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The 6th century mosaics of an Italian cathedral exploded onto the runway last week with Dolce&Gabbana’s presentation of their Winter 2014 collection in Milan.
Tailored Mosaic: Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana were inspired by the mosaic of Monreale for this collection. As the art of mosaic-making is a slow and precise one, achieved by placing single piece next to the other, at the same time tailoring is made by single stitch after single stitch.
This brief video shows preparation for the show.
Mosaic is simply everywhere, everywhere, everywhere in the collection – prints, shoes, bags, jewelry – it is all just too Byzantine and extraordinary.
From the Dolce & Gabbana Website:
The city of Monreale started to become important around the XI century with the arrival of the Normans in Sicily. The Cathedral of Monreale, consecrated to Santa Maria Nuova, was built between 1172 and 1185 under the commission of the Norman King William II of Altavilla, together with the archiepiscopal Palace and its beautiful cloister.
In the top half of the walls a series of golden mosaics were created between the end of 1100 and the middle of 1200. Two of these mosaics represent William II crowned by Christ and William II who offers the church to the Virgin. Local artists and experts from Byzantium and Venice were called in to realize those striking works of art.”
Dolce & Gabbana made use of the abilities of artisans of the highest level to create mosaics on shoes, dresses, jewels and bags. As the art of mosaic-making is a slow and precise one, achieved by placing single piece next to the other, at the same time tailoring is made by single stitch after single stitch.
Of course, it wouldn’t be haute couture without a few outre moments, would it?
Details and opulence are truly what this collection is all about. Theodora herself would have adored these handbags and shoes.
Yes, there are a few kitschy “Roman Tourist” micro mosaic moments in here but – we’d wear these shoes in a nanosecond.
The extraordinary passion, artistry and craftsmanship that went into these garments is no more evident than in these detail photos.
The show’s finale was a tour-de-force in red.
Color, texture, rhythm, reflection, refraction, modularity – a love of the materials at one’s fingertips and the ability to create a never-seen-before whole out of disparate pieces – all of the things that make mosaic special abound in Dolce&Gabbana’s Winter 2014 collection. These are objects to treasure for the ages – just like their inspiration.
Dolce & Gabbana’s website holds hundreds of images of the collection which you can expand to fill your screen. And, it’s hard not to play “Where’s Justinian?” while watching this 10+ minute video (with decidedly odd background music) of the whole event. Enjoy – Nancie