Dolce & Gabbana First Show Outside of Italy – Where? Hong Kong


This morning in Hong Kong, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana marked a double of firsts for the fashion house they founded 31 years ago: They held their first ever coed show, and that show was their first ever outside Italy.

The reason? To further the reach—by 9,350 kilometers, the distance from Milan to HK—of Alta Moda, the immersive couture collection–meets–social club they began in 2012.

Held in the dramatically Italian-ified lobby of the Peninsula hotel, the show featured 58 women’s looks and 47 men’s on an all-Chinese cast of models. The 240-strong audience was made up of mostly local clients—some long-standing, some at their first-ever Alta Moda—as well as others from as far as Moscow, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and beyond. A smattering of Italian and international editors, including myself, were also flown here by the designers to witness it.

While the venue and formula were radical departures, the collection was purposefully not. This meant watching it felt discombombulatingly akin to being in Milan, Naples, Venice, Capri, or any of the other Italian Alta Moda venues.


As there, the backstage area was a controlled chaos of last-minute alterations, headpiece fittings, and hairstyling observed by a stone-faced phalanx of hard-looking security staff recruited to protect the gem-heavy Alta Gioielleria collection of lapel pins, necklaces, and earrings to which each model was attached. The runway was red velvet and the soundtrack Verdi-heavy, and roses were heaped liberally all around us.

Although the collection included some motifs including ostrich feathers and cherry blossoms that the designers said they had sourced from Asian decorative tradition, this lineup was not overtly tailored to cater to Chinese customers’ tastes. Gold filigreed shoulder pieces, ruched lace, sequined dresses, fur capelets, plus dresses and separates encrusted with pearls or stones—and those signature baroque headpieces—made for a womenswear collection that was totally consistent with what the designers have been presenting as Alta Moda at home. One fitted scarlet and black sequined dress in an inverted leopard relief was particularly powerful


Said Gabbana, “A lot of the clients here today haven’t seen a show in Italy before, so some of the looks are classic Alta Moda: the brocade flowers, the lace, all this. We aren’t trying to change what we are doing, just where we do it.”

Dolce added, “We looked at when this hotel was opened, in 1928, and looked at the atmosphere of that time. We thought about The Last Emperor, as well. But the DNA of the collection is very Dolce & Gabbana.”

The menswear, too, was a familiar mix of often heavily embellished suiting with a dash of hand-painted sportswear and the occasional sweeping fur, all worn above slippers heaped with yet more gold detailing. Entirely unfamiliar was that mixing of the genders on the Dolce & Gabbana runway, but what it revealed was total synchronicity—these are equal-opportunity clothes for financially blessed aesthetic maximalists. Some women’s getups looked to have been plucked (almost) straight from the men’s rack: One densely beaded smoking jacket worn above strictly creased black pants by one female model featured a clubby image of a golf bag picked out in green velvet and ruby-color stones.

Afterward, as in Italy, the clients moved upstairs after the designers had taken their bows to eat a lunch that was resolutely Italian: mozzarella, tomatoes, then sea bass. My table included a mother and her three daughters from Shanghai who were generous with their what-to-do recommendations for this Hong Kong first-timer, and they were all wearing previous Alta Moda collections.

When Dolce & Gabbana began this project in 2012, it made little sense to many—why start a low-volume, high-cost couture business in the age of the handbag and fragrance license? Since then, though, houses have been struggling to adapt to a perceived change in taste from consumers away from inanimate trophy luxury to experiential luxury: stuff you can share, whether digitally or in analog real time. Whether by accident or design, Alta Moda preempted that desire. In theory, taking this immersive Italian cinematic fashion experience to moneyed clients around the world could dramatically increase its fan base. Is that something the designers are considering?

“We need to not cancel the past but to put it in the closet. We need to look at people now and think why they do what they do,” said Gabbana. “It is very interesting . . . so maybe we could open a new way to show the Alta Moda. Maybe next time we do something in, I don’t know, Moscow or Tokyo or London, and do Dolce & Gabbana tributes to these places.”

And another question: Could using women and men on the catwalk together here presage a shift back in Milan come prêt-à-porter season? Dolce replied, “Today is just about today, not tomorrow. Now we are not interested in making shows for both genders. This is just one special occasion that comes from our heart.”

I agree whole heartily Dolce & Gabbana. Bravo!!!!


