Fashion’s most fabulous extravaganza celebrates 100 years of Vogue this year. As the Vogue Festival reaches its fifth year in a row it’s educating us more than ever on fashion mentality with a line-up of speakers including Alessandro Michele, Alexa Chung, Kim Kardashian West, Isabel Marant, Grace Coddington and the infamous Domenico Dolce and partner Stefano Gabbana among others.
Located in the Vogue World venue on the East Lawn in Kensington Gardens, guests are entertained with champagne bars, nail and hair salons, industry guests and souvenirs such as bags and t-shirts that can be signed by guest speakers at various events. Across the street in the Royal Geographical Society Alexandra Shulman, British Vogues longest serving Editor in Chief, interviewed guest speakers from the industry.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, the founders of the luxury fashion house Dolce and Gabbana, talked to Alexandra Shulman about the brand’s Italian journey, their fashion views and current projects, beginning with their finest Altra Moda collection and shows.
“We call it Altra Moda because it is Italian not French” Domenico Dolce said, expressing his views on Haute Couture and the intimacy it has with Paris. The Altra Moda collection creates a relationship between the customer and the brand through the intimate experience it generates, there is only one piece for each design and it is solely created for the purpose of art that captures the essence of Italian culture.
Dolce and Gabbana is known for its globalisation and its choice of elite locations, which define the brand’s luxury identity and most importantly its wealthy customers. The fashion designers talked about the difference between ready to wear clothing, bags and shoes. Domenico explained that it is vital to understand the food, people and culture of different markets to create suitable designs for each region, for example places like Russia are more challenging because they need more fur due to colder weather conditions.
Stefano Gabbana talked about his view on the success of brand’s designs, he suggested that a brand is only successful and unique because of the founder, once a designer dies and another takes over the brand loses its personality – “When I die, Dolce & Gabbana is no more. It becomes without soul. But that’s just my opinion.” The two designers also suggested that the crucial element to the brand’s success is their strong working relationship. Both admitted that they are complete opposites; however, both always somehow arrive at the same idea. In other words, the two ambitious designers are great example of teamwork and compromise, which shows that a good work attitude can lead to great opportunities.
For a little inspiration the two designers talked about the importance of being unique and declared that the key to being real is designing it with love. “Be unique. You need to express yourself”, said Stefano Gabbana, suggesting to the audience that designing is not easy – you need to put your mind to it. The designers also viewed pressure as another source of inspiration for aspiring designers in the audience that were scared after a mass of creative directors abandoned the luxury market in 2015.
Finally Stefano Gabbana concluded, “We work with the most beautiful fabrics and it’s wonderful. What’s the problem?”
Words: Lucia Burns
Feature Image/Image 1