Out With Alisa: Dolce and Gabbana’s Masquerade Ball


This month I was invited by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana to come take in their runway show in Milan and attend the Venetian Masquerade Ball they held last weekend. From the hand-written invitations and inspiration look-books the duo sent out to the custom-made Venetian masks crated for each guest and the gondola transportation – every detail was absolute perfection!

When I arrived at the airport on Friday morning, I was greeted by one of Dolce and Gabbana’s representatives, who gave me a lovely welcome with a hand-painted Dolce and Gabbana scarf. From there, I was taken by boat to the hotel room the designers had reserved for me at the newly-renovated Aman property on the Grand Canal. In my room there was a Dolce and Gabbana box waiting for me, with a special hand-made mask and my invitation to the ball. A month before the designers had asked us about our favorite color, so my floral-design mask was in my favorite pink, with pink sequins and crystals around the eyes. It felt like the beginning of a fairytale!

We all had lunch on the terrace of the Hotel Monaco, and in the afternoon we went to one of Venice’s most beautiful palaces, the Palazzi Barbaro. One of the homes of Italy’s patrician Barbaro family, the doors of the Palazzi Barbaro are rarely opened, with only three parties hosted there before. Inside, the palazzo was decorated with 18th century Venetian clowns and a band, while we were given beautiful Dolce and Gabbana veils. Then the amazing show got underway, as Dolce and Gabbana presented their new Alta Moda collection. Since the Palazzi Barbaro dates back to the 15th century, it did not have air conditioning, but even considering