Dolce Vita A La Japonais: Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda Extravaganza In Tokyo

COLLECTION | Apr 18, 2017 4:43 PM
Dolce&Gabbana (ドルチェ&ガッバーナ) のオートクチュールコレクション Alta Moda (アルタ・モーダ) と、メンズスーチングの最高峰 Alta Satrotia (アルタ・サルトリア) が日本初上陸。お花見の季節に合わせて開催された絢爛豪華なランウェイショーを、国内独占レポート。

原文: Ashley Clarke/日本語訳は英語の後に続きます

To chime with the brief beauty of Japan’s hanami season, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana descended on Tokyo to show their Alta Moda couture collection. Choosing to present it in the halls of the National Museum in Ueno Park, the designers invited domestic and international clients and a select number of fashion industry influencers into their rarefied world for an evening of Japanese glamour, Italian style.

The duo, known for their lavish no-expense-spared spectacles, didn’t scrimp on detail. Down a dappled courtyard and runway from whose plush carpet sprouted blossoming sakura trees, the Italian duo sent a rich offering of glittering fairytale clothing that riffed on their perception of Japanese culture, and fused it with quintessential Dolce & Gabbana romance.

While the designers have always had a relationship with Japan, it’s been over two decades since they last showed a collection here. “We brought Alta Moda to Japan because we’ve missed it. We work with Japan already, but we never get to come for long, and after twenty years we wanted to be back with something very special, so we made this collection just for Tokyo,” Stefano Gabbana said, speaking backstage before the show. The uninhibited decadence of Italian design may sit at odds with the softly-spoken precision of the Japanese, but Dolce and Gabbana managed to marry the two with flair. “It’s very crazy because it’s the opposite,” said Gabbana. “We don’t change our roots, but we are a guest here, so it’s a tribute to Japan. We chose pastels, pinks, light blue, and we mixed flowers and cherry blossoms or orchids. We took many different things from [Japan], but applied our mind to them.”

This homage and appreciation extended beyond the clothes – the entrance to the museum was flooded with pink light to enhance the sakura inside and outside, and in contrast to many in-country couture shows, the models themselves were almost entirely Japanese. Yuka Mannami opened the womenswear section of the show, her head topped with a fanned crown of blossoming cherry tree branches, the petals of which looked to have fallen in gorgeous trails across her tulle gown. Lace frocks and sumptuous silk dresses were emblazoned with delicate floral prints, studded with fallen petals, wrapped in fur, and dripped with sparkling embellishments of thousands of intricately-embroidered beads and sequins. The brand’s menswear couture, known as Alta Sartoria, appeared first, and included high end sportswear like cricket sweaters embroidered with sparkling beads, or silk suiting in rich shades of midnight blue and maroon.

The designers decided to show the mens and womens looks separately, too, in accordance with Japanese social norms. The Alta Sartoria menswear offering preceded the Alta Moda womenswear, but it all culminated with a fairytale bride and groom as Giacomo Puccini’s arias rose and fell on the air. The show’s finale was a wedding gown smattered with pink and white flowers; the model wearing it descended the staircase to take the arm of a crowned prince, suited in white.

Resting confidently on traditionally feminine themes, the collection’s floral expositions were fitting surroundings for the people who buy Alta Moda. When asked about his customers out here in Japan, Gabbana answered: ”We don’t know everything about Japan but we’ve learned a lot during thirty years, and we know the taste of the Japanese woman. They love pastels, they love pink, they love flowers. It’s not so different from other countries. Women love flowers.” Judging by the guests’ outfits, he was dead right. The Alta Moda crowd is perhaps a culture in itself: dressed to the nines in all manner of spangling evening wear, the show attracted a glitterati of established domestic clients that were paying their own homage right back to the brand. Anna dello Russo was there in a sequinned silver gown adorned in florals, as well as Japanese influencers including socialite and designer Mademoiselle Yulia, the actress Mao Daichi, and longtime Dolce & Gabbana client Eriko Yagi. All of their outfits were, somehow or another, splendidly ornamented with flowers.

Following the show, guests were invited across a crimson-carpeted bridge flanked by sakura trees to dine Mediterranean-style on a supper that included caponata, risotto alla Milanese, and fine Sicilian wine. When it came time to go home, the designers, gushing with sincerity, thanked everyone for coming.

The following evening, the festivities continued, and guests were invited to a cocktail party at the brand’s Aoyama boutique, where life-size mascots of the two designers danced alongside the DJs in a nod to the Japanese yurukyara craze. The day before the show, Alta Moda was also taken to Tokyo’s streets – editorial-style photographs by the Morelli Brothers were uploaded to the brand’s Instagram, featuring models walking through the neon lights of Shibuya crossing, or frolicking in the variegated backstreets of Harajuku.

