Dolce & Gabbana Unveils Couture

In a Vogue exclusive, Dolce & Gabbana has gloriously revealed the fruits of its new couture line - Alta Moda, which launched in July - especially for the October issue.

Across six pages you can see the stunning gowns, which were styled by Charlotte Pilcher and photographed by Boo George in the countryside surrounds of Winchester. They had arrived at Vogue House in huge individual boxes with boldly emblazoned instructions to be "be careful" and "handle this way up". Inside were stunning bloom-painted dresses, each one a work of art. The designers had worked to create different gowns for the different Vogues, a global celebration of their move into couture.

"We tried to take inspiration from the culture of each country and keep the spirit of every Vogue, always searching to create harmony with who we are and our philosophies," said Domenico Dolce, explaining: "The starting point is always the DNA of Dolce & Gabbana. We wanted to put into it everything we had learnt during all these years of work together, and to take it to a higher level of craftsmanship, where, together with our artisans, we could take all the time we needed to dedicate the right attention to the choice of fabrics, to embroideries and to details."

"In the case of the looks photographed by British Vogue, the inspiration came from the tapestries of Villa Gangi and every dress was entirely hand-painted by skilled artisans," added Stefano Gabbana.

Launching the couture line had always been a dream for the designers, something they had had their sights set on since the beginning of their careers. Over the past three years, they had been putting the necessary decisions in place to make it all happen.

"There wasn't any particular reason to our decision to show in July. We simply felt that this was the right moment to do this," said Gabbana.

Dreamily beautiful confections, styled in the shoot with yet more floral blooms to enhance the English countryside feel, how long did it take to create each dress?

"The time needed to make each dress is very different one from the other. There were dresses that needed up to three months of work," said Dolce. "For the hand-painted dresses, the process was quite long because the fabrics were painted as if they were real paintings. One of the more difficult processes was to design exactly in the right places as the dresses at that moment did not yet have a precise form," finished Gabbana. Once the painting had been completed, the fabrics were then cut and sewn into garments.

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