As Harrods gets a makeover courtesy of Italy’s biggest fashion house, founding designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana explain how to do Christmas the D&G way
What can we expect from the Dolce & Gabbana Harrods Christmas takeover?
SG&DD: This Christmas we wanted to recreate the vibe and the atmosphere of a typical Italian market and bring it to London. For this reason, we have recreated the magic of a Sicilian town square on the fourth floor [of Harrods], with flowers, fruits, vegetables and colourful lights. Between the counters and the lights there are many accessories, bags, keychains, eyewear, credit card holders and small leather goods. Then there is a pop-up boutique, where you can find special pieces of fine jewellery and watches, all under exquisite lighting, presenting an afternoon of shopping.
Where did your idea for the Sicilian puppet theatre come from?
SG&DD: The puppet theatre, or the marionette, is part of traditional Sicilian history. It’s a popular form of art that was born in southern Italy, especially in Sicily, at the end of the 19th century and that still attracts many tourists during the shows in town. We like the idea that Londoners, and others visiting London, can get to know it. We love everything that comes from the people and from the streets [of Sicily]. That’s where we come from; from the authenticity of expression.
What do you love about Harrods?
DD: For us, Harrods means London. It captures the English atmosphere that we have always loved. In the Christmas period it becomes even prettier, more magical, a place where it seems easy to dream, with its lights, colours and many decorations.
SG: London is the city of my heart. And if you love London, how can you not love Harrods, the most famous mall in the world? I would spend hours and hours shopping!
Where will you both be spending Christmas and who will you be spending it with?
DD&SG: We will spend Christmas with the people we love, as we do every year. The Christmas meal will be with our families. We cannot give up on that. After that we will leave for the holidays.
Do you cook? If so, what will you be having on Christmas day?
SG: I don’t know how to cook, but Domenico is very good at cooking. He cooks, I eat!
DD: The menu is always a blend of both northern and southern Italian cuisine. So both meat and fish, and there will be ravioli with meat too.
How do you tend to decorate your homes at Christmas?
SG: I love decorations like crazy. I collect baubles from all over the world, all different. I have all kinds. Some will also be on sale at Harrods. I thought about bringing the ones dedicated to London, because it’s the best way to celebrate this city at the most special time of the year.
What will you both be asking for this Christmas?
SG: To spend more time with my mother.
DD: To continue doing fashion shows around the world for a hundred more years and to spend every day with my family.
Do you spend much time in London? What do you do when you’re here, and where do you stay?
SG: Of course, London is a city I love very much and that’s why I decided to buy a house [here] that I decorated with objects I bought at Portobello market, and from Harrods!
DD: I prefer the Mayfair neighbourhood, so why not stay at Claridge’s?
In what ways do you think British and Italian styles differ?
DD & SG: Actually we believe that British style isn’t so different from ours. Both have the passion for tailoring and for sartorial details. [Here] they are more eccentric than us and they are brave enough to dare – something that we Italians don’t do, and should do more of!
Who are your style icons?
SG: All the women of the world! But if we must mention a few then we think about Sophia Loren, Monica Bellucci and Bianca Balti; all beautiful women and mothers.
DD: And also the wonderful actresses that made the history of cinema, from Monica Vitti, to Claudia Cardinale, and we could go on!
You have worked together for more than 30 years, what is the secret to your success?
DD: The secret is the love that has united us for 32 years. Even if we have separate private lives, love will never pass. Me and Stefano often start from opposite points of view, or different points of view. But with communication and discussion we always end up finding a solution that is at the same time an expression of both my ideas and Stefano’s. I think that is our secret.
SG: I wouldn’t know what to do without Domenico, we are two sides of the same coin. The nice thing about working together is also exchanging roles, always finding something that can amaze us, that makes us think, grow and learn.
What was your inspiration for the A/W17 collection?
DD&SG: Of course, how could we not think about creating fabulous dresses with embroideries, flowers and stones, reminiscent of the best Christmas fairytales?
What can we expect from Dolce & Gabbana in 2018?
DD&SG: We like the idea of not predicting anything; we will see. Who can say?