gwenael nicolas conceives D&G's tokyo flagship as a world of light + shadow

gwenael nicolas conceives D&G's tokyo flagship as a world of light + shadow


luxury fashion giant dolce & gabbana has opened a major new flagship store in the exclusive aoyama neighborhood of tokyo, japan. under the creative direction of gwenael nicolas — head of multidisciplinary design studio curiosity — the theme of the concept-store is ‘light & shadow’. curiosity stays more than true to the brand’s luxurious roots, producing a dolce & gabbana location that is nothing short of decadent. the firm’s design blends shades of vivid luminosity with seductive obscurity, an effect that extends throughout the store’s 550 square meters. the result is something like an aladdin’s cave of treasures, where light — or lack thereof — casts new perspectives on the brand’s luxurious range.

dolce gabbana gwenael nicolas
the jewelry is displayed in a golden alcove off the main concourse



the mens and women’s ready-to-wear collections are displayed on the ground floor, alongside the designer’s accessories and small leather goods. meanwhile, the first floor is home to the men’s formalwear, women’s evening wear, and footwear. in what is undoubtedly the pièce de résistance in curiosity’s design, the store’s jewelry collection is housed in a special anteroom off the main concourse where a golden carpet leads an aesthetic that extends into every facet of the alcove: walls and ceilings are finished in brass panelling and details, while lights installed into the ceiling ensure the sun of sicily is always shining at dolce & gabbana.

dolce gabbana gwenael nicolas
the mood and perspective of the central space changes drastically depending on light



across the building, 400 moving spotlights are in constant transition, alternatively illuminating and concealing targeted displays. using the artistic technique of chiaroscuro as a point of reference, gewnael nicolas has created an interior caught in constant contours of light and dark, a world of theatrics in perpetual flux. as a focal point, a golden staircase in the center of the room leads shoppers up to the second level.


the opulence of the store continues outside, where the exterior is wrapped entirely in arabescato marble, excluding only the dolce & gabbana title pane above the door, which is cut from black carnico marble. 

dolce gabbana gwenael nicolas
a golden stairway anchors the otherwise compound black space

dolce gabbana gwenael nicolas
spotlights on the roof are used to demarcate display areas

dolce gabbana gwenael nicolas
the clever use of light and darkness within the space creates the effect of a room within a room

dolce gabbana gwenael nicolas
different elements and products are illuminated, depending on the configuration of the lights

dolce gabbana gwenael nicolas
the brand was founded in 1985 in legnano by italian designers domenico dolce and stefano gabbana

dolce gabbana gwenael nicolas
curiosity studios ethos involves imbuing objects of beauty with an alluring functionality 

dolce gabbana gwenael nicolas
the exterior is arabescato marble, while the pane above the door is black carnico marble

dolce gabbana gwenael nicolas
the idea of light and dark, of concealing and revealing, is pervasive throughout the space



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