You Are Reading Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Moda Platform Puts the Sublime Online

0 Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Moda Platform Puts the Sublime Online

Every summer since it launched in 2012 Dolce & Gabbana’s couture Alta Moda collections have been shown in a swoonsome series of locations that reads like an Italo-phile’s bucket list. Over that time the designers’ international community of cashed-up customers has grown to around 1,000 members, who return year after year to party hard and purchase with equal abandon. For obvious reasons, in 2020 there could be no reunion on the shores of Capri, or the banks of Lake Como, or the piazzas of Venice, or the temples of Sicily…

“And that’s a big shame!” So said Stefano Gabbana last week during the filming of this summer’s Alta Moda collection, which took place in the line’s dedicated salon in Milan. “Because all the customers have been in touch with us, saying ‘we miss you guys and we would have loved to have come to Italy and have the weekend together this summer.’ We had already started working on these collections before the lockdown, and we decided to go ahead with a series of pieces dedicated to those customers and the essence of the Italian summer.”

Both the Alta Moda womenswear and jewelry being filmed and photographed as Gabbana spoke and its masculine Alta Sartoria counterpart, shot earlier, were as sumptuous as a cannoli is sweet. From a mink-bordered golden kimono to an ostrich feather edged zebra print silk caftan to chiffon dresses printed with souvenir renderings of past Alta Moda show locales, the thrust of the collections was a vicarious evocation of a fantasy mid-20th century beach holiday at which your fellow sybarites included Gianni Agnelli and Sophia Loren.

But without the customers on hand to shoot the looks on their phones and WhatsApp their orders straight to their Alta Moda agents, how was this collection going to sell? “Well, they are in touch with us all the time of course, on email, on WhatsApp. But also we built a website—a secret space, that you need a key to enter—where the customers can see all the pieces in detail from every angle and find out all the background about the collections. Then they can build a wish list for the pieces that interest them, click the button, and that information goes straight to our team.”

An haute couture equivalent of Net-A-Porter or MatchesFashion, the Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda site opened to clients late last week. As during the physical shows, prices are shared only with customers and the company is always unwilling to discuss who has purchased what and for how much (although those customers are often happy to share info on their latest buys). Yesterday the company said that nearly all of the Alta Moda clientele had visited the site and that the response was “enthusiastic.” Which suggests that whenever and wherever the Alta Moda crowd may eventually reconvene, these pieces will get their day in the sun.