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Dolce & Gabbana and the artisans who inspired them on show in Milan

Spread across several floors in Milan's opulent Palazzo Reale, "From the Heart to the Hands: Dolce & Gabbana" is the first exhibition dedicated to one of fashion's most successful partnerships

Published: Apr 8, 2024 03:45:09 PM IST
Updated: Apr 8, 2024 03:48:42 PM IST

Dolce & Gabbana and the artisans who inspired them on show in Milan Domenico Dolce (R) and Stefano Gabbana greet the audience from the runway Image: Marco Bertorello / AFP©

From a crystal gown glittering in a room of ornate mirrors to the colour clashes of Sicilian ceramics, a new exhibition of Dolce & Gabbana's fashion highlights the Italian craftsmanship that inspired them.

Spread across several floors in Milan's opulent Palazzo Reale, "From the Heart to the Hands: Dolce & Gabbana" is the first exhibition dedicated to one of fashion's most successful partnerships.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana met in Milan in the early 1980s before launching a design consulting studio and then their own label in 1985.

But the brand's identity stemmed not from the stylish fashion capital—Gabbana's birthplace—but the heritage of Dolce's Sicily, which set it apart from other luxury rivals.

One room of the Palazzo Reale is a riot of colour, the patterns and prints of Sicily's majolica ceramics and brightly painted carts adorning walls, the floors and the folds of a tasselled dress in the middle.

But the exhibition also pays tribute to other Italian traditions, from church mosaics to the opera.

In one room dedicated to the art of Venetian glass work, dresses and headdresses draped in crystals, or seemingly spun in silver, sparkle between the finely crafted mirrors and gorgeous chandeliers.

The exhibition "is a declaration of love to Italian culture, (a) source of inspiration and muse behind the spirit of the brand", its organisers said in a statement.

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It "traces the extraordinary creative process of its founders—from the heart, where ideas are born, to the hands, the means through which they take shape".

The craftsmanship involved is on display in real-time in a pop-up workshop, where tailors, seamstresses and artisans will work every day in a space that recreates the fashion house's real laboratories.

The exhibition runs from April 7 to July 31 in Milan—the first stop on what is intended to be an international tour.