Dolce&Gabbana Casa: The Stunning Audacity of Design

Dolce&Gabbana Casa: The Stunning Audacity of Design

Open to public view this week in Milan, the new Dolce&Gabbana Casa collection is a colour-saturated study in the liberating power of design

The two Dolce&Gabbana Casa boutiques in Milan’s most thronged shopping districts at arm’s length from each other—one on Corso Venezia and the other on Via Durini—are currently full of curious spectators. Many have been pulled inside by the juxtaposition of audacious design and overwhelming colour. Others are here by appointment as designers, sculptors, visual artists, mix-media assemblers and graphic design experts. Among the multiple exhibitions currently going on as part of the Milan Design Fair and on the periphery of the world’s largest furniture fair, Salone del Mobile, the Dolce&Gabbana Casa collection, while compellingly Italian in imagination speaks instantly to people across cultures.

At first sight, the many vivid interpretations of furniture, furnishing accessories, home décor objects, plates, throws, mugs and rugs, cushions, lamps, lights and wall papers form an overwhelming math of colour and folk motifs intrinsic to Italian culture. But once the eyes adjust to the striking and uncanny colour mixes, especially in ‘Carretto Siciliano’, the Sicilian part of the collection, you start tuning in to the multiple stories that unfold here. The other themes of the Casa collection are Blu Mediterraneo, Leopardo and Zebra. Put together, they are a reverberation of multiple design and art statements that meld with the magic of the handmade and the hand-painted in Italy.


A glimpse of Blu Mediterraneo, inside the D&G Casa boutique at Via Durini 23, Milan.

Almost everyone who has, in the past, keenly observed the high fashion, couture and design creations of the Italian powerhouse duo Dolce&Gabbana, their fondness for Sicilian art and tradition and the consistent inspirations they draw from their country’s folklore and wild life, can recognise the signature of the brand from far in this collection. It is ostentatious, overwritten with their ‘more is more’ impetus and draws the spectator into a labyrinth of design stimulants that demand closer examination.

First introduced in Venice in 2021 along the Dolce&Gabbana high fashion show, the Casa collection took almost 18 months to visualise, sketch and make. It uses graphic design, printing, photography and immersive glass art work. Some extraordinary chandeliers made entirely of the famed Murano glass were commissioned several months before they could be assembled and delivered. The famed Venetian glass has been used not just for chandeliers where your eyes dart to even before you can watch your step inside the store, but it is used in smoky, transparent, immersive, intensive ways in lamp bases, vases, crockery sets and other pieces. If there is a delicious lemon sorbet yellow turned into a rotund small vase, there is a lush forest green somewhere, and a stunning diaphanous set of aqua glasses elsewhere.


Carretto Siciliano: Hand-blown Murano glasses and pitcher.

“Everything in the store is handmade and hand-painted in Italy except the rugs,” says a member of the design team who takes this writer around explaining the multiple aspects of the creations. The rugs have been woven in Nepal with the same design themes.

Once you pay close attention willing your mind to look beyond the colours, you notice the riveting use of Piccolo Punto, the beautifully textured European fabric, machine embroidered and akin to cross-stitch. Piccolo Punto upholstery has been printed with folk tales from Sicilian life for this collection and tailored with edgings and finishings that remind you of Dolce&Gabbana jackets and other high fashion pieces. Some designs on glass lamps and large chandeliers draw from the headgear of Italian horses from history when horses were decked up for special occasions.


Zebra pattern cushion covers in silk and the Genziana armchair.

Each of the four themes have been interpreted in 146 pieces. There are consoles, sideboards, wardrobes, mirrors, boxes, small and large table sets, colour blocked sofas in lush orange, tourmaline pink or sorbet yellow, wall-papers, even towels and bed throws. While the Blu Mediterraneo is quite a sonata of blue and white colours and offers delightful distinction, it is the Carretto Sicilian that dominates in the store.

That’s where the really curious and serious must alert themselves to hunt for untold stories tucked under the overstatement. I find myself compelled by the fact that from the bath collection to DJ consoles, plates, candle holders to sofas, more than a dozen materials have been used by Italian artisans from small towns of Italy to interpret the prints and designs of the themes. There is silk, velvet, canvas, duchess cotton, cotton, porcelain, wood, Caltagirone ceramic, Murano glass as well as steel (hand painted in gold). The dimensions of design and artisan collaborations surround you when you realise how motifs of leopards and zebras, also intrinsic to the creative trajectory of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been imagined in ways that emphasise the power of the jungle and complexity of these two animals.


The Gardenia sectional sofa.

Some thoughts to home in. Would you eat at a dining table that wears kaleidoscopic colours or be willing to lose yourself among dozens of leopard or zebra motifs on a large, very large sofa? Would you have wallpapers, floor rugs and upholstery that take you on a folkloric journey inside ancient Italy? Would a hand-made glass chandelier in multiple hues be the object of your gaze and desire in a home, a hospitality setting or an escape destination? Would the “blu” of the Mediterranean calm and sedate you?

The responses to these questions would invariably be personal as design evokes intimate reactions but there is little doubt that just as the Dolce&Gabbana Casa collection can be an overwhelming experience for the uninitiated, for those familiar and in love with their ostentatious layering, it may be about coming home.


Leopard motif wood and metal trays.

The prices are wide-ranging. While you can buy a notebook with the same design theme for €90, a giant chandelier or a big piece of furniture could easily go upwards of €190,000. The small, dainty collection of hand-painted fridges, toasters and mixer-blenders of Italian home appliance brand, Smeg, is not to be missed either.


The Dolce&Gabbana Casa Collection is available at the Dolce&Gabbana Casa boutiques in Milan, Capri and Cannes. The furnishing accessories line is also available on the brand’s e-commerce website

Banner: Carretto Siciliano designs inside the boutique at Corso Venezia 7, Milan. All photos courtesy Dolce&Gabbana Press Office.