Not Ordinary Fashion

Pictures courtesy of Vogue

Crazy Amazing Sunglasses

Carretto Sunglasses

Handmade and hand painted sunglasses created by master craftsmen from the Sicilian tradition who lend their skills to fashion


Dolce & Gabbana


Take A Look On How It’s done

Dolce&Gabbana pays homage to the Sicilian cart with a special Sicilian Carretto eyewear collection, of which only 100 numbered pieces have been produced. One of the best-known symbols of Sicilian folk iconography, the cart was created as a means of transport that responded to practical needs, but went on to be transformed into a vehicle for cultural transmission. Sculpture and painting were applied its various constituent parts to represent moments from the island’s history, or from epic stories or popular religion, creating valuable constructions that were genuine traveling works of art.

The imageries of the collection theme are rooted in ancient traditions from Sicily; the island deeply embedded into the souls of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana and the source of their infinite inspiration. The traditional puppet and marionette theater featuring medieval knights and dames; the carretto and the Sicilian wheel are all elements of Dolce&Gabbana aesthetics.

The sunglasses are made from canaletto walnut, with relief miniatures hand-painted by a craftsman. For the traditional cart, details were illuminated by two layers of white and yellow paint: a time consuming task that was undertaken with great care and passion. These sunglasses reveal the same attention to detail: the relief decorations on the frame front are first painted in red with yellow motifs, then in blue, green and orange, according to a precise ritual of colors dictated by Sicilian tradition. Like the antique carts, every pair of glasses is a special piece: the decorator’s hand renders each model completely unique.

The limited edition sunglasses have grey tinted lenses and the Dolce&Gabbana logo engraved on a gold plaque located on the inner temple. They are presented in packaging entirely made from fabric with the Carretto print.

Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana

Glam Rock Takes Over At Saint Laurent



saint laurent hat leather coatsaint laurent gold dress

saint laurent red velvet shirt

It was quite the scene at the Palladium concert hall on Sunset Boulevard on February 10th when Hedi Slimane transported his Saint Laurent spectacular to his beloved City of Angels. Bottle blonde Justin Bieber brought his skateboard, and Sly Stallone brought his daughters. Ellen DeGeneres cozied up with Sam Smith, and Gaga, in a gold sequin bomber and golden glitter-rimmed Groucho Marx glasses, bounded across the wide dance-floor runway to greet Courtney Love, wearing a slip of molten pewter lamé that placed her breasts very much on view. An ageless Jane Fonda (how could she be 78?) worked a high-rise French pleat and an appropriately star-spangled tux; Lenny Kravitz rocked a beaded breastplate; Asia Chow wore a denim jacket over a frothy tulle prom dress; and Mark Ronson opted for shocking pink.

saint laurent velvet boots for mensaint laurent purple jacketblack leather long coat

Slimane has made Los Angeles his base since 2008 (he moved his studio here four years later), and he has continued to channel the city’s quirky vintage, polished grunge and rock ’n’ roll vibe into his Saint Laurent collections ever since—just as Yves Saint Laurent himself had Marrakech, Morocco’s pink adobe city where the legendary couturier was rejuvenated and inspired when he discovered that city’s flamboyant color mixes, mind-altering substances, and a whole new hippie de luxe perspective on style. So it was an exciting prospect to be invited to step into Slimane’s world and discover why he fell for Los Angeles’s seductive style when he decided to show his Fall 2016 men’s collection, and Part I of his women’s (Part II will be unveiled in Paris later this fashion season) at the storied Palladium. Steeped in Tinseltown legend, it was built in high Hollywood Moderne style on the site of an old Paramount lot, and opened in 1940 with Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra performing with the 24-year-old vocalist Frank Sinatra.

saint laurent tiger dressleopard coat red scarfdavid bowie shoulders


Slimane bathed the concert hall’s curvaceous ceiling moldings and balconies in flaming orange light and framed the various bands’ equipment against a charming “Hollywoodland” backdrop of spindly palm trees, delicately painted in white-on-black by 18-year-old Lucia Ribisi (daughter of the actor Giovanni Ribisi). The 93-look collection also celebrated the 50th anniversary of Yves Saint Laurent’s Rive Gauche collection, and the looks paid subtle homage to his legacy. The girls, stomping out to PyPy’s “She’s Gone,” were all dressed in the sort of midi-length skirts or culottes and Victoriana dresses favored by Loulou de La Falaise at the cusp of the ’70s, complete with the broad belts, shrunken jackets, or Berber capes she wore with them. The looks also evoked Jane Fonda’s fabulous wardrobe as the high-class call girl in Alan J. Pakula’s style-saturated 1971 movie, Klute (so did hairdresser Didier Malige’s choppy shag-cuts). The glam rock touches—like lightning bolt embroideries and peaked shoulders—suggested David Bowie’s powerfully influential Ziggy Stardust costumes.

