Images by Virgile Guinard
Back in 1951, Charles de Beistegui – the legendarily flamboyant interior designer and art collector – threw what was fittingly dubbed the “Ball of the Century” in Venice, with costumes by attendees Christian Dior and Salvador Dali. The night is remarkably still buzzed about to this day.
This past Saturday, without the slightest pretension to topping Beistegui’s storied fête, Dior and its Italian Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri simply paid it glamorous, extravagant homage with their lavish Tiepolo Ball at the 17th Century Palazzo Labia. It was timed perfectly, of course, to the start of this year’s always enthusiastically anticipated Venice Biennale – and benefitted the Venetian Heritage foundation.
Very special guests Karlie Kloss, Sienna Miller and Monica Bellucci were gloriously adorned in bespoke gowns that were a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between Dior and the Venetian fabric houses of Rubelli and Bevilacqua.
Rising to the glittering occasion, a “performance” by artist ParolaBianca featured a moving tableau of dancers and stilt walkers, set against a surreally starry night sky, themed around the 12 signs of the zodiac. Other boldfaced names looking on in wonder included Tilda Swinton, Ellen Von Unworth, Hamish Bowles, Cornelia Guest, Dasha Zhukova and architect Peter Marino.