Domenico Dolce chatting with the press, Stefano Gabbana admiring Anna Dello Russo’s ensemble and fashion bloggers enjoying champagne… by the bottle. That’s right readers iwork4dg has the inside on the Dolce&Gabbana Brindisi (that means a celebratory toast to you and me)
Whenever an invitation for a Dolce&Gabbana gathering lands on your desk you know that it’s going to be done with a certain touch of style, after all, that is what they do best. The invite was decked out in the bright colours of Sicily, similar to those seen at the Dolce&Gabbana’s Women’s SS12 fashion show, topped off with a horse draw cart in full on parade gear. I found myself wondering if I might be inclined to upstage the horse’s outfit or not… I’ve got a pair of horse blinkers at home, but they are black. I put that thought to rest.
Of course I accepted the invite and soon enough Monday 7th arrived. The event was to take place above their style office in Milano, a corner of the Dolce&Gabbana empire that I had not had the opportunity to bask in yet. Well, the night had arrived and the working day of Monday had passed by with a certain spring in its step, not to mention the constant panic at the lack of my black attire… I was more lumberjack chic, complete with a full-blown beard. You can understand my worry, no?
With Swide’s Producer, Alessia, Digital Marketing Manager, Bernadette, and our Social Media Specialist, Stefano, I arrived at a pair of vast iron gates being manned by surly security guards and, with a mention of our names, we were ushered in. The winter sky had stolen the blue from the day and left us with darkness, so guessing where I was going was proving slightly harder than expected. Yes, those were definitely cracked paving slabs under my feet, which were lit by a never-ending path of flickering candles that wound their way to a dimly lit door, looking down at us from a staircase. We had arrived at our destination.
Once I was over the threshold and my jacket had been whisked away, I was able to take a moment to soak up the sight before me. Directly in front of me was a sparkling Christmas tree, nestling pile after pile of eye-catchingly decorated boxes of panettone all stamped with Dolce&Gabbana. To my left was a room from where immaculately dressed waiters kept dashing in and out of, occasionally revealing a sight for sore eyes… Sicilian cakes, cakes of all shapes and sizes. I was just about to demand they let me into so that I could get a head start on the confectionary, when Bernadette invited me to follow her into another of the adjoining rooms. Phew, saved from dolce disaster.
The teasing temptations from Sicily
Velvet. Velvet and dark wooden bookshelves stacked full of well-read volumes lined the walls. A crackling open fire at the far end of the room, surrounded by carved wooden tables, ready for the guests to natter across, welcomed everyone in. Wonderful. Familiar faces from the office that I call ‘ the upstairs’ were already present and so I took the opportunity to catch up with them whilst we waited for the guests to arrive. The warm atmosphere was accompanied by the Dj skills of Natasha Slater, who, along with a songstress who crooned through retro hits, had set up her decks in the far room that had its own theme. Leopard. Need I say more?
Natasha Slater on the decks
Ah, so I guess I should tell you what the Brindisi was for. The evening gave Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana the chance to meet with the Press from some of Italy’s leading papers, to compare notes if you will, and also to meet some of the faces behind Swide; the columnists etc. To be honest though, after the 3rd glass of bubbly, people soon dropped their guard and it was a conversation free for all.
Then the guests started to arrive; Tamu Mcpherson from Graziamagazine.it swanned in snuggled up in a rather ravishing coat, Michele Lupi and Simona Melegari were there for Rolling Stones, Giovanna Battaglia of W and then faces from the big fashion magazines started to offer there ready-to-kiss cheeks to each other… I’m talking about the face, nothing else.
The place started to fill up quite nicely and little groups of conversation were happening in every corner. The chief-in-editors from Italy’s major magazines (Grazia, io Donna, D, Marie Claire) were discussing current affairs but secretly wishing that they were discussing the signed photographs of Madonna hanging on the wall. The fashion bloggers Eleonora Carisi and Dea Curić were trading tips and waiting to catch a couple of pics on their phones to tweet and post and I also saw that Swide columnist Tea Hacic-Vlahovic had arrived. I was with the producer, Alessia, and columnist, Simona Melani the ‘Sicilian Girl’, contemplating whether I should take the glass of bubbly that was being offered to me, who am I to say no? I told her it was to help calm the nerves.
