Fashion watchers may think that Italian design duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are a step too late in launching their haute couture line Alta Moda in July. After all, a few other design houses have already introduced their haute couture lines a few months ahead of them.
But the two chief designers from the label insist they are not trying to catch up. Haute couture fashion has always been on top of their minds.
"This was our dream ever since we started doing this job!" says Dolce. "We've studied and did a lot of research. We have also created a dedicated atelier to create these special clothes."
Haute couture is the highest level of fashion. Each piece is unique. For example, Alta Moda's 73 pieces from this collection are all handmade by tailors in Milan. Every meter of lace is woven differently, and every bead is hand-stitched. But the collection keeps to the fashion house's unique style "of Sicily, Baroque, tailoring and sensuality, but in this case we re-interpreted all of them on unique clothes, following the Italian Alta Moda tradition", says Dolce.
Alta Moda, which was launched in Sicily, Italy, features black body-hugging long dresses, dresses decorated with pink lace, full skirts, velvet heels and floral prints. Each piece exudes romantic Sicilian style.
The duo created a big buzz with their show. They invited deep-pocketed clients and A-list ambassadors like Scarlett Johansson, Naomi Campbell and Stephanie Seymour. There were also the fashion industry's big names like Anna Wintour.
And it turned out to be a big success. One client from Russia who did not take part in the show apparently ordered a number of items through e-mail, even though the clothes did not appear on the cover of any fashion magazine. Gabbana says it's a deliberate move because haute couture customers would not want to see their dresses in a magazine.