‘From the Heart to the Hands: Dolce&Gabbana’ will bring together the fashion house’s one-of-a-kind creations for the very first time.

Exhibition Summary

‘From the Heart to the Hands: Dolce&Gabbana’ will bring together the fashion house’s one-of-a-kind creations for the very first time. The exhibition will be an open love letter to Italian culture as the enduring inspiration for Dolce&Gabbana’s fashion designs, tracing the extraordinary translation of Domenico Dolce’s and Stefano Gabbana’s ideas, from the heart through to their realization, by hand.

The exhibition, which will launch in Milan and then tour worldwide, will celebrate the fashion house as a symbol of Italian glamour, exploring its approach to unconventional luxury – elegant, sensual and unique, yet humorous, irreverent, and subversive.

Curated by Florence Müller, and produced by IMG, the exhibition will also feature responses to Dolce&Gabbana’s designs by visual artists.

The archive and new collections will be displayed in a series of themes highlighting the many layers of Italian cultural influences at work in their approach to fashion design – these include art, architecture, artisanal craft, ballet, cities and their regional topography, music, opera, popular traditions, theatre and of course – “la dolce vita”.

Curated by Florence Müller

Scientific Committee:
• Mons. Alberto Rocca, Fellow of the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana of Milan and Director of the Pinacoteca
• Cav. Dott. Franco Cologni, President of Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art and Founder of Michelangelo Foundation

Produced by Palazzo Reale, Dolce&Gabbana e IMG


‘From the Heart to the Hands: Dolce&Gabbana’ invites visitors to immerse themselves in the Dolce&Gabbana universe through a double journey: on the one hand the sources of inspiration of the two Designers rooted in their passion for Italian culture, on the other their devotion to ancient crafts and traditional artisanal techniques interpreted in a contemporary key.

Through spectacular immersive installations, the exhibition focuses on the different worlds that contributed to the essence of Dolce&Gabbana. The exhibition will also be preceded, at the entrance and grand staircase of Palazzo Reale in Milan, by a series of digital artworks created by contemporary visual artists (Felice Limosani, Obvious Art, Alberto Maria Colombo, Quayola, Vittorio Bonapace and Catelloo).

Our goal is to stimulate the pursuit of Beauty, because this ideal makes you dream, makes you grow, takes you to a higher feeling. We will never cease to tell stories of the pure love for Beauty generated by the human touch: beautiful things must be preserved, nurtured, cultivated. Our greatest joy is to be able to share this concept with the new generations, so that they are able to see in the Mestieri D’Arte (artistic crafts) an alternative, an antidote to banality and to homologation, and they can learn to marvel when faced with the creativity and mastery enclosed not only in the final product, but throughout the entire process: it’s not only the artefact that counts, you need to be inspired by the entire story behind it.


From the Heart to the Hands. Why did we choose this title? Fashion, like any other art form, is a journey from the heart, from which ideas are born, to the hands, the tools through which they take form. This exhibition follows the same path: it traces the places in our heart, the ones touched by the Grand Tour that is the Alta Moda, focusing on human touch, on the Fatto a Mano, the handmade. From Taormina to Venice, passing through Naples, Florence and Como… a travelling dream to discover the most authentic Italianity. Italy is a small country, but it is beautiful and unique thanks to its priceless traditions and excellences. We wanted to express everything we have learned throughout the years, the mastery of the artisans we have met, the new techniques we have discovered, the Italian Bello e Ben Fatto (the Beautiful and the Well Made) so that nothing gets lost.

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

Rooms Descriptions 

Il Fatto a Mano (Hand-made) 

The first room of the exhibition is an invitation to be carried into the world of Dolce&Gabbana. Conceived as a picture gallery, the space includes a series of artworks by New-York artist Ahn Duong specifically dedicated to the dream that has formed Dolce&Gabbana Alta Moda collections over the years. Duong pictures herself wearing some of the most iconic one-of-a-kind creations of the fashion house – creating a painting for each edition of Alta Moda. These works by Ahn Duong provide a visual link and dialogue with the clothes displayed at the center of the room to form an intriguing artistic narrative.


For us, the Fatto a Mano (Hand-made) represents a value. Craftsmanship is the noble art of hand-making, of human  touch. Without handicraft, clothes wouldn’t have shape, quality, substance. Hands hold secrets that words cannot tell, secrets  we want to reveal with our creations, unique stories, rich in details and precious embroideries.  

The Alta Moda is a dream, and dreams never end. As long as there are those who get excited over the beauty of the  craftsmanship that makes everything unique, there will always be Alta Moda. To crystallize this magic, our friend and  New York-based artist Anh Duong created an artwork dedicated to our creations, one for each edition of the Alta Moda.  This is the first time we are making these works public: a visual history of these twelve years of Alta Moda.  

Domenico Dolce e Stefano Gabbana 

Artistic glass and artisanal techniques 

The mastery of Venetian glassmakers sublimated in unique fashion creations: the room, designed to be a  modern hall of mirrors – an architectural device once conceived to create amazement and wonder in the  visitor – praises the mastery of the artistic creations of Barbini and Barovier & Toso. Mirrors and  chandeliers are displayed in a close dialogue with a selection of Alta Moda and Alta Sartoria pieces  characterized by intricate crystal embroidery and a representation of precious Alta Gioielleria creations  in a complimentary dialogue between two forms of the highest craftsmanship.

