Dolce & Gabbana pays tribute to Mexico with its Alta Moda show

In a space peopled by the bronze sculptures of French artist Auguste Rodin and echoing with Mexican singer Luis Miguel's mariachi music, Dolce & Gabbana presented its exclusive Alta Moda and Alta Sartoria collections in Mexico City's Museo Soumaya on Wednesday night. The show was not only a tribute to the beauty and style of Mexican men and women, and their versatile, multifaceted identities, but also to the country's wider multicultural spirit. 


Dolce & Gabbana's Alta Moda collection in Mexico. - Cortesía

Accompanied by a soundtrack of Mexican mariachi classics, the models took to the runway under the gaze of a front row that included Italian cinema star Sophia Loren, Mexico's First Lady Angélica Rivera and the country's richest man, Carlos Slim, who also happens to be the museum's owner. The pieces sent down the runway by Italian duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana included beautiful silk shawls embroidered with flowers which put one in mind of Mexican film star María Félix, sequined dresses, maxi coats and fringed waistcoats, as well as dresses and sweaters referencing the Virgen de Guadalupe, and even a headdress decorated with a little doll version of iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. 

In homage to the similarities between Italian and Mexican culture, Dolce & Gabbana also presented a shirt featuring the three colors of both countries' flags and a golden heart, along with torero waistcoats and headpieces making nods to Spanish flamenco. The appearance of this Iberian country in the collection is no coincidence: as Stefano Gabbana pointed out at a press conference on the previous day, Spain is the point at which the roots of the cultures of Mexico and Italy meet. 

"We wanted to come to Mexico and explore the market because, time and again, the philosophy of Dolce & Gabbana, has been to travel and discover our relationship with the country," stated the Sicilian designer. "We love the folklore, the people, the lifestyle. When we take references like mariachi, we are talking abut culture," he added. 

The different pieces in the Italian duo's Alta Moda and Alta Sartoria collections presented at the Museo Soumaya also told the story of various chapters in the history and culture of Mexico, mixed with the nostalgia, Sicilian sensuality and millennial sensibility of the brand. Models wore dresses with black lace and flower headdresses, making clear reference to Frida Kahlo, or tailored suits featuring the traditional bow tie and golden buttons of the mariachi outfit. 

As well as the strong presence of Mexican influences in the collection, Dolce & Gabbana's runway show also featured some of the country's biggest influencers, such as Juanpa Zurita, Michelle Salas and Diego Boneta, and models Alejandra Infante, Karime Bribiesca, Mariana Zaragoza and Cristina Piccone. Piccone was chosen to close the catwalk in a dress displaying the work of Brazilian designer and artist Romero Britto. 

"Millennials are a strong presence. If we want to reach the new generation, we have to pay attention to the kind of music they listen to, what they wear casually during the day and how they smarten up at night. We're already in step with our own generation, now we have to focus on the new one," declared Stefano Gabbana, going on to explain that some of the brand's designs featuring a certain humorous touch are also a part of his personality. "My work is my life, so I express myself in it".

For the Alta Sartoria collection, Dolce & Gabbana oscillated between a number of different styles, the result of which was an aesthetic that was somewhat less defined than that of the womenswear collection. The menswear presentation included everything from 1970s-style prints to pyjamas and metallic suits in Mexican pink, or gold with floral prints. 

Dolce & Gabbana's runway show in Mexico was a dynamic, vibrant triumph. In a presentation featuring more than 100 looks, the excellent execution of the ensemble awoke Mexico's national pride. The brand is currently focused on its expansion efforts in the Americas, and the region represented 13% of its total sales in the fiscal year 2016/17, ended March 31 of last year. 

The next stop in the brand's haute couture tour is reported to be in Italy again. The event is slated to take place in July, in one of the splendid palaces perched on the shores of Lake Como, near Milan. 

Translated by Robin Driver

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