CHANGE UNIVERSE: Magazine Jewels
VeniceJuly 11, 2013

A Tale of Dolce & Cabbana Masquerade

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Find an exclusive first hand account from the Dolce&Gabbana Masquerade Ball in Venice where age-old customs, fashionable glamour and contemporary fun merge seamlessly.
The shocking pink lights shone from Palazzo Pisani Moretta on the waters of the Canal Grande, where gondolas and motorboats crowded the jetty, the floating platform which was in fact invented by the venetians to allow boarding the boats with ease. Tonight it is decorated to the nines, with plumes and the lightest feathers transforming it into a red carpet ready to receive the guests of “Un Ballo in Maschera”, the sumptuous Venetian inspired party thrown by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, in homage to the marvel of Venice, where the day before they showed their Alta Moda creations.

The guests arrive on gondolas and motorboats, 400 from the four corners of the Earth. Together with the invitation they received a hand made Venetian mask, unique, irreplaceable, in accordance to the values that inspire the Italian designers’ Alta Moda.

And here are the masks, covering the faces of the guests, welcomed by perfectly made up footmen, a truly reflection 18th century Venice, who introduce each guest to the hosts: Domenico Dolce, dressed like a Harlequin and Stefano Gabbana, in a torero suit.

Once inside the guests find themselves wrapped in a magical vortex of burlesque choreographies, seductive mise-en-scene by the horde of masks which allude and lead the guests to making their way to the floor above.

Here an 18th century guised pianist entertains the guests which swarm the gallery while Bellini cocktails, served by impeccably disguised waiters, provide classic Venetian respite. And here come Coco and Bianca Brandolini d’Adda, who under their masks they let themselves go with Audrey Tatou under, while Giovanna and Sara Battaglia greet friends from afar, telling them how impossible it is to detach oneself from the beauty of Venice.

Franca SozzaniPaloma FaithDiego Bivero and Karen Elson enter the scene. Anna Dello Russo jokes withOlivia Grant, while the pianoforte concerto makes way for the waltz, which warms the bodies and the costumes.Marpessa’s allure and Tabitha Simmon’s elegance underpin the mood of the evening.

A whirlwind of winks and smiles, uncontrollable giggles and suggestive looks emerge from below the masks, a true commitment by each guest to a masterful interpretation of a real Venetian Masquerade Ball. Hamish Bowles seems particularly impressed by the atmosphere; he looks around wide eyed and chats with a wild Rose McGowan.

Spotted beneath the masks are also Daisy Lowe and Eugenia SilvaAlfonso de Borbon and Naomi Miller.Kate King is enchanting, and her attitude of the damsel, lost in the meandering court seems written by Goldoniespecially for this night. The wonder of Yann Le Bourbouach hangs in mid air between a pianoforte’s whisper and a turn of dance, when on the ground floor there is an explosion of contemporary music from Italian Dj Graziano Della Nebbia’s fingertips, impeccably transformed into an 18th century Casanova- a surreal union of opposites: “so Dolce&Gabbana!”

Oh! And all of a sudden, in keeping with the mystery of the new and somewhat unknown, like a barely palpable illusion, Giulia Manin appears, in her costume, a splendid Mediterranean beauty, the protagonist of many whispers, true of any Venetian Comedy: “they say she has bewitched the hearts of the designers”.

While downstairs masks from ages gone by dance to the tune of Daft Punk, in the main salon, guests congregate between balconies set up for the vice of tobacco, and in sumptuous parlours where enraptured by the ecstasy of a unrepeatable atmosphere they let go in insolent and amused idle chatter. Brushed by the sensation of one great and magical illusion, here in the Venice of marvels, where the only certainty is doubt and the only consolation is the prank!

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The image credits Getty

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