Venetian art is a dream made of glass. We wanted to showcase the mastery of the artistic creations of Venetian glassmakers,  such as Barbini, Barovier&Toso and Venini, who have inspired and influenced our way of working. This is what the Grand Tour of the Alta Moda is for us: an enriching experience that gives us the opportunity – stop after stop – to  collaborate with local artisanal workshops, to discover all the secrets of the trade, to share them and pass them on to the  youths, so that they will be kept forever in our memory.

Domenico Dolce e Stefano Gabbana 

Il Gattopardo (The Leopard) 

A constant reference and inexhaustible source of inspiration in the Dolce&Gabbana universe, the  unforgettable images of Luchino Visconti’s 1963 epic film The Leopard come to life in a spectacular  installation which reproduces the famous ballroom, in an alternation of references to the history and the  future in the constant search for a Beauty that transfigures reality. The world of the Prince of Salina told  by Tomasi di Lampedusa represents the tradition that turns towards the new, between the splendors of  other times that fade and the march of progress toward the future. The layout of the room reinterprets  and sublimates the main hall of Palazzo Gangi, in Palermo, the location of the the iconic scene from  Visconti’s film


For us, The Leopard and Sicily are a constant reference and an inexhaustible source of inspiration. The world of the Prince  of Salina, narrated in the novel by Tomasi di Lampedusa from 1958, represents tradition giving way to the new, between  the fading splendors of the past and the unrelenting march of the future. The dialogue between the concepts of aristocracy and  popularity… it’s this harmony of contrasts that fascinates and attracts us. In 2017, we had the honor of presenting our 

Alta Gioielleria in the Sala delle Feste of Palazzo Ganfi in Palermo, where the famous ball scene of the movie The Leopard  by Visconti was shot: it was an indescribable feeling. 

Domenico Dolce e Stefano Gabbana


Tình yêu vĩnh cửu vượt mọi không gian và thời gian – đó chính là sự cống hiến. A love that goes beyond the boundaries of time and space, which has no limits but lives in eternity, this  is devotion. The undisputed and unconditional devotion of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana to  style, to work, to detail, to the essence of fashion itself, made of craftsmanship, a sense of belonging,  passion and creativity flows into a true cult for the Bello e Ben Fatto (the Beautiful and Well Made):  under the aegis of the Sacred Heart, the room presents a contemporary sancta sanctorum, a treasure chest  that houses a selection of Alta Moda and Alta Gioielleria creations that alternate the dynamic relationship  between Sicilian black and the baroque opulence of gold.


We are all devoted to something that drives us and fascinates us. The fil-rouge that connects all of our creations is our  devotion to excellent craftsmanship and details, our passion for Italy and its artistic, cultural and scenic treasures, the desire  to create something unique and irreplaceable. This absolute love of ours finds its synthesis in the Cuore Sacro, the Sacred  Heart, one of our favorite symbols, halfway between a mix of an ex-voto and a baroque decoration: in this heart there is all  our devotion to Beauty. 

Domenico Dolce e Stefano Gabbana 


Tailoring. Ornament and Volume 

The atelier represents the heart of the entire work of Dolce&Gabbana: it is there that the dreams of the  Designers come to life through the hearts and expert hands of the artisans. The epicenter of the  exhibition’s journey, this room transports the visitor to the most significant place in the world of  Dolce&Gabbana thanks to the faithful reproduction of the tailors’, jewelers’ and watchmakers’  workshops: every detail, from the intricate stitching to the completed masterpieces, from the most  precious gems to refined textiles, tells the story of the creativity of the fashion house by exploring its  secrets.


For us, tailoring is the starting point for everything. The creation of a garment is an exciting journey that requires time,  patience, dedication and a great amount of doing and undoing: if something is not perfect, it needs to be remade from scratch.  But tailoring is also devotion: the passion for the craft, the study and the research, the quality and the techniques of the  craftsmanship are key elements of this ancient art that needs to be passed on to new generations in order to be preserved. Our  dream is to transmit our love to the youths, to open the doors of our world and our ateliers to them, and to reveal the magic  that hands can create.

 Domenico Dolce e Stefano Gabbana 

Architectural and pictorial clothing 

In a symbiotic connection between tailoring and design, the relationship between the stylistic essence of  Dolce&Gabbana and architecture and painting is significant and powerful. Constructing a garment is like  constructing a building: the architect’s work begins with sketches that illustrate the direction of the project  and the main volumes and then continues with the decorative choices, from colors to materials, from  patterns to detailed craftsmanship. The installation presented in the room enhances this vision by using  video mapping of the surfaces that re-propose the wonder of Palazzo Farnese, in Rome, in dialogue with  the beauty of details from Renaissance masterpieces interwoven onto the selection of clothes and jewels  placed in the center of the room. 


