Sicily

Dolce & Gabbana Celebrated 10 Years of Alta Moda with Star-Studded Festivities in Sicily

Dolce & Gabbana Celebrated 10 Years of Alta Moda with Star-Studded Festivities in Sicily

Photo: Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana
Some of the world’s biggest stars arrived in Sicily last weekend to set off four days of quintessential Italian festivities as Dolce & Gabbana marked 10 years of Alta Moda. The Italian equivalent of haute couture, its showcase is aptly hosted at historic locations such as Agrigento and Taormina, with the sole focus laid on the country’s folklore and craftsmanship. Iconic landmarks like palaces and churches have witnessed this for years, with celebrations nodding to traditional singing, dancing, and horse-drawn carriages, all of which are also reflected in the pieces that come down the runway. It is no less than a family affair with the reunion of the house’s well-heeled clients, who also have the opportunity to take the Alta Moda pieces home and make their couture appointments at the venue.
The weekend’s events, which marked a significant milestone this time, were that much grander. Below, find out all about Dolce & Gabbana’s 10-year anniversary of Alta Moda in Siracusa, Sicily.

The stars in attendance

Star power was in full force at the show, with the front row featuring the likes of Sharon Stone, Mariah Carey, Helen Mirren, Drew Barrymore, Lupita Nyong’o, Ciara, and Emma Roberts—all of whom were dressed in extravagant looks that spoke to the scale of the show. Carey’s chosen look was a fishtail dress with a Majolica-inspired print and a crown to match, while Mirren’s pick came with metallic multicolor stripes and puffed sleeves. Barrymore made a statement in flowers, which bloomed from her bright pink dress as well as her hair, and Stone stood out in a gold top paired with blue pants linked to a floor-grazing train patterned with flowers.
An ode to Sicily, its women, and the makings of Dolce & Gabbana

“For me, it all started in Sicily. My life, my profession, my career. And that’s where everything always comes back,” shared Domenico Dolce with Vogue Arabia. A homecoming for one-half of the world’s most celebrated fashion duos, the show was preceded by a reenactment of Cavalliera Rusticana, a late 1800s opera by Pietro Mascagni about a pair of love triangles who face love, betrayal, and tragedy. As it set the mood for the collection outside Siracusa Cathedral, 106 pieces made their way down the runway at Duomo Square, paying homage to the cathedral’s patron saint, Lucia of Syracuse—a Christian martyr who died during the Diocletianic Persecution. She was venerated through grieving black, which was also one of the ways in which the designers honored the roots of their fashion house founded in 1986. The abundance of black—the color worn by Sicilian widows—from the early years of Dolce & Gabbana was reimagined for larger-than-life Alta Moda in delicate lace, intricate embroidery, and sensual corsetry. Golden threads and baroque details nodding to byzantine tiles heightened the opulence, while the veiled “widows” on the runway were contrasted by brides—one in a short white dress with cherub wings, and another in a gown with padded embroidery and a matching headpiece. As lavish as they were, every creation called to mind what Dolce said at a press conference before the show: “It’s not just the clothes, the two meters of pearls, of pleats. It’s not just one dress – it’s a style of life.”
Treasures of the cave

Few designers can have the fashion cognoscenti make their way to a natural cave to view high jewelry‚ and Dolce and Gabbana availed their prowess for just that. After viewing the Alta Moda collection, stars, clients, and journalists entered the ancient Grotta dei Cordari (Ropemakers Grotto) in the heart of Sicily, where the glittering Alta Gioielleria collection was unveiled. Once a stone quarry that lent its limestone to Sicily’s beauty, and a prison in fourth century BC, the Grotta dei Cordari evolved from a place of captivity into a garden full of lemon and orange trees typical of the Mediterranean landscape. The picturesque location showcased the new exclusive collection featuring one-of-a-kind jewels that celebrate Italian craftsmanship, combined with the most spectacular gems. Highlights include the Sicilia necklace featuring a 100.10-carat yellow pear-shaped diamond, and the Miracolo earrings with four diamonds from the same rough. The piece is inspired by the myth of Princess Sicilia, who was exiled from her home to escape death by a monster, but ended up on a lush but deserted island, with its only inhabitant being a beautiful young man. The necklace’s yellow diamond is a representation of the sands and lemon trees of the island, which is now known as Sicily.
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First Drive: Bentley’s 12-Cylinder Continental GT Delivers Old-School, High-Octane Athleticism

First Drive: Bentley’s 12-Cylinder Continental GT Delivers Old-School, High-Octane Athleticism

Though Bentley has long leaned into its Art Deco–era reputation forged by large-displacement, Le Mans—winning racers, the 102-year-old British automaker seems amped about its electric future, having committed to a gas-free lineup in a scant nine years. But its fuel lines aren’t empty quite yet. The newest Continental GT variant, with its dozen gas-combusting cylinders and scripted “Speed” badge, is a full-throated endorsement of the old ways. But the burning question is, with hybrid and battery-powered Bentleys just around the corner, does this grand tourer feel as momentous as it should?

Sicily’s craggy back roads help highlight the marque’s longstanding calling cards of towering torque and an imperturbable ride, but the eye-opener comes when hauling the two-and-a-half-ton coupe around an abandoned military base converted into a makeshift autocross course: Somehow, despite the boat anchor of a power plant stuffed under the hood and enough soundproofing to mute an AC/DC concert, you can chuck the posh two-plus-two into corners like a WRC rally car. Keep your hands quick and your foot heavy and the GT Speed flashes its rambunctious side, kicking its tail out and sliding through corners with surprising grace. Complementing the spicier handling—and mocking the politely indicated braking zones—are the Continental’s debut of carbon-ceramic stoppers.

Though the last-generation Continental GT Supersports produced more power, the new Speed has been christened the most dynamically capable model in Bentley’s history. The 6.0-liter W-12 filling the capacious engine bay has 650 hp and 664 ft lbs of torque on tap, but more importantly the chassis has been heavily massaged, starting with Bentley’s first electronic limited-slip rear differential. The hardware and software work in tandem to increase nimbleness and stability, with a little help from the new four-wheel steering, which has been tuned to minimize the turning radius by pitching the rear wheels up to four degrees in the opposite direction of the front set. Clever stuff.

With substantial chassis refinements and four-wheel steering, the 605 hp Continental GT Speed is disarmingly agile. 

Bentley

Revised power distribution gives the car a more rearward bias to avoid the dreaded plowing effect of understeer, and the reprogrammed air suspension offers greater range between comfort and stiffness, depending on the selected drive mode and road conditions. But despite all the high-tech goodies employed in the quest for speed, this new GT variant doesn’t flaunt the fixed spoiler and carbon-fiber seats of earlier Supersports models. Instead, its clean, muscular lines and Alcantara-and-hide-lined interior—featuring a range of textures, from lustrous veneers to aluminum finishes—present a more subdued elegance that recalls the golden age of motoring.

The 2022 Continental GT Speed is less snorty supercar, more an amplification of the well-honed grand-touring formula. And while it may not prove to be Bentley’s finale for internal combustion, this unapologetic 12-cylinder, with its old-school, high-octane athleticism and stately sheet metal, seems designed to deliver a very future-looking message, indeed: You’re going to miss me when I’m gone.

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