The asparagus-lean boys, meanwhile, wore Slimane’s signature sprayed-on jeans, or skinny-cut pants with a military stripe down the side, and elaborately embellished Hussar jackets, like the antique ones once coveted by the likes of Mick Jagger and Stephen Tyler, Jimi Hendrix (many of the looks were styled with no-pictures-please rock star sunglasses). There were velvets and brocades, and jabots and fedoras, and jackets bespangled with Parisian embroideries, all put together to suggest the iconic look of that quintessential Los Angeleno, the fashion rocker and NBA enthusiast James Goldstein. The collection was a love letter to the city Slimane adores. “That was a piece of art in every way,” opined Jeffrey Deitch, who should know art when he sees it. “There’s a lot for me to work with!” laughed Lenny Kravitz.

After the usually reclusive Slimane took his bow (in a ruby velvet jacket, with Oscar Wilde–length hair), the dance floor was mobbed by junior beauties. I didn’t know there were so many cute, hip people in Los Angeles.

Then the benches were cleared and the stage was ignited by Father John Misty—the first of 11 performers, each doing three or four songs. Beck followed (casual), and then Joan Jett took to the stage in a spangled red catsuit and a fistful of punk attitude, and she brought the house down with “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll.”  “Thank you, Hedi, for making such beautiful clothes!” shouted Jett, and the crowd roared.

First Come First Serve Alta Moda Style At D & G


d& G alta moda   dolce-alta-moda-17dolce-alta-moda-22
D& G alta Moda black

After the hustle of the Haute Couture shows in Paris there is always one last thing that I wait for. The super exclusive Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda (Haute Couture in Italian) show. Only the 1% of the 1% are are invited to see and attend this exclusive collection. The collection was only for sale to an exclusive list of some of the worlds most exclusive and wealthiest clients.

d & G alta Moda




The Alta Moda line, had it’s start just a mere 4 years ago in the fall of 2012 since
then the cloths sell like hot cakes and has been some what expanded. With that to be considered this clothing has turned into collectors pieces and have somehow elevated it to beyond the height of  Haute Couture.


This years setting for the spectacle  Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda spring 2016 collection brought to light at La Scala opera house, Milan this year as well through as-always dizzy and well-heeled show, reached its completion on January 31, Sunday. And we are barley catching the glimpse of that opulence, experiencing unknown delights and getting high over it. Yes, we are yet again spellbound.

g & G alta Moda

But to begin at the beginning: The social gathering in the foyer for the Dolce & Gabbana command performance surely couldn’t have been more glittering and dressed up than the entrance scenes made by guests in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. At midday on Sunday morning, women were assembling in full-length evening gowns, trains, fur hats, sparkling hair ornaments, and, in at least two cases, crowns. En masse public sightings of couture clients as lavishly dressed as this are almost as rare as spotting a herd of unicorns in Paris—but here they all were, the high-net-worth individuals, wives and husbands, high rollers, heiresses, and mother-and-daughter pairs, the multigenerational international Dolce & Gabbana fan club magnetized to Milan from the United States, China, Russia, the Middle East, Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Taiwan, Singapore, and beyond. The day before, they’d seen the Alta Sartoria collection of bespoke clothes for men, a super smart lure to couples to make a whole weekend of it, a nonstop round of lunches, parties, dancing, and fittings—and with Dolce & Gabbana the only show in town.


But this was the crescendo. The audience sat on gold chairs on the stage, with a full view of the gold and deep red velvet sweep of the auditorium. As the models walked up the aisle of the theater, in unhurried procession, there was a strange sense of both intimacy and high drama. In fashion terms, as always, the eye leapt straight to what it doesn’t ordinarily see, and that was the exceptional dressmaking in black: sculpted black hoods to begin with (something between Catholic mantillas and ’60s space-age couture); tailored skirtsuits with gold buttons on cuffs and flippy gored fishtail hemlines; then a cocktail dress draped to one shoulder; and yet more simple-yet-ineffably sophisticated silhouettes with silvery crystal shoulder straps or the illusion of ’30s-style clips at the waist. (There’s a lot of the languid ’30s beginning to filter through fashion, by the by.)

D & G Crown

Singularity is the thing about haute couture. Dolce and Gabbana said that only one of each outfit will be made—a message that meant that the customers in the audience had their fingers on the triggers of their phones, texting their dibs on the looks even before the music swelled to a close. It was, of course, a fantastical performance on every level, yet one underpinned by reality. Back in the workrooms, there is a large landing crowded with dress forms in all shapes and sizes—the mannequins made to the exact measurements of the women who order here.Dolce_Gabbana_Alta_Moda_spring_summer_2016_collection2-768x536

The house estimates that crowd has now reached 200. That itself is a huge accolade to the two men who began this enterprise as Milanese upstarts in the late ’80s. As they took their bows, wiping away tears, the thunderous applause was the measure of a career pinnacle, and brilliantly well-deserved.


