Tracing the history of Capodimonte porcelain in Italy is a bit like tracing the history of Italian porcelain as a whole. Capodimonte, with its intricately moulded white porcelain is one of the most exquisite and historically rich types of Italian ceramic manufacture today.
Capodimonte porcelain takes its name from the Capodimonte Palace in Campania, south of Italy. Here, King Charles VII of Naples and his wife queen Maria Amalia of Saxony created the first porcelain factory in 1743, hence the name of the porcelain.
Dolce&Gabbana’s Fall Winter 2013 collection looks towards the rich Italian Baroque heritage. The Baroque and Roccoco artistic styles were born of the Renaissance artistic flare and grew exponentially all over Italy. From the exquisitely frescoed interiors and exterior of Sicily to the Venetian gilded stuccos and Neapolitan ceramics, the Fall Winter Collection is an artistic trip around Italy’s heritage from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The distinguishable marks of Capodimonte porcelain are of course held within the mix of the clay, found only in the southern regions of Italy. The first successful attempts in recreating the famed paper-thin porcelain from the East were made in Florence. The Medicean porcelain was born in the 16th century alchemy laboratories lead by Francesco de Medici. Later, the French, German and the English began to improve on this formula thus creating the late 17th century Meissen, Sèvres and Bow factories.
The Capodimonte soft paste porcelain is characterized by its milky white sheen once it’s baked. This beautiful porcelain however is difficult to work, as once it is exposed to the heat of the kiln it contracts by about 20%, causing a loss of detail. The creativity and craftsmanship of the Neapolitan artisans working this material was so high that even once contracted, the figurines and other intricately designed objects would not loose in detail.
The Dolce&Gabbana Fall Winter collection picks up on the mesmerizing details and heritage of the Capodimonte porcelain. In celebration of the magical detail of these ceramics, Dolce&Gabbana have accessorized many of their looks with Capodimonte inspired figurines and flowers. Belts, earrings, necklaces and even shoes look like beautiful pieces of the porcelain which characterized Italian Baroque handicrafts.
Written by: Valentina Zannoni