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Italian designer stars thrive on Chinese inspiration

By Chen Jie ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-12-11 07:35:26

Italian designer stars thrive on Chinese inspiration

A model wears Chinese-style pieces, part of the Dolce & Gabbana's 2016 spring/summer collection, designed by Italian duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. Photos provided to China Daily

The world-famous fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana, who were back in their favorite market recently, tell Chen Jie how it inspires them.

Chinoiserie (Chinese motifs) featured in European architecture, interior design, gardening and pottery in the late 17th century. Then, villas were decorated or painted in Chinese style in Germany, Sweden, Spain, France, Italy and Russia.

The Chinese Palace in Palermo, Sicily, is one of the largest and most iconic Chinese-style residences built during the Baroque and Rococo periods.

Frederick I (1751-1825), a ruler of the two Sicilies, bought the property which already had an extravagant house with Chinese influence from local nobles.

Then in 1799, he commissioned the famous architect Giuseppe Venanzio Marvuglia (1729-1814), to renovate the wooden house.

Marvuglia obliged the king and, in keeping with the exotic trend popular at the time, created a masterful example of Rococo Chinoiserie with traditional Sicilian elements.

When the Italian designer duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were working on their 2016 spring/summer collection, they happened to see some of the old Dolce & Gabbana advertisements featuring the Chinese Palace.

After seeing the photos, they were "inspired to visit Palermo to see the beautiful and unique Chinese Palace", Gabbana tells China Daily.

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