Not Ordinary Fashion

Pictures By Vogue

A True Romance

No dress, amongst all that Elie Saab has constructed, remains as important for the designer than that created for his wife: in 1990, Claudine Saab walked down the aisle in an exquisitely embroidered golden wedding gown, designed at the hands of her future husband.

July 4th, 2015, marked the 25th anniversary of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Saab and in celebration of this moment, the wedding gown of the latest Haute Couture collection paid homage to that of Claudine’s.

27 fashion elie saab wedding gown

Twenty craftsmen worked on the creation of the gown that took over 600 hours to complete. With its voluminous full skirt embroidered with gold silk thread and floral appliqués, the final Autumn Winter 2015-2016 wedding gown was a vision of love.

Read moreA True Romance

Haute Couture Week Here We Gooooooo!

Haute Couture Week Paris is just around the corner January 24th thru the 28! I’m excited hope you are too!!5881630084_74eb1d46e9_o

Then we slide right into New York Fashion week and all the other ones and it just fills up February.  I’m excited this year.  I have hope . . . Are you excited? Tell me how you feel about Haute Couture week and the fashion weeks after that. I would love to hear from you.  Hello is anyone out there?



It’s raining outside and cold. It’s January, sigh. Christmas is over.  When I think of January I think of a lot of things. Like yay my family made it through Christmas without a major blowup. Next thing; January is my birthday month. Notice did not say birthDAY I said Month. I like to celebrate it all month-long.  Like doing special little things for myself. Nothing big or even noticeable to others, well maybe now that I think about it people really close to me might notice.  Here are a few examples. I may stay up and binge watch something just a little too long. Drink hot cocoa whenever I want to. Have my hair blown out and styled by someone else. Buy a book I’ve been drooling over. Write in my journal every day what I’m grateful for. Dance in the rain. Don’t make my bed. You know little things that make me happy.  So now that I’ve told the world on my tiny little fashion blog, it’s no longer a secret. I’m not entirely comfortable with that.  The reason this fabulous picture is with this post is that it’s one of my all time fav models and wearing one of my all time fav designs by the amazing Mr. McQueen when he was still with us.  (Nope I’m not going to talk about David Bowie or Alan Rickman.) I’ve wanted this jacket and pants and hair and belt since the first time I saw it on the runway.  As you know this blog is about details and opulence and the remarkable people who design it and create it. I sew and when I look at it I feel humbled every time.  It’s not a small thing to design and create such an amazing garment. Sooooo if I can’t have it for my birthday, I can look at it and really appreciate it and of course the beauty of both the person wearing such a fabulous thing and the people who made it.  It’s a big month in Fashion for the Men’s collections. That’s for another time. Happy January!  Hey, do me a favor and tell me what makes you happy in January.

The Making Of Chanel Haute Couture



Following the announcement that Raf Simons would depart Dior, the house has announced that its upcoming Spring 2016 Couture and Fall 2016 collections will be designed by its in-house team. Translation: A new Dior designer likely won’t be announced for some time. The brand’s decision to entrust its ateliers with the next two runway collections mirrors the scene following John Galliano’s ousting in 2011, when Galliano’s second-in-command, Bill Gaytten, was tasked with leading the design team for six collections until Simons was named creative director in 2012.

Still, Dior’s choice to take its time hiring a successor to Simons is something of a departure from the current system of designer appointments. When Frida Giannini was pushed out of Gucci last winter, Alessandro Michele had filled her shoes within days. It took Balenciaga two months to name Vetements’s Demna Gvasalia as its new creative director after Alexander Wang. LVMH’s decision to go slow on its creative director search will only fuel fashion’s rumor mill—right now, top contenders according to secondhand sources range from Alber Elbaz to Olivier Rousteing—but it might also ensure that Dior ends up with a creative at the helm ready to dedicate him or herself to the house for a longer period. You’ll just have to stay tuned a little longer to see if that proves true.
BY Seff Yotka – Vogue

Not Ordinary Fashions Comments: It was widely known that Raf Simons was new to Haute Couture and had never designed it in his life. It was a surprising decision when they hired him in the first place. He was like a fish out of water, He turned the designing over to the in house team anyway. In my opinion it’s a sad state that Christian Dior is in. One of the most luxurious prolific fashion houses in the fashion world with tremendous resources cannot find a creative director. It’s a very sad thing. I hope they find the right one.

Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda


Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda

The extravaganza that is haute couture is by now enough ingrained in our fashion consciousnesses to know that it is a rare and precious environment that is not of this world. That is, of course, aside from those few fierce radical souls who endeavor to apply it to the everyday. But Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have so much of the everyday in their ready-to-wear business that couture (or alta moda in their mother tongue) gives them an opportunity to slip the surly bonds of Earth and touch the face of God, a silken, gilded, embroidered, sequined, furry God who dwells in a realm of pure indulgent luxury, outside any of the prosaic restraints that bind designers to budgets and deadlines.

Continuing their sterling 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 houses—baby castelli, really—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-numbingly spectacular parade of womenswear. And ownership of that outcrop meant that the designers could indulge their most extreme fashion fantasies: Dante, Homer, and, critically, Shakespeare coming together in their own version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But Lewis Carroll also played a part in a hallucinatory mise en scène that transformed Dolce’s garden into a hybrid paradise: grapes on a palm tree, watermelons on an olive tree, orange trees with chestnuts, and a massive upside-down oak, roots waving in the air. “What’s real, what’s fantasy, you won’t know,” Gabbana teased before the show.

“It’s the fashion system’s fault that no one tells a story today,” he continued. It’s maybe closer to the truth that no one tells a story like Dolce & Gabbana. Worker bees had been buzzing around Dolce’s property—auspiciously named Villa San Giovanni, like his mother’s house in Sicily—for a year to make it ready for Friday night. It was the designers’ biggest production to date—94 models, 80 performers—and the substantial uphill hike to the property (thoughtfully eased by hydrating way stations) was sufficiently disorienting enough that the audience was prepped for something extraordinary. It arrived, with a sequence of looks that jammed a movie’s worth of sensory overload into almost every outfit. Let’s set aside the simplest—the doubled tux jacket, the gray pinstripe suit with the Dietrich pants, even the white T-shirt (ermine) with the little black skirt (hyper-embroidered)—to focus on the gigantic skirts, full-blown from Dolce’s bible, Visconti’s The Leopard, each one more overwhelming than the last. Spumes of peacock feathers, sprays of silk printed with pumpkins or owls or parrots, familiars to Dolce’s magician. It all looked hand-painted, but the duo now have their own printing facility, so fairy tales can come true. This wasn’t so much a midsummer night’s dream as it was an entire world re-created by Prospero, Shakespeare’s mage in The Tempest. Dolce even made new animals, like a jacket composed of a hybrid of red, gray, and green fox, red ermine, and yellow ostrich feathers—a bird of paradise redux, paired with a parrot needlepoint skirt and a black lace camisole. The outfits were purest alta moda one-offs, once sold, never repeated, and to ram that point home, there were pieces made from vintage fabrics, like a black lace caftan cut from a single bolt of cloth.

And then, to make the point even more acute, Domenico and Stefano did it all again on Saturday night, this time for men. Tailoring is in Dolce’s blood, but his spin on bespoke menswear was lush, decadent. “Our desire for vanity and beauty doesn’t change,” he said. ”We’ve just lost the way to deliver them.” Consider D&G’s alta sartoria a remedy for that state of affairs. 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. An interesting challenge, when the men’s collection was such a provocative blend of hard and soft: silk linen pajamas under an officer’s coat in baby cashmere, kimono wraps encrusted with embroidery, cyclamen pajamas under a matching robe. Dolce was insistent that these clothes would be a purely private pleasure for the men who ordered them. He had been in the homes of such people, never a photographer in sight, the utmost discretion at all times. Take, for instance, one of the first clients Dolce & Gabbana’s alta sartoria ever had: He wanted the jacket with the hand-painted Canaletto. When Dolce pointed out that it had already been ordered (one-offs, remember?), he replied, “But I have my own Canaletto.”

In the luxe, calme et volupté of a world where men can have their own Canalettos reproduced on the jacket of their choice, it would seem that extremity could scarcely grab a hold. But Dolce & Gabbana have a canny grasp of the mechanics of desire. 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. The following night, men got cigars (not quite as fabulash as a handbag for the nonsmokers) and a swing combo from Palermo called the Bar Room Kings, who were a little less cheesy but still had a noisy, up-for-it crowd gagging for a good time. The weekend climaxed with a club night dedicated to oro, gold, the most antique symbol of human cupidity recast in a disco inferno. And that’s the odd magic of this brand: heights of craftsmanship, depths of fun. Genuine fashion democracy in full cry. And no surprise that it works. People are people, after all.

Photo: Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana

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