Though the Italian designers were guests in Japan, their Alta Moda represents a worldly glamour that inhabits a rarefied world of its own, and wherever they sprinkle the Dolce and Gabbana magic, their devotees are sure to follow. As the designers head back to Italy in a flurry of the final sakura petals, Tokyo will feel their absence. In other words, their tribute to Japan felt right at home.

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春だ、桜だ、お花見だ!目黒川のふもとで夜桜、なんてロマンティック。でも日本で一番煌びやかなお花見といえば、先週開催されたあのイベントを差し置いて他に無いはず。

Dolce&Gabbana (ドルチェ&ガッバーナ) による Alta Moda (アルタ・モーダ) と、メンズスーチングの最高峰 Alta Sartoria (アルタ・サルトリア) のランウェイショー。会場は上野の国立博物館。満開の桜に出迎えられたショーの会場は、このイベントのためだけに飾り付けられた桜のディスプレイと共にイタリア流のデコラスタイルに彩られ、一夜限りの目眩くエクストラバガンザを演出した。

デザイナーの Domenico Dolce (ドメニコ・ドルチェ) と Stefano Gabbana (ステファノ・ガッバーナ) が日本を訪れたのは、なんと20年以上ぶりのこと。来日について「Alta Moda のショーを日本で開催するという念願がようやく叶った。日本は私たちのブランドにとって他にかけがえの無い大切な国。20年ぶりにこの地を訪れるにあたり、何か特別な催しを企画したかったんだ。東京だけの、特別なコレクションをね。」と語るのは、Stefano Gabbana。ショー前のバックステージでは、Dolce&Gabbana らしい絢爛豪華なクチュールルックを入念にチェックする彼の姿が見て取れた。その傍らで、コレクションについて「日本とイタリア、一見正反対に見える2つの文化を融合させたかった。日本に迎え入れてくれたという感謝の気持ちも込めてね。カラーパレットは日本らしいパステルピンク、ライトブルーなんかが多い。桜の花をイメージした刺繍や蘭のモチーフは日本的、でもこれらをイタリア的に解釈したんだ。」とコメントを共有してくれた。

日本へのオマージュは、桜の花だけに留まらない。バックステージで控えるモデルたちの顔ぶれを見ると、その多くが日本人であったことは驚きと言うほかない。ファーストルックでショーの幕を切ったのは萬波ユカ。ジェイドカラーのチュールドレスを纏うイットガールの森星。そして福士リナや小椚ちはる、Maaya、那須ミラノなど、本サイトでもおなじみの顔ぶれが揃う。ランウェイの楽曲に用いられたのは、Puccini (プッチーニ) の『アリア』。荘厳なオーケストラの調べは、日本とイタリアの見事なマリアージュを祝福した。

時に、Dolce&Gabbana の Alta Moda といえばプレタポルテとは一線を画す最高級のオートクチュールで、日本でもその顧客はほんの一握りだ。華やかな色使いを好むヨーロッパと比べ、日本の顧客にはどんな特徴があるのだろう?そんな率直な疑問を Stefano 本人に聞いてみた。すると返ってきたのは「30年間かけて、日本のマーケットについて多くを学んできた。パステルカラーが好きなこと、中でもピンクが圧倒的に人気であること。しかし根本的には他の国の女性たちと同じように、花を愛でる文化があることも忘れてはいけないね。」というコメント。恐らく彼の判断は正しいと言えるだろう。何せ、会場に集まった顧客の女性たち、そしてセレブリティたちは全身 Alta Moda のウルトラフェミニンな装いで、この上ない笑顔を見せていたからだ。

ショーが終わると、ゲストたちは会場からほど近い特設会場に誘われ、ディナーへと移る。イタリアの伝統的なカポナータに、本場ミラノから直送のリゾット、そして素晴らしく舌触りの良いシチリアのワイン。ディナーが終わる頃には、誰もがレッドカーペットのように紅潮させた顔で談笑に耽っていた。

メインディッシュであるランウェイショーは終われど、Dolce&Gabbana の宴は続く。翌日の金曜日には、昨年南青山にオープンした路面店でデザイナーたちを招いたスペシャルパーティーを開催。そして同時に、ミラノから来日したフォトグラファーデュオ Morelli Brothers (モレリ兄弟) による東京だけのスペシャルエディトリアルが撮影された。

かくして東京を熱狂の渦でさらった Domenico Dolce と Stefano Gabbana。まるでおとぎ話のように華やかな宴が終わる頃には、満開の桜も少しずつほころび始めていた。刹那の美、なんと日本的であろうか。

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