. Guests have am­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties to marvel at the Ital­ian duo’s wiz­ardry, be it at the pop-up shop on board a boat, din­ner on the grounds of a church in Bel­la­gio or en­ter­tain­ment cour­tesy of Tinie Tem­pah. Nightly fire­works, am­ple food and a free-flow­ing bar en­sure you are merry well into the wee hours of the morn­ing. For the Alta Moda show,Tere­sio Oliv­elli Park in Tre­mezzina, famed for its ma­jes­tic wa­ter vista, has been trans­for med into a play­ground for the rich and fab­u­lous; with 350 of the world’s most well-heeled guests and over 120 mod­els in at­ten­dance. With ev­ery­one dressed up to the nines, it’s hard to make out who are the mod­els ver­sus the guests. Mod­els Ash­ley Gra­ham, Eva Herzigova, Naomi Camp­bell, He­lena Chris­tensen, Maye Musk (mother of Elon) and Hal­ima Aden stand out in all their fin­ery. Noth­ing has been spared for Alta Moda—the most lus­cious furs, bright­est se­quins, soft­est feath­ers, finest silks; and acres and acres of needle­point-stitched prints fea­tur­ing the star­crossed lovers from Man­zoni’s book, pic­turesque scenes of Lake Como and so much more. “There’s not just one ref­er­ence in one out­fit; maybe you’ll find five dif­fer­ent ref­er­ences and five dif­fer­ent points, in one out­fit,” Gab­bana notes.“It’s very schiz­o­phrenic.”

There’s some­thing for ev­ery­one in the col­lec­tion of 100 looks—whether you choose the all-black lace con­fec­tions spor ted by Ash­ley Gra­ham and He­lena Chris­tensen, kalei­do­scopic glam­our à la Naomi Camp­bell in her feather and flo­ral gown with match­ing head­dress, or page­boy-chic as seen on Eva Herzigova in her pow­der blue satin ensem­ble.There is only one word to de­scribe the en­tire vibe and feel of the show: Opu­lence.The au­di­ence watches trans­fixed at all the fab­u­lous­ness go­ing down the gar­den run­way, loung­ing on chaise lounge so­fas in their Alta Moda out­fits (many bought from pre­vi­ous shows), sip­ping cham­pagne and eat­ing canapés served by mod­els dressed as nuns and priests. Ev­ery­one has their phones out, snap­ping out­fits not just for In­sta­gram, but to send to their sales as­so­ciates to book looks run­ning up to thou­sands of eu­ros. Such is the ex­trav­a­gance and no one, bar the se­lect few be­mused mem­bers of the me­dia, thinks that any of this prof­li­gate spend­ing is out of the or­di­nary.

“It’s like a dream. It’s our dream. The dream is com­pletely crazy,” says Gab­bana. “This ex­pe­ri­ence is beau­ti­ful be­cause we dis­cover all the cul­tures.We re­spect all the re­li­gions, all the cul­tures, all the sizes, all the ages.This is the mod­ern life.”

And in­deed, as guests take in the splen­dour of Lake Como and fine Ital­ian crafts­man­ship, it is like a dream come true. Gab­bana sums it up best: “We can­not ex­plain ex­actly what we do. It is our imag­i­na­tion.We mix ev­ery­thing. I think in this mo­ment in the fash­ion sys­tem, ev­ery­body needs to ex­plain and ex­plain. Fash­ion is art. It is im­pos­si­ble to plan any­thing in fash­ion… You can­not ex­plain any­thing.These days, there are too many the­o­ries.Too many peo­ple talk­ing about noth­ing. At the end of the day, it’s clothes, and it’s emo­tional.” ■

Clock­wise from top left: Lady Kitty Spencer opens the Alta Moda show in a dra­matic gown. Naomi Camp­bell cap­ti­vates in an em­broi­dered bustier with a vo­lu­mi­nous feather and silk skirt. A bril­liant printed silk coat from theAlta Sar­to­ria men’s col­lec­tion

From top: Mod­els in bold prints and pat­terns at the Alta Sar­to­ria show. Dolce and Gab­bana with some of their favourite mod­els. Eva Herzigova and He­lena Chris­tensen play the parts of page­boy and Ital­ian widow re­spec­tively. A di­a­mond-en­crusted fob watch from the Alta Gioel­le­ria col­lec­tion

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.