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Milan Fashion Week Fall 2012
Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana - A detail of the lavish set installed for Dolce & Gabbana's Fall 2012 runway presentation

A detail of the lavish set installed for Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall 2012 runway presentation

Flying from New York to Paris and then Milan, all in one day, translates into many hours spent in airplanes. But seeing Dolce & Gabbana (the only show I attend in Milan), makes it all worth it. The night before the défilé, I stay at the Hotel Principe di Savoia: it’s a lively spot where the fashionistas gather, and one of the places to see (and be seen) in Milan. This visit was as much fun as ever; and Dolce & Gabbana surpassed expectations with an opulent spectacle that was rich and luxurious. It was an out-of-this-world experience.

Dolce & Gabbana - Susan with blogger Bryanboy in the front row

Susan with blogger Bryanboy in the front row

Dolce & Gabbana - Indian film star, Sonam Kapoor

Indian film star, Sonam Kapoor

Dolce & Gabbana - Actress and socialite, Bianca Brandolini d'Adda, poses on the runway

Actress and socialite, Bianca Brandolini d’Adda, poses on the runway

Dolce & Gabbana’s show space, the Metropol, was beautifully decorated with rows of chandeliers down the center (draped in real roses), and a tall, baroque mirror at the runway’s end. The background music was Pavarotti singing tunes from La Traviata, which had me anticipating an Italian opera theme–but, in fact, the story behind this collection went deeper than that.

Dolce & Gabbana -

Dolce & Gabbana -

Dolce & Gabbana -

Many designers can create luxurious défilés; but as Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana explained to me later, their inspiration this time came from many, many centuries of Sicilian history, and focused on “the religious woman.” This meant details like beautiful, dark capes with heavy gold brocade; colorful floral prints; a liberal sprinkling of angels, all carefully placed (in other words, present, but not overpowering, even when worn in the hair); and yards and yards of lace. I especially loved the chic lace dresses, as well as the ankle socks, shoes and boots–all made, or trimmed, with lace.

Dolce & Gabbana -

Dolce & Gabbana -

Dolce & Gabbana -

Dolce & Gabbana -

Dolce & Gabbana -

Dolce & Gabbana -

Dolce & Gabbana - The show's _finale_ featured a runway filled with beautiful girls

The show’s finale featured a runway filled with beautiful girls

Dolce & Gabbana - Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce take their bow at the end of the show

Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce take their bow at the end of the show

The grand finale was incredible: all the models paraded in formation down the runway, dressed in gold-trimmed black garments of every sort: coats, dresses, jackets and pants, of course, but also corsets, bloomers and shorts. It was a real wow, not to mention a stunning display of designer virtuosity.

Dolce & Gabbana - Backstage, everything is carefully organized: this bag, these shoes...

Backstage, everything is carefully organized: this bag, these shoes…

Dolce & Gabbana - Bianca Brandolini d'Adda and former model Andrea Dellal pose for photographers backstage

Bianca Brandolini d’Adda and former model Andrea Dellal pose for photographers backstage

Dolce & Gabbana - An image from the collection's "inspiration board"--ecclesiastical grandeur

An image from the collection’s “inspiration board”—ecclesiastical grandeur

Dolce & Gabbana - Susan with Yuri Ahn, fashion editor at _Swide_, backstage after the show

Susan with Yuri Ahn, fashion editor at Swide, backstage after the show

After the show, I love going backstage to congratulate the Dolce & Gabbana team–Domenico uncorks Champagne for la famiglia (including the entire staff, of course), and everyone fêtes another fabulous collection. The Dolce & Gabbana “family” is large: this time, I saw Monica Bellucci, Helen Mirren, Bianca Brandolini d’Adda and Marpessa (who I’d met the night before, at Plastic), and they all looked amazing in their Dolce & Gabbana ensembles! As for me, I was so taken with the experience, I forgot about my jet lag. This was a beautiful collection, and I can’t stop thinking about it!

Dolce & Gabbana - Domenico and Stefano pour Champagne for their colleagues and guests

Domenico and Stefano pour Champagne for their colleagues and guests

Dolce & Gabbana - Susan with Stefano Gabbana

Susan with Stefano Gabbana

Photographs by Arnaud Paumier

FASHION WEEKS, CHIC WOMEN'S STYLE, Dolce & Gabbana (9), Milan (13)

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