This year Versace showed their first couture collection after an eight year hiatus and now Dolce & Gabbana have confirmed that they are following suit by showing their first-ever couture show on July 9.
Rather than have the runway show in Paris along with other brands, they've decided to host it in Taormina, Sicily instead. According to the Financial Times' Vanessa Freidman, the decision was a calculated move to help keep the critics away and besides, the guests in attendance are reported to be rich clients rather than journalists anyway.
While the news does come as a surprise, it actually makes sense. Recently Louis Vuitton spoke out about their concern to appeal to the top spenders by creating exclusive collections to tackle the problem of becoming too accessible as they expand. Versace has since followed suit and since Dolce & Gabbana dropped their lower-priced line, D&G, last year, it looks like they're going in the same direction by targeting those high-end customers.
Despite what George Osborne may have us believe, the economy both in the UK and beyond is still in a precarious situation and the retail industry even more so. The last six months has seen mega brands like Christian Lacroix, D&G, American Apparel, Gap, BCBG andGianfranco Ferré all hit by financial woes. So with that in mind, you wouldn't expect new brands to attempt to emerge in such volatile waters would you? But that's exactly what LUCZA founder and designer, Karen Scofield did.
But don't worry - Scofield knows exactly what she is doing. She has managed to create a brand that will actually thrive in the downtime as women become more scrupulous about what their money is spent on."Coming home from work I just wanted to take of my heels, tights and skirt but not look like I was ready for bed. I also found that other women felt the same. We all wanted to change into something relaxed and easy yet still look great," she explained. And there you have it in a nutshell. The brand is all about simple, classic pieces that will see your from season to season and are as appropriate to pick the kids up from school or doing yoga as they are to work from home of attend a work event in the evening.
Having met up with the designer recently in light of the brand's e-commerce launch to talk about the brand and why she felt it was the right time to launch, if felt like a lightbulb moment. Why has the 'luxury' side of the loungewear market remained relatively untouched? In today's climate women are looking for clothes that work hard for them are the solution to all of their wardrobe needs due to their demanding lifestyles and that's exactly what Karen has catered for. While at first glance the pieces may seem basic and simplistic, it's only once you've began to play with the collection you realise that that is exactly where there strength lies. "You can mix and match" and it's all about accessorising, Scofield explained as she showed me through the collection.
Modern-day hippies, rejoice. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have you covered for spring. For the designers' D&G collection shown today at Milan Fashion Week, models took to the runway in free-flowing florals, mismatched prints and t-shirts bearing the face of Snow White (she did partake in the occasional altered apple, you know). Muted prints, oversized shades and headscarves made this collection far from prim and proper.
Bolder touches came in the form of strong gingham prints, whether on bikinis or harder-to-wear pieces such as solid-print frocks. We liked the '90s appeal of oversized florals on midi dresses, along with the new-bohemian appeal of maxi skirts that would catch garden breezes ever so effortlessly. Thigh-revealing bubble shorts will suit those who like to show a little more skin. But with a character as beautiful as Snow White as a muse, why the need to cover up at all times?
Given the unavailability in Selfridges stores of ideal spaces which could fit with Dolce & Gabbana and D&G brands’ levels and expectations, the group decided to discontinue the distribution of both brands’ collections through the department store. This decision is consistent with the group’s constant work to always ensure the best expression of brand and to preserve its image.
Ever since Lady Gaga arrived on the scene, it seems our favourite divas are going out of their way to get noticed. Singing sensation Rihanna wore this spotted D&G jumpsuit to Drai's Hollywood nightclub last week, however we're not sure whether the red hair combo is more clown chic, or circus faux pas. What do you think?