Milan line offers canine couture for pampered pooches

Milan has long been the world’s ready-to-wear fashion leader. Now, dogs are getting in on the Italian city’s sartorial scene with a new line of haute couture for canines.

Dog a Porter, by the Milan brand Temellini, offers clothing custom-fit for different breeds, ranging from the tiny Chihuahua to the stately greyhound. The line includes cashmere knits, nylon bomber jackets with tiny arms, Sherlock Holmes-style capes and lined raincoats.

The capes cost 170 euros ($208) and synthetically filled hooded parkas go for 210 euros ($256) to reflect the extra time it takes to get the fine stitching on the elasticized sleeves just right.

Designer Giovanna Temellini says fashionable dog clothes aren’t just an indulgence. Her luxury outerwear not only protects pooches accustomed to being indoors when they are brought outside, but take into account the builds of various types of dogs, she said.

“For me, a dog is well-dressed only when it has freedom of movement, when it is not constrained,” Temellini said. “It is OK to dress a dog when it is cold, but a dog needs to live his live as a dog. This is important.”

Speaking from personal experience, the designer notes that Ulysses, her long-haired Afghan Hound, requires five hours of grooming if he gets wet in the rain. A raincoat prevents the hassle, she said.

Temellini launched Dog a Porter a year ago alongside her 20-year-old eponymous clothing line for women. She opened a boutique in Milan’s chic Brera neighbourhood this week, selling women’s ready-to-wear and canine couture side-by-side.

In fact, many of the dog garments have corresponding numbers for women, such as the long, flowing black cotton skirt a pet owner could wear while walking her dog outfitted in a black chenille jacket.

The market appears ripe for such a venture in fashion-conscious Italy, where some 7 million dogs are registered as pets, or one for every 3.7 families, according to statistics from ASSALCO, an association of producers of pet food and other pet items.

The money Italians lavished on dogs and cats grew 10 per cent during 2013-2016 to nearly 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion), the association said in a 2017 report.

Temellini said the toughest part about designing for dogs was the sizing. The long bodies and stout thoraxes of dachshunds, for example, had to be taken into account. In all, the Dog a Porter line has five basic shapes.

But the Temellini atelier also does made-to-order items, applying the experience it gained over decades making samples for some of Milan’s top fashion houses, including Ermanno Scervino, Bottega Veneta and Max Mara.

“Something that made me laugh was to see a professional, a lawyer, come in with his Saluki, and he wanted a made-to-measure coat for his dog,” Temellini said. “He said all his clothes were made-to-measure, and he wanted the same for his dog.”

Patrizia Radaelli is a happy Dog a Porter customer. She couldn’t find anything to warm Eddie, her 14-year-old Yorkshire terrier-Volpino Italiano mix.

“He’s a little old and gets very cold in the winter,” Radaelli said. “Usually, he would get very fussy when I dressed him with other items. But never with Giovanna’s fabrics.”

Now, Eddie turns heads when he does his evening business wearing a striped cashmere sweater under a navy blue parka, Radaelli said.

Just Posted

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

Sunny weather improves farmers’ prospects

A harvester kicking up dust. It’s a picture that will bring a… Continue reading

Rural transit pilot project being considered

Penhold, Innisfail and Red Deer County councils to decide whether to go ahead with project

Red Deer fire station up for sale

Home sweet home at Fire Station 4

‘Stupid’ law preventing Canada’s re-engagement with Iran: retired envoy

OTTAWA — The real reason the Liberal government hasn’t been able to… Continue reading

Voters head to polls for BC municipal elections today

VANCOUVER — Voters in British Columbia will head to the polls today… Continue reading

All sharks tagged in N.S. expedition can now be tracked on Ocearch website

HALIFAX — All six of the sharks tagged in Nova Scotian waters… Continue reading

Memorial service for former PQ minister Lise Payette today in Montreal

MONTREAL — Mourners will gather to remember former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister… Continue reading

Immunotherapy scores a first win against some breast cancers

For the first time, one of the new immunotherapy drugs has shown… Continue reading

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Most Read