Fashion and architecture are two sides of the same coin, two forms of art in constant dialogue. Creating a piece is like  developing a building. The architect projects a building starting from sketches, studies the forms, the symmetries, the volumes, and then goes on to make decorative choices, from colors to materials. Creating fashion follows the same approach. The same  mastery relives in the paintings from the Renaissance: the prospective, the vibrant colors, the drapery of the clothes are all  elements that have always inspired our collections, from the Alta Moda to the Alta Gioielleria.

 Domenico Dolce e Stefano Gabbana 

Sicilian traditions

The decorative arts, a heritage of Sicily, the land of choice for Dolce&Gabbana, come to life in this room  thanks to a unique installation decorated by hand by master painters of the majolica and the Sicilian Cart.  The humble means of transport that has become an epic tale of the island’s history thanks to the wisdom  of the artisans has intertwined on many occasions with the creative production of the fashion house. In  this room, next to an original traditional cart, there are four incredible Alta Moda creations that transform  this popular symbol and its decorative design into wearable art.  


Sicily is our muse. What inspires us are not only the places, but also traditions and culture. We love everything about this  island: the colors, the artistic expressions, the breathtaking sceneries, the town festivals, the great cuisine, the folklore, its  ‘absolute beauty’. It’s a land that is alive, that welcomes you, that embraces you. This vitality manifests itself into the  artisanal craftsmanship that made it great, just think of the ceramics, the majolica, the decorations that adorn Sicilian  carts…With our work we want to tell the history of this magical place, a history of excellences. For us, the best representation  of Sicily is the Sicilian Cart, which has been transformed from a folk symbol into wearable art.

Domenico Dolce e Stefano Gabbana 

White baroque

Giacomo Serpotta, the Sicilian Baroque sculptor, raised the art of stucco to unparalleled levels of  sophistication. The intricate designs, arabesques, cherubs and pure white floral compositions created by  Serpotta are silent witnesses of a history made of genius and artisanal excellence. After passing a corridor shrouded in darkness, this room opens up to reveal a space bathed in an intense white light where a  selection of clothes from the “Stucchi” Alta Moda Collection is displayed to blend with the surrounding  space in a great visual symphony.


Sicily is also Baroque. And the Sicilian Baroque elevated the art of stucco to unparalleled heights: the chiaroscuro, the  extremely refined volumes, the angelic figures that decorate architraves and portals with a “light” opulence. The oratories of  Palermo are an exceptional example of it: with its intricate designs, the arabesques, the cherubs and floral compositions in  pure white, the oratory of Santa Cita is one of the places of our heart. The same Baroque has also inspired the Alta Moda we presented in Siracusa in 2022, year in which we celebrated the tenth anniversary of our journey. 

Domenico Dolce e Stefano Gabbana 


The Dreams of Goddesses 

Since the dawn of time, goddesses have embodied the emanation of the power of femininity that not  even the gods can tame: perfect in their imperfections, the goddesses materialize here in the form of  ethereal dresses from the Alta Moda Collection presented in the Valle dei Tempi in Agrigento, exhibited  in an installation that recalls the profile of the Temple of Concordia. The dimension of the dream is  further accentuated by the presence of a selection of Alta Sartoria creations embellished with elegant  mosaic work: the hieratic function and the longing for the divine represented by the decorations of the  Byzantine basilicas comes to life in extremely delicate and complex embroidery.


Sicily is also a land of myths. Poets, painters, sculptors and artists have always recalled and exalted the myths of classicism,  which have become part of our personal history. In 2019, we decided to evoke and celebrate this fabled dimension by  showcasing our Alta Moda on goddesses and muses among the columns of the Temple of Concordia in the Valle dei Templi  in Agrigento. It was a moment we will never forget. 

Among these colors, the one that best expresses our idea of dreams is undoubtedly gold: we think of the Palatine Chapel in  Palermo, an ancient place nestled in the Norman Palace, the duomo of Monreale, the one in Cefalù… with their interiors  completely covered in mosaics and gold, lots of gold, these buildings are testimony to Sicily’s millenary history and have been  the source of inspiration for some of our creations, including those of the Alta Sartoria presented in Monreale in 2017.

Domenico Dolce e Stefano Gabbana 

The Opera 

In the Dolce&Gabbana universe, reality and theater are inextricably connected. The Opera is a mirror of  the vision of the Designers: if fashion is nothing more than a show of which the designer is a writer and  director at the same time, then theater expresses the endeavor and excellence of human collective  creativity. From the work of the set designers to that of the costume designers. In this room, which  evokes an Italian theater, there are some of the most evocative creations of Alta Moda and Alta Sartoria  inspired by the great opera tradition.

The Opera is a marvelous machine: to put on a show requires actors, costume designers, set designers, screenwriters, musicians, singers, extras, stagehands… All the qualities of the know-how need to be shared to give life to an Opera, to stage the Beauty in the best of Italian tradition. The Opera, like fashion, starts from the heart and moves to the hands, the ones of many masteries involved in its production. Since the first years of our activity, each one of our shows opens with the notes of the Intermezzo of the Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni: Opera has always been with us because it transforms the human soul by putting it on stage.

Domenico Dolce e Stefano Gabbana

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