With Dolce & Gabbana’s first-ever Casa furniture collection, the Italian design duo’s aim to create a unique lifestyle showcasing the celebrated traditional crafts of their countrymen is realised. François Oosthuizen takes a closer look.
“You need only to behold one of our furnishings or caress a fabric to immediately perceive its foundational values: impeccable craftsmanship, love for the fatto a mano (handmade), respect for tradition and the quest for innovation,” say Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. “The senses of sight, touch, hearing and smell are constantly stimulated by our creations, which all contribute to the dream of building a habitat tailored to your personality, your passions and your tastes.”
According to the designers, a home is after all a place that best reflects who we are, that protects us from the outside world – but at the same time allows us to open up to it. Italian culture and beauty have always been their main sources of inspiration, and Dolce & Gabbana’s Casa collection is no different.
The design duo also add: “Over the years, these elements have been reinterpreted in a unique lifestyle, conceived in the spirit of Dolce Vita. Indeed, the elegance of our furniture and accessories is never cold and austere, but instead tinged with the most festive tones of light-hearted joy. Perhaps because, for us, Italian beauty is not limited to the genius of the masters of the Renaissance and Baroque or to the immortal words of the great poets and writers, but extends to our breathtaking landscapes, our wines and our incomparable cuisine.
“Whether in the Faraglioni of Capri, in the blue of Sicily’s sea, in the golden beaches of our coasts, or in the pizza, the pasta and the sundry sweets that distinguish our culinary traditions, there dwells an extraordinary poetry; a taste for the beautiful and the well-made that for centuries have regaled the world with unique emotions.”
According to the pair, they experienced “this same feeling of exceptionality” from their first encounter with some of Italy’s most renowned craftsmen. “Thanks to them, we have rediscovered ancient workmanship such as Murano glass-blowing, hand-painted Sicilian ceramics, fine cabinet-making, straw weaving, wood carving and intarsia (knitting), the age-old technique of murine (mosaics), and the weaving of lush brocades and precious velvets on traditional looms.”
Their collaboration with these artisans led Dolce & Gabbana to Venice’s Scuola Grande della Misericordia – an extraordinary space that was transformed for the launch of Casa. Here, bold and colourful scenes reinterpreted four of the favourite themes of the maison: leopard and zebra patterns, Mediterranean blue, and Sicilian carts.
To complement the various backdrops, the designers partnered with famous Murano glass company Barovier & Toso to create spectacular installations like the five chandeliers inspired by D&G’s leopard pattern. Each chandelier measured over 5m in height and featured 56 lights, with leopard decorations and black rostrato (spiked) effects. About 20,000 pieces of hand-blown glass were required to build these works of art, charging the atmosphere with enticingly warm hues for a truly majestic, theatrical experience.
On the first floor of the exhibition space, D&G’s eye-catching signature Carretto print was visible everywhere, while an exuberant array of Sicilian folk-inspired motifs found its way onto sofas, tables, cabinets and even an entire kitchen. The first floor also provided the perfect spot to display the brand’s first foray into homeware, such as limited-edition hand-painted fridges and a line of kitchen appliances created jointly with Smeg.
The chic and colourful collection also includes seating, tables and cabinetry, all adorned in one of four signature motifs: Mediterranean Blue, Carretto, Leo and Zebra. There’s a sofa upholstered in a statement swirling blue-and-white pattern, a round table covered in the eye-popping Carretto motif, animal print stools and a leopard-pattern rug.
The home decor line will soon be available online and, eventually, in stores worldwide.
This story first appeared in the December 2021 issue of Prestige Singapore.