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Forget the Met Gala. The hottest event to be seen at this year was the weekend of festivities created by Italian designers, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. The founders of the brand, Dolce & Gabbana, hosted their annual Alta Moda and Alta Sartoria shows, which is their version of Paris Haute Couture week, where they present their one of a kind garments for their wealthy clientele.
This year the festivities took place in Venice at the Piazzetta San Marco, where models and guests arrived on gondolas and lasted all weekend. And the weather gods came along for the fun, with the main fashion show first having sunlight, wind, hail, rain, lightning and then ending with a rainbow. Talk about drama.
While their usual clientele of wealthy clients, including Lady Kitty Spencer and Stella Aminova, was in attendance, it was especially surprising to see the high wattage of Hollywood and music stars in attendance.
From Helen Mirren, Monica Bellucci, Zoe Saldana, Heidi Klum, Christian Bale, P Diddy (or Love), Vin Diesel, Jennifer Lopez, January Jones, to Ciara, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Normani as well as Kris Jenner and her eldest, Kourtney Kardashian.
The children of Diddy, Klum and Bale also walked the show, which has become a trend for D&G to feature the children of their famous clientele, on the show.
When Jennifer Hudson sauntered out in a custom made Alta Moda gown and sang Nessun Dorma, it suddenly clicked. This was the rebirth of D&G. Hollywood and high society has forgiven the designers for their bigoted antics that left them on the fashion faux pas list for many stylists.
Watching the festivities on the internet, left a sour taste in my mouth. Had the designers apologised for their bigotry and we all missed it?
The designers have been, for many years, deemed as problematic because of their comments and views, which offended many. From the 2012 show where they sent down White models in the racist Blackamoor earrings, doing an ad campaign that depicted an Asian model trying to eat cannoli with chopsticks and in response to the backlash, Gabbana reportedly said “China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia”.
They attended a party wearing black face; were against gay couples adopting and they also released a ‘slave shoe'. Gabbana even went ahead and commented that Selena Gomez was ugly, after seeing a red carpet image of the star on Instagram.
It's a list of crazy messed up things that would normally spell the end of a career for many people in the public eye. And yet, they have flourished.
Their show this weekend has earned glowing reviews and a co-sign from all the Hollywood celebrities who were in attendance. But not all is forgiven. Chinese luxury consumers have all but stopped buying the brand’s clothes, reports Jing Daily.
The show, which normally would have made headlines in the country's fashion publications, barely made a blip. It seems like the Chinese, who are an important market for luxury brands, have moved on from the brand.
Now thinking back to it, maybe Mother Nature unleashing all the elements was a sign that not all is well. Heed Mother Nature’s call, children.
This article was published in the Sunday Insider, 5 September, 2021