Editor’s Note: This year marks the tenth anniversary of Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda, which will be celebrated with a show in Sicily, Italy. Ahead of that event, we’re revisiting some of the label’s 1990s shows. The spring 1997 collection was presented in October 1996 in Milan.
In 2009 Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana would make headlines for seating bloggers, considered upstart outsiders by many, alongside established print editors. Their interest in technology predates this by a decade however. The title of their spring 1999 show—as reported by the *Los Angeles Times—*was Sicily Through the Internet, which translated, in part, to a mix of advanced fabric and natural motifs, i.e. swimming sardines hand-painted on a coated material.
Miuccia Prada’s use of industrial nylon in the 1980s kicked off an interest in so-called technical fabrics that reached a peak around the turn of the century (at least in terms of press coverage). Sports references like wide cargo pants and tanks tops aside, Dolce and Gabbana mainly stuck with their body-hugging and lingerie silhouettes this season, but rendered them using unexpected materials, like a shiny hologram-effect fabric, lacquered silk, rubberized silk, and latex with lace ironed into it. Warp prints had what might now be called a glitch effect.
Despite the slick technological vibe, the mood was somber: About half the show was rendered in black. However, there was a certain frisson created between the soberness of the hue and the sexiness of the cuts. Ultra fitted and mini cardigans were paired with slim strapless dresses or high waisted pants, and created a very high midriff effect that was a cut above.