The Sicilian Girl, Simona Melani
We were all so busy waiting for our hosts to arrive that, when I had finished annoying Bernadette with questions about my evening attire, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana had stealthily entered the room and were already welcoming their guests. This put me at ease as I was expecting an announcement of their arrival, which would have been quickly followed by a display of my awkward social skills and an attempt to hug them or something. It wasn’t long until I was greeted by Mr. Dolce, who shook my hand warmly asking me what I thought of the room to which I responded, ‘I like the Zebra skin’. That was that. Go me!
Another fashion favourite had also arrived, the enigmatic Anna Dello Russo. That girl sure knows how to make sure that people take note of her when she enters. Wearing a perfectly chic pink, sequinned dress from the Dolce&Gabbana FW12 collection, she had completed her look with a black beanie-hat that was complete with netting, giving the stereotypical laidback head warmer an instant fashion lift. Speaking of which, I noticed Swide’s chief-in-editor had arrived, also sporting a black beanie-hat (without the netting to my disappointment). I’m guessing he and Anna Dello Russo had planned their looks together.
Tea Hacic-Vlahovic moments before...
I distracted myself by doing a round of the event and bumped into columnist Mondo Trasho, A.K.A Tea Hacic-Vlahovic, who had been escorted to the event by her friend. She was wrapped in a floor sweeping lace dress, cool green tinged hair pushed back and red lipstick in place. Tea was with Alessia and I thought I’d join them for a little chat. I picked up another glass of champagne from a waiter’s tray and muscled into their conversation. They were discussing the fireplace. Not the most enthralling of conversations so I tried to steer it in another direction and mentioned the music. We took a moment to appreciate the beats coming from Natasha’s decks and Tea asked, ‘why isn’t anyone dancing?’, and began to make some moves. Alessia was about to respond when Tea’s elbow caught the drinks tray of a passing waiter, causing the glasses of champagne, orange juice and water to crash on to the wonderfully quilted rug on the floor.
Immediately Tea began to apologise to those around her, to Alessia and to the poor guy whose trousers had soaked up most of the alcohol. A dinky woman appeared out of no where with a brush and began sweeping up the broken glass and ice much to Alessia’s delight, who decided to take a couple of photos of the mess. ‘and that is why no one is dancing’, I said.
Ivan Olita laughing after his cake fueled sugar rush
Hunger suddenly reared its ugly head and took me into the room that I had seen when I first entered. Cake. There were so many wonderful Sicilian fancies to pick from that I almost leapt at the table, but I had to remember where I was. Instead, I politely asked the waiter which one I should try he pointed one out to me and prompted me to try it. Please don’t ask me the name of it as one can not remember any more, so you will have to trust me when I say it was pretty damn good. I was joined by the multi-talented Ivan Olita, who recently embarked on a project with Dolce&Gabbana and Rolling Stone magazine, and me took the chance to rest our feet and sat down on two throne like chairs, a stones throw away from the heaps of cake. We talked like two old men putting the world to rights whilst sipping on some delicately flavoured sweet wine. Not my kind of thing but it seemed appropriate whilst we spoke about his future projects, the colour of his coat and creative direction. Thanks Ivan.
The party was winding its way to a close and so I bid farewell to the guests (although I don’t think anyone heard me) and made my way to the cloakroom. I saw Paola from ‘the upstairs’ swaying towards the Christmas tree to pick up one of the Dolce&Gabbana boxed panettones. I followed suit but seeing as there were rather a few left and I didn’t want the designers to think that we didn’t appreciate their generosity I took two. I can give it to my mother for Christmas. She’ll be thrilled. Cheers.
With that, I thanked Natasha for the providing the music, put my coat and stepped into the brisk air of Milano’s winter and made my way home.
Written by iwork4dg