Sicilian Chinoiserie

Summer 2016 Men’s Fashion Show

With the Palazzina Cinese of Palermo as a unique source of inspiration for the Dolce&Gabbana Summer 2016 menswear runway collection lets delve into a world of Oriental prints.

Chinoiserie, a recurring theme in European artistic styles since the seventeenth century, is a mixture of Eastern and Western styles characterized by in the use of fanciful imagery of an imaginary China, by asymmetry in format and whimsical contrasts of scale, and by the attempts to imitate Chinese porcelain and the use of lacquer-like materials and decoration.

This Chinese-inspired exoticism became particularly trendy in the Rococo period, is epitomized in the with Sicilian Chinoiserie: the Palazzina (or Casina- literally small palace or house) Cinese in Palermo. This unique construction, one of the largest Oriental style residences built in Europe during that period, consists of three floors, each decorated with Chinese patterns, writing, or frescoes of pastoral Chinese life. Sumptuous tapestries and fabrics printed with exotic birds and motifs decorate the interior of the palace, as do the geometric and figurative painted wall panels. Although the focus was Chinese, there are Italian elements as well. One room is done entirely in the style of Pompeii, painted in the deep red identified with the destroyed city, as well as Turkish, Persian and Indian iconography.

Inspired by the merging of Oriental motifs with elements of Sicilian folkloristic traditions of the Palazzina Cinese, Dolce&Gabbana let loose its creativity with its very own take on Sicilian Chinoiserie. The Spring Summer 2016 menswear fashion show collection presents a barrage of colourful prints which borrow from the Oriental tradition, but are interpreted in a Sicilian manner. Thus typical Sicilian Carretto prints are revisited with elements from Eastern art like dragons, or traditional emblems of orientalism such as tropical birds and peacocks are painted with the colours of Sicily, and pagodas merge seamlessly with the historic symbol of Sicily: the Trinacria.

The fabrics too represent this contamination of styles and traditions, with the finest silks and common fabrics like linen and cotton emblazoned with these idiosyncratic and unforgettable prints.



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