Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

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  • Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

  • The designers share their love for the home, their eclectic tastes, their fantasies…

  • “I have a romantic vision on life and view the home as a casket that contains the life of a person so in my home you will find a bit of everything,” muses Stefano Gabbana, who just like Domenico Dolce nurtures a strong passion for interiors and is an avid art collector.
  • If in nearly three decades of fashion, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have masterminded a vast imagery spanning dominatrix, Space Age and Napoleon, lately the designers have gone back to their roots with a strong focus on Sicily.
  • The result is an artful distillation of the Sicilian culture transposed from the sunny island onto the catwalk with new creative sparks each season. 
  • With sexy black lace, come-hither lingerie, embroidered flannels and rich brocades, their ambition is to carve an iconic design aesthetic à la Coco Chanel. Fostering their signature showmanship-meets-craftsmanship package, the Dolce&Gabbana have turned the brand into a $ 1.7 billion powerhouse.
  • The love for all things Sicilian has inevitably seeped into their homes. “When we go to Sicily we come back with loads of Caltagirone ceramics with which we have filled entire rooms,” says Gabbana.
  • To wit, the kitchen walls of Villa Olivetta, in Portofino, brim with shards of Sicilian-made Caltagirone ceramics.
  • Whenever they can, the designers escape to their seaside retreats – Villa Olivetta, perched on a cliff dotted with pine and olive trees overlooking Portofino, and the villa on the island of Stromboli.
  • Both are an eclectic mix – giant peonies by Taiwanese-born artist Michael Lin, Louis XV chairs, a Ferruccio Laviani table on a 1960s carpet, leopard spots, a Napoleon III fireplace, a portrait of the Virgin Mary with child, a Baroque spiral column decorated with grapes and vine leaves and a 1970s table and chairs bought in Nilufar, to name a few.
  • How would you describe your style for the home? Minimal or maximum?
  • SG: Neither one: I would define one a Dolce style and the other a Gabbana style, in the sense that our homes and our work headquarters, similarly to everything we do, are conceived and reflect my tastes and Domenico’s. That said, Domenico is definitely more geometric and linear while I love Baroque and I like to mix everything, the best and worst of what I find.
  • DD: …We don’t like to have rules when we furnish a home, a shop…we like to blend contemporary pieces with ones from the past.
  • Is there a movement, an artist or an iconic piece that you love particularly?
  • DD: We are passionate art lovers in general, both contemporary and classic. My dream remains a Caravaggio, which for now remains a dream. I have pieces by Fornasetti, Schnabel, Guttuso and Keith Haring mixed with restored pieces by Giò Ponti or furniture bought from junk dealers or at antique shops.
  • Where do you buy your furniture and design pieces?
  • SG: Everywhere in the world! When we travel, we like to browse open air markets but avoid the touristy ones. We seek advice from the locals to find the more hidden and typical ones where we can really find unique pieces. When we were in Hong Kong, for example, we visited second-hand and local markets, ending up with a ton of fun stuff.
  • DD: We definitely like to discover original and unexpected things.
  • The most important room in the house?
  • DD: The kitchen, it relaxes me. Even if I don’t have much time anymore, I really enjoy cooking for my friends.
  • SG: For me it’s the dining room and the kitchen, the rooms where the family gathers around together…
  • Do you have a daily ritual?
  • SG: I work out every morning before going to work...
  • DD: …I instead drink a cup of black coffee! And I love getting a massage.
  • Is there a film whose interiors you loved particularly or that inspired you?
  • DD & SG: All the ones featured by Visconti in Il Gattopardo!
  • You have different vacation homes – which one do you prefer?
  • SG: My favorite is the villa in Portofino. From May to September I try to go there every week-end, escaping on Friday evening and returning on Sunday. It’s just a few hours but the first thing I do when I arrive is to dive into the sea…
  • DD: For me, it’s the house in Stromboli…It’s like going back in time to when I was a child…
  • A favorite recipe you want to share with us?
  • SG: Domenico is excellent at cooking “melanzane alla parmigiana”. It’s his favorite for Sunday lunch.
  • DD: The recipe is the classic one but rather that frying the aubergines; I grill them…much lighter!
  • Above: image by Julian Broad
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