Owner & Developer: Dolce&Gabbana
Interior design: Dolce&Gabbana and Eric Carlson (studio Carbondale)
Photo credits: Antoine Huot, Alessandra Chemollo
Splendor, beauty, uniqueness, grandeur, wealth, emotion, luminosity, elegance. These are just a few of the terms that come to mind when you enter and cross the space of the two Dolce&Gabbana boutiques in Rome and Milan. As Stefano Gabbana explains, “these boutiques are important pieces of the mosaic of new retail openings around the world. For a couple of years now we have been designing certain stores as one-offs, in keeping with the characteristics of specific cities and cultures, while still conserving the Dolce&Gabbana identity. It’s a way of giving our customers different, unique experiences”. Different but with shared aspects, above all thanks to the philosophy of the award-winning studio Carbondale (with offices in Paris and Sao Paulo), the two stores focus on the search for the exceptional and the extraordinary. “For us it is very stimulating to work with important architecture firms. We discuss things with the architects, we swap ideas and viewpoints, and we rely on their experience. We create interaction and cultural exchange from which to then develop the idea of unique boutiques, designed for a specific territory. The collaboration with Eric Carlson of the firm Carbondale happened in just this way. It has been a very interesting process”. In fact, as Domenico Dolce put it, “the boutiques at Via della Spiga 2 and Piazza di Spagna have been developed precisely for Rome and Milan.
The splendor of the Eternal City and the charm of its incomparable history live on in the majestic spaces of the Roman 16th-century palace that contains the new boutique. Elegant marble, mosaics inlaid by hand; tradition, history and technology blend in monitors – placed in the galleria and on the semi-vaulted ceiling of the first floor – showing a sky in motion, inhabited by the angels of Paradise. The boutique at Via della Spiga 2, on the other hand, reflects the DNA, the roots and milestones of the brand, in a sequence of spaces steeped in the values and emotions of the early years, which return today with new splendor. The store is a tribute to our background and our close bond with the feminine universe”.
In Rome, at Piazza di Spagna, the store has two levels and contains the men’s and women’s collections of clothing, accessories, fine jewelry and watches. As soon as guests cross the threshold they are surrounded by various types of marble cladding the floors, walls and ceilings. The light from precious blown glass chandeliers, made by Italian master craftsmen, brings out the veins and hues of the marble. Latin inscriptions along the walls of the ground floor, the she-wolf lit by the first chandelier, and two cupolas: everything is covered by hand with mosaic tiles in gold and other colors to suggest the beauty of the Eternal City. Going up the monumental marble staircase, one reaches the heart of the boutique, a gallery where the vault and the walls, by means of monitors, project a sky in motion inhabited by the angels of Paradise reflected on the opposite mirror, while the floors feature the words Paradiso, Amore and Bellezza. Going into the first floor, in the space set aside for jewelry, visitors see carpets and marble walls, after which the tailoring area makes room for wood: ebony, redgum and Canaletto walnut.
In the boutique in Milan, at Via della Spiga 2, the Baroque reference is clear in the 920 square meters on three levels, connected (as in Rome) by an impressive staircase in black basalt. Words again come into play, selected from Italian writers of the 20th century, on the inlaid floor of the elevator and on the brass plaques of the walls. Geometric and luminous thanks to the many windows, the store presents the women’s collections of clothing, evening wear, accessories, fine jewelry and watches. The linear design is interrupted by the curved walls of the women’s collection zone, made with different materials including elm briar and intense red onyx. The floors echo the black basalt of the staircase, while the ceilings are white. The Baroque taste is evident in the two decorative columns placed at the entrance, but also in the inserts in Red Jasper marble on the ground floor.
On all three levels, the furnishings are in redgum: on the ground floor the wood creates a chromatic contrast with the transparency of the glazing, while on the first floor it joins the black basalt of the floors, and on the second it is combined with red granite and white onyx. Beyond Italian history and beauty, the stores are also a tribute to outstanding craftsmanship, which becomes precious art. “For us, craftsmanship is an important value; it conveys the love we have for our work, the attention we devote to every single project, the constant pursuit of a perfect balance between harmony of forms and refinement of details. Our creations are based on the idea of fatto a mano, whether they are garments or design projects”.