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A series of religious Byzantine and Venetian murals made up the invitation to yesterday’s Dolce & Gabbana’s show. Many were taken from the walls of the Cathedral of Monreale in Sicily, where these gilded works, dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, cover almost seventy thousand square feet of the building itself. That same sense of iconographic excess and feeling of devotion became the very premise for the collection.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana printed these religious images onto dresses and separates, creating their own adaptation by adding texture, heavy beading and colourful embellishments. Models appeared on the runway wearing gilded crowns and large gold crucifix earnings, almost becoming religious icons themselves. Silhouettes ranged from longer evening dresses, to shorter skirts and box-like mini dresses. Then sheer black lace began to appear, peeking out under the hems of printed dresses or making up a top to sit alongside a corseted skirt.

Their colour palette began to narrate acts of religious devotion, white became a symbol of purity, black a representation of mourning, and the incredible bold red that closed their show a nod to power and passion. The duo even referenced their own archive, sending a sculptured metallic gold corset down the runway, heavily adored with big coloured gems. That’s a signature piece, which seemed fitting for a collection routed in worship and the iconic.

Makeup: Pat McGrath

Models pictured: Sui He-@sui_he, Kate King-@KateKingg, Daphne Groeneveld-@daphgroeneveld, Suvi Koponen-@SuviMK, Fei Fei Sun-@FeiFeiSunSun, Karlina Caune-@kkkarlie, Bette Franke-@Bette_Franke, Chiharu Okunugi-@chiharuuu0515

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Dolce & Gabbana AW13