In a relaxed atmosphere where the feelings of family and the cinema italiano’s Dolce Vita era mixed, Swide was there to chronicle the party that was attended by David Gandy, Bianca Balti, Adam Senn and many others...
It was a warm night yesterday, despite the freezing cold outside, at Bar Martini in Corso Venezia 15, Milan.
Thanks to the famous mastery of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana in organizing amazing parties around the world, La Bella Estate event - the after-show party organized by the designers - succeeded in making you feel at home and at the same time in a magical bubble that sent you back to the cinema italiano’s Dolce Vita era. Here is what happened...
The lush vegetation welcomes me as I step into the greenhouse-garden of Bar Martini: for a moment I really forget it is winter. Trying to make my way into the crowd I look up to the big screen that is displaying La Bella Estate, shot during the making-of of the Man Campaign SS/12. I then realize, as I am doing so, that most of the crowd is actually enraptured by the short movie, trying to get closer and closer to the screen. In the background, the notes of classical Italian songs of the 60s: I find myself mouthing every word thanks to my Dad who, still to this day, can't help but being nostalgic about that era. I am now trying to reach the bar to get a glass of white wine (rigorously Sicilian) and I spot Solange Knowles and Chiara Francini, while mindful waiters keep offering me all sorts of amuse-bouche.
Chiara Francini wears a Dolce&Gabbana black lace dress SS/12
Solange Knowles wears a Dolce&Gabbana lace green dress FW/11
Stefano Gabbana is talking to Oliver Jackson Cohen and smiles around while Domenico Dolce is sitting at one of the tables with friends of his chatting about the Man Fashion Show.
I get my glass thanks to a prompt waiter who quickly provides me one as I spot Tinie Tampah chatting with beautiful girls. I nod to Francesco Scianna - who I previously met in the VIP room after the fashion show - across the room and he smiles back to me.
Francesco Scianna wears a Gold Suit
It's time to go upstairs to check the boutique space, but on my way to there I hear the noise of cameras flashing. OK, I am standing right behind whoever has just arrived, clearly a VIP. I quickly realize it's David Gandy, who I got to interview right after the fashion show, an incredible easy going, interesting person.
David Gandy wears a Prince of Wales blazer with matching vest
He turns to me and he smiles asking where did I get my drink and we chat for a bit until the next photographer comes up. Apparently, it's almost impossible to get upstairs between the crowd and the VIP who keep coming. Bianca Balti has just passed the door and she is already replying to many interviewers, smiley and kind in her unbelievable beauty that is even more stunning in person.
Bianca Balti wears a lace print body suit and high waste guepiere miniskirt
On the stairs I walk into Adam Senn.
Adam Senn wears a Dolce&gabana Gold Tuxedo
The space of the boutique has been completely transformed: I quickly recognize the antique tables covered in red velvet and the wooden floors, the big windows and the fireplaces filled with lit candles as a contemporary scene of Il Gattopardo, a landmark book in Italian literature about Sicily of the XIX century written by Tomasi di Lampedusa. Gathered around the tables are people laughing and enjoying the party with drinks in their hands, surrounded by gigantic photos of Dolce&Gabbana Man Campaign SS/12. Among them, Primo Reggiani, Thomas Trabacchi, Beppe Fiorello and Filippo Nigro who, just like pictured in the campaign, chat together and are having fun. There are also Edoardo Natoli, Julia Starr Jamois, Mary Charteris, Tali Lennox.
If I don't sound surprised in describing you this glamorous, stylish party it is not because I mean to be snobby. It's simply because when you get to experience a party organized by Dolce&Gabbana nothing is impossible and the way I felt about La Bella Estate was exactly this way. I am no VIP, but it was still like being embraced by an enlarged family of happy, grounded people whose only aim is to have fun and to make you have fun.
Yes, Dolce&Gabbana is a luxury brand who recount through its fashion shows and clothes their history, their Italian tradition and at the same time a fairy tale, but it's also a family in flash and bones able to make you feel at home. Last night I never felt out of place or uncomfortable, quite the opposite: I felt like the relative who arrives at the family party and is greeted by smiles and embraces like they were all waiting for you and you only. Just like you feel when you are going home after a long time of absence.
Written by Elisa della Barba