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Jul 03, 2024

How Dolce&Gabbana became the masters of Alta Moda

Celebrating the duo’s 40-year career, the “From the Heart to the Hands: Dolce&Gabbana” exhibit is the Italian answer to Paris’ haute couture


In a celebration of the creativity and craftsmanship of one of Italy’s most esteemed fashion houses, Milan’s Palazzo Reale invites visitors to explore the “Dal Cuore alle Mani: Dolce&Gabbana” (From the Heart to the Hands: Dolce & Gabbana) exhibition.

Curated by French fashion historian Florence Müller, this exhibition is the first to honour Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s 40-year career and offer insight into their creative processes. 

The “From the Heart to the Hands” exhibit showcases pieces from the Alta Moda collections, which the designers launched in 2012 as Italy’s distinctive answer to Paris’ haute couture. Alongside Alta Moda, the exhibition features the brand’s Alta Sartoria and Alta Gioielleria creations, displayed through ten themed rooms that reflect the inspiration behind each collection. 

From the detailed Alta Moda gowns and the refined craftsmanship of Alta Sartoria to the exquisite Alta Gioielleria jewels, each piece exemplifies Dolce&Gabbana’s commitment to luxury and “Made in Italy.” 

“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,” said Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. “This exhibition follows the same path: it traces the places in our heart … from Taormina to Venice, passing through Naples, Florence and Como.” 

As visitors navigate Palazzo Reale, they are transported across Italy’s iconic locations, with each of the ten rooms dedicated to a theme that has inspired Dolce&Gabbana’s designs. From the opulent grandeur of the Renaissance to the vibrant spirit of Sicily and the dramatic allure of the Opera, each salon tells a unique story in the brand’s rich narrative.

@vogueitalia #naomicampbell, #biancabalti, #demimoore, #cher, #isabellarossellini, #evaherzigova, #helenmirren e tante altre celebrities si sono riunite questa sera a Palazzo Reale, per l’anteprima mondiale della mostra “Dal Cuore alle Mani: Dolce&Gabbana”, la prima dedicata alle inconfondibili creazioni di Domenico Dolce e Stefano Gabbana. #VogueEvents ♬ original sound - 2000spophits🔥

The exhibition begins with a display of paintings specially commissioned for the event, some honouring the timeless beauty of Dolce&Gabbana’s first muse, Sophia Loren. These artworks set the stage for the immersive experience, inviting visitors to explore the intricate details and stories woven into every garment and accessory.

Of course, at the heart of the exhibition is the exploration of Dolce&Gabbana’s Alta Moda, Alta Sartoria, and Alta Gioielleria collections, where Italian craftsmanship meets artistic expression in a blend of colours, textures, and forms. From ball gowns adorned with embroidery to meticulously crafted suits, each piece narrates a tale of passion and dedication from conception to creation.

As anticipated, the “From the Heart to the Hands” exhibition goes beyond fashion, offering a journey of discovery that reveals the various influences and places that have shaped the brand’s identity. From the rugged landscapes of Sicily to the grandeur of Teatro alla Scala’s red velvet boxes and the opulent salon of Palermo’s Villa Gangi—where Luchino Visconti’s 1963 film “The Leopard” was shot—Dolce&Gabbana’s designs embody a deep respect for Italy’s cultural heritage, infusing their creations with rich history and authenticity.

@vanityfairitalia Dal Cuore alle Mani, la mostra di @Dolce & Gabbana a Palazzo Reale. Una grande retrospettiva a Milano che aprirà dal 7 aprile, dedicata alla storia artistica e creativa di Domenico Dolce e Stefano Gabbana #dolceegabbana #deg #milano #mostra #dolcegabbana ♬ original sound - 🦆

As guests admire Dolce&Gabbana’s Alta Moda couture, they are reminded of the meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail that defines Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s style. From the delicate handiwork of skilled artisans to the innovative techniques that push design boundaries, the exhibition is a testament to the enduring legacy of these designers and their commitment to excellence.

The “Dal Cuore alle Mani: Dolce&Gabbana” exhibition will be open until 31st July. So don’t walk—run to Palazzo Reale. Now.



Carolina Anselmo
MA in Fashion Promotion, Communication & Digital Media, Milan