Giuseppe Tornatore Directs “Dolce Rosa Excelsa” for Dolce & Gabbana
We’d only slightly be overstating the case by claiming we live for a well-made fashion film. Fashion in film can make or break a mood, reveal secrets about heroes and villains alike, transport us to a specific time and place. Fashion can live and breathe, moving through seasons and physical space. So why not use a moving medium to capture and describe that movement? Luckily designers and brands are embracing fashion film, more and more, to tell their brand stories. Inspired by BoF’s Top 10 Fashion Films of the Season, we’re going to offer an end-of-season glimpse of some of the year’s best fashion films.
Next up is “Dolce Rosa Excelsa” for Dolce & Gabbana by Giuseppe Tornatore.
To celebrate the launch of its new scent, the iconic Italian brand united three titans of Italian cinema: director Giuseppe Tornatore, composer Ennio Morricone and actress Sophia Loren. With a rich, sun-drenched palette and sweeping cinematographic style, the film centres around a matriarch, played by Loren, as she directs the restoration of a sprawling Sicilian estate, Villa Valguarnera di Bagheria near Palermo. Scenes of Loren, rolling up her sleeves and cheerfully playing chief builder, bring a lighthearted sense of humour to the film.
Following Dolce and Gabbana’s Alta Moda in Naples, I could not have felt more proud and in total admiration. Being from Pompei, the world famous Italian archeological site, I know Naples as not just the closest city but also the symbol of my southern Italian roots. Watching what the fashion duo was able to organise in those streets where I usually have pizza with my friends or where I go shopping, my eyes simply shone in adoration.
Let’s start from the advertorial campaign inspired by Alta Moda. The pictures, savvily shot by the brave Franco Pagetti (who frequently shoots in war zones like Afghanistan and Kosovo) show the luxurious garments in the real streets of Naples. This combination of roughness (think about the cobbled streets or from the walls covered in graffiti) and exquisite elegance of every piece of clothing, makes these pictures stand out. It is impossible not to stop and look at every detail shown when you go through a fashion magazine or you spot a billboard in town. Then you also have the added bonus of noticing how the Neapolitans enjoyed themselves in such a setting, unaware of the fact that thousands of people will see their faces in glossy magazines all over the world.
The Alta Moda fashion show took part in San Gregorio Armeno, the street that for locals means craftmanship and creativity. Artisans here make by hand those characters that Italians use to embellish the nativity scene at Christmas. It’s a tradition that goes back centuries if not a millennium, and represents the heart of Neapolitan artisanship. As I watched highlights and videos of the catwalk I couldn’t help thinking that those models and gorgeous dresses were like those statues, so beautiful and decorated, just in flesh and bone.
But the catwalk was only one of the many events Dolce and Gabbana finely crafted to entertain their guests, show the world Naples and promote their Alta Moda. First was the exclusive aperitif in Villa Pignatelli the day before the fashion show. Then there was the extravagant banquet at Castel dell’Ovo (Yes, they reserved a whole castle!). These, along with the closing soirée on the seaside, elevated Dolce and Gabbana Alta Moda as special experience beyond the usual fashion event.
Therefore yes, having watched from afar all these events, clothes and delighted guests, I guess it is not that crazy to desperately desire to get some tickets for whatever event Dolce and Gabbana are planning next.
Maybe this year I will try something I haven’t done in a long time: to write that letter to Santa. And I hope he will pull some strings so that I will find under my Christmas tree, my dear tickets (If VIP, even better, Santa… if you are reading this.). At least I can try.
Sunday: Next up for us was Dolce & Gabbana’s “Italian Journey,” which featured their conversation with Alexandra Shulman. There’s no denying the depth of Stefano and Domenico’s vision, and their unwavering commitment to it. The question, though, remained: would their recent controversies overshadow the talk? The answer? No. By launching into a discussion on Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Moda, the conversation stayed on the work. Throughout the talk, Stefano and Domenico were witty, playful and opinionated.
Unsurprisingly, these two almost seemed like relics of another time. Stefano has pulled back somewhat from social media in recent years. Domenico revealed that he doesn’t have an email address (Did we hear that right?). They’re also resisting changes happening elsewhere in the industry. They won’t consider launching their collections simultaneously with their runway shows, as Burberry, Tom Ford and Vetements have recently chosen to do. Furthermore, Stefano and Domenico reject the idea of combining the men’s and women’s shows. “Men are men, and women are women,” pronounced Stefano, his finger waving in the air, even as Alexandra offered possible logistical solutions.