It’s an interesting time to be in Miami. Until recently, the city was a bitcoin boom, flush with newly minted millionaires snapping up paintings at Art Basel or paying £3,000 for a booking at Carbone. But with FTX’s recent bankruptcy and cryptocurrency cratering along with it, you can’t help but wonder: Is this all just a bubble about to burst?
Leave it to Dolce & Gabbana to remind everyone of the enduring glamor of the Florida metropolis. This week, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana presented their Alta Moda and Alta Sartoria collections at the Surf Club, the iconic members-only hotel that was a playground for the world’s glitterati throughout the ups and downs of the 20th century. In 1946, Winston Churchill went there to relax after the Second World War: “I want sun, solitude, serenity and something to eat, maybe something to drink,” he said. From his cabana he painted the sea.
Fast-forward to November 2022, and one model in a mandarin-feather cape strutted beneath a vaulted ceiling adorned with botanical motifs, while another strolled into a courtyard in a navy blue dinner jacket with jeweled lapels. Many models wore short black veils, similar to what Kourtney Kardashian wore during her Dolce & Gabbana-equipped wedding weekend earlier this year. Speaking of the Kardashians: Kim was a muse for this collection, as were Madonna, Monica Bellucci and Isabella Rossellini. “All these women have a strong femininity,” Dolce said at a press screening.
Miami itself also served as an influence: A handful of men’s jackets embraced Art Deco motifs, the city’s famous architectural style. A black-and-gold cape boasted geometric fan-like details. Both the color and the abstract pattern are characteristic of the era. Gabbana said they fused “South with South” — or Southern Italy and South America, since Miami is a popular vacation spot for Latinos. “The South American and the Italian people have the same mood – they enjoy life, enjoy feeling, enjoy partying,” he explained. “We dreamed of a beautiful, elegant moment for the new social life.”
That feeling was most evident in the men’s pieces. The designers looked at archival photos of guests at the Surf Club, particularly during its legendary New Year’s Eve 1930 opening party. The stock market had crashed just months before, plunging the country into the Great Depression, but in that ballroom you wouldn’t have known it. For the likes of Marc Anthony and Colombian singer Maluma, both of whom could be seen dancing in the front row, Dolce & Gabbana suggested suits that make a statement, whether with bold color, pattern or embellishment. In their world, it’s not just ladies who get the gems either. One guy had rings from their Alta Gioielleria line woven into his hair. In bad times and good, Miami will always be down to party.