Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Dolce and Gabbana play with crowns and medieval art.

Considering the recent announcement of Pope Benedict XVI's decision to retire from his papal office, the Vatican has been in the limelight of late. Dolce and Gabbana's recent collection combines the ritual of religious practice and religious art upon the catwalk. The parallels between the theatrics of religious ceremonies and runway shows are apparent and one can draw comparisons to modern consumer culture and our idolising of labels, celebrities and objects. The fashion house imbued their garments with motifs from mosaics in Monreale. The twelfth century mosaics in Monreale Cathedral are particularly striking examples of colourful Arabic, Norman and Byzantine influenced Italian medieval art. (Not to be a know-it-all, but it's not baroque - that didn't come for five more centuries.) I tried to match more of the prints to specific episodes from the scheme. This turned out to be unbelievably difficult and so I only have two examples.

This dress:

features the figure in the architectural setting on the left, who is part of the scene of Jacob being blessed by Isaac and comes from the nave of the cathedral.

And this charming man

is King William II, the patron of the cathedral, presenting a model of the building to the Virgin to whom it is dedicated.  

The colours, too, draw religious parallels - reds, blacks and whites. We imagine the luxury of the cardinals and pope in reds and jewels and nuns and priests in more stern blacks and whites.  

Pomp, ceremony, luxurious prints and crowns - what more could you ask for?

There are many more beautiful pieces that deserve attention but I didn't want to go on and on. See the whole collection here. 

(All images of the collection are from vogue.co.uk and the images of the mosaics are from wga.hu)

No comments:

Post a Comment