DOLCE & GABBANA'S COMBO CHAMELEONS: NAOMI CAMPBELL, HALIMA ADEN, AND MAYE MUSK MODEL ALTA MODA IN ITALY

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana joked pre-show that they’d maybe arrange to leave a joint on every audience member’s seat—a move that would really have put the alta in Alta Moda.

But why? Gabbana explained: “We don’t smoke a joint, but we love to think about a collection as if it was after we smoke a joint. So that the dream is completely crazy. . . .”

Dolce&Gabbana’s show was plenty intoxicating enough on its own. The latest installment of the designers’ couture Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda project—whose cast of international clients has swelled significantly—was held at dusk in front of one of the most exquisite vistas Italy has to offer. We were in the Romantically landscaped Parco Teresio Olivelli, by the shivering expanse of Lake Como. Its waters were rapidly darkening as the sun finally sank between a scattering of clouds and the jagged crown of pine-printed mountains that surround it. Kitty Spencer in a hugely skirted gown, Emma Weymouth in a similar gown on which was spread a Como panorama, a boyish model in a slim-fitting black velvet frock suit, a raffish-looking Don, and a severe-looking nun were all meant to represent the main protagonists in Manzoni’s sprawling, Como-set potboiler. After that though, whatever Domenico and Stefano said they weren’t smoking (cough) really kicked in.

“It’s not about one reference,” said Dolce. “Maybe you can find seven different references in one outfit.”