Even though Venice was founded 1,600 years ago, it seems safe to say this city has never seen a sight like that which unfolded here tonight. Watched by an audience that included Jennifer Lopez, Sean Combs, Doja Cat, Kris Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Ciara, Monica Bellucci, Christian Bale, Dame Helen Mirren, Kitty Spencer and many more, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana presented their latest Alta Moda collection in a venue that has, until now, never hosted a fashion show: St Mark’s Square.

Those amongst the 400 or so super-rich clients in the audience who had attended these Dolce & Gabbana couture shows before knew to expect something extraordinary, and the designers duly delivered. Once we had settled into this so-famous-it-seemed-unreal space, we were treated to a 20-minute performance that mixed carnival with Fellini-esque storytelling. Jennifer Hudson appeared in a golden dress and belted out a spine-tingling performance of “Nessum Dorma,” from Turandot, as the drones and seagulls arced overhead. This gave you time to soak up the Venetian Gothic backdrop and marvel and the sheer wonder of being here, doing this.

Next came the collection which was naturally delivered by gondola. These ancient boats, steered by strapping gentlemen and aided by an unusually cool breeze skimming across the lagoon offshore, offloaded a procession of models at the servizio pier alongside the Doge’s Palace. As ever with these Alta Moda collections, the pieces were deeply seeped in the local artisanship and creative culture of the host city, in order both to celebrate the richness of Italian craftsmanship and in order to provide those clients with a site-specific and unique souvenir.