Bottega Veneta joins forces with star Gaetano Pesce, Dolce & Gabbana focuses on young designers

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Apr 18, 2023

Milano Design Week got off to a flying start on Monday, with crowded streets, traffic jams and long queues at the entrances to the countless events scattered around the city. The luxury fashion houses took centre stage on the first day with some of the most interesting projects, such as the Bottega Veneta boutique transformed into a cave by designer Gaetano Pesce or the innovative creations of ten emerging talents chosen by Dolce & Gabbana.

Gaetano Pesce transformed the boutique in Milan – Bottega Veneta

The award for craziest project goes to Gaetano Pesce for Bottega Veneta. With his installation entitled “Vieni a vedere” (come and see), the sculptor/architect and designer has transformed the flagship store of Kering’s luxury brand in Milan’s prestigious Via Monte Napoleone into a sort of prehistoric lair in the form of a crinkled white canvas, with drapes that intertwine along a path that narrows and never seems to end, like a labyrinth.

The original store has been reduced to this long tortuous tunnel, which completely changes the perception of the space. On the floor, streaks of paint show the path to follow, while the walls are smeared with coloured paint or marked with traces that ressemble cave drawings. Animal figures made of wood and covered with white resin appear discreetly in the décor.

Two leather bags designed by the Italian artist and made by Bottega Veneta are showcased in the centre and at the back of the space. The bags are inspired by the landscapes where the designer grew up in Veneto, particularly the Euganean mountains, and the mountains of Colorado. The first model, “My dear mountains”, in woven green leather, was produced in 15 pieces, each sold for 15,000 euros. The second, “My dear meadows”, covered with green straps like a grass carpet, was produced in three pieces and cost 30,000 euros.

“It is a souvenir of my youth. At the same time, design should tell a story, communicate a future made of optimism and not the terrible world we are told about,” explains the 83-year-old designer, known for his joyful, colourful and tactile style, who welcomed visitors on the opening day with incredible verve. This is not the first time he has collaborated with Bottega Veneta, as he created the set for the Spring/Winter 2023 collection last September.

Malaclou Lefebvre from the Atelier Malak – Dolce & Gabbana

For this year’s Design Week 2023, Dolce & Gabbana has launched a generous project highlighting young talent. It is called “GenD”, as in design generation, and aims to support young creative talents in the field of design and furnishing. Under the aegis of curator Federica Sala, the label selected ten designers from around the world and gave them carte blanche to create design objects that highlight their skills.

The result: nine unique creations that are nevertheless coherent, with the same colourful and joyful Mediterranean spirit and a very high quality of production. From the brightly coloured and exuberantly shaped ceramics by the South Korean artist Ahryun Lee, to the orangery greenhouse with its baroque terracotta pots by Antonio Aricò from Calabria, the vase-lamp by Bradley Bowers from his native New Orleans, or the huge colourful chandelier by the American Chris Wolston, who lives and works in Medellin, Colombia.

These objects are complemented by animal shaped vases made of Murano glass by the London-based Venetian Lucia Massari, furniture by the Japanese Rio Kobayashi, who spent part of his childhood in Austria, a wooden bead curtain by the Sicilian Sara Ricciardi, a sculpture by the Lebanese duo Sayar & Garibeh and, finally, a carpet and furniture by the French designer Malacou Lefebvre.

Originally from Lyon, the thirty-year-old gave up his career in finance four years ago to start working on his creations. He opened his “Atelier Malak” in Vaulx-en-Velin in the old Rhône-Poulenc factory. “I am totally self-taught. I started by making steel furniture. I work the material by hand. For this project, I started with the idea of a palaver tree with a pyramid tree, somewhere to place devotional objects, a stool and a table, as well as a leather carpet recreating the idea of moss that you sink into,” he tells us with enthusiasm.

To make his foam furniture, which is burnt with a blowtorch using molten zinc, he worked with a carpenter in Venice, a Dolce & Gabbana supplier. On the other floors, the label unveiled the new collections of its accessories and furnishings lines launched last year, including an impressive series of tableware, objects and furniture made entirely of gold.

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