Dolce & Gabbana this season showcased a collection inspired by the summer holidays. Heat was practically exuding from the many brilliant designs showcased in a collection named Sea, Sun and Love.
The Italian fashion house was inspired by the most profound Sicilian tradition of baroque – an artistic style which uses exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpretable details to produce drama, exuberance and grandeur in sculpture, painting, architecture, literature, dance, music, and of course, fashion, for their collection.
The style of Baroque began around 1600 in Rome, Italy, and soon influenced all of Europe. The particular style of baroque designs seen on the catwalk for the Italian fashion house was Sicilian Baroque.
Sicilian Baroque came into prominence during the 17th and 18th Centuries, in the island of Sicily. Characteristics unique to Sicilian Baroque, aside from the usual opulence associated with Baroque itself, is the extensive use of putti everywhere; “putti” means “boys” in Italian and is the name given to the chubby infants seen on many Baroque objects.
Prints depicted the famous puppets of Sicilian street theatres, the island’s traditional ceramic vases, terracota pots and cartwheels. Straw and raffia were also strewn into bustiers and t-shirt dresses, and chandelier earrings in the shape of street puppets were also present in the collection.
Some of the dresses were made from raffia sacks which might have held flour previously. The finale dress was particularly extravagant – a sweeping crinoline in a classic Sicilian basket design. Black Sicilian lace, embroideries, cinched-at-the-waist flaring skirts, all worked their charm on the runway.
The show was certainly full of colour and clothes so richly created; A-line dresses and skirts were reinvented with colourful prints, while textures, raffia dresses and crochet skirts exhibited a rich craftsmanship.
Sicily houses the famous Opera dei Pupi (Opera of the Puppets) – a marionette theatrical representation of Frankish romantic poems, such as The Song of Roland, a heroic poem based on the Battle of Roncesvalles in 778, during the reign of Charlemagne.
The Opera of the Puppets is a characteristic cultural tradition of Sicily. The sides of donkey carts are decorated with intricate, painted scenes and the tales are also further enacted in traditional puppet theatres, featuring hand-made marionettes of wood.
So you could say that Dolce & Gabbana evoked this particular sentiment with their Spring Summer 2013 collection – bringing the rich cultural heritage of Sicily to people from all walks of of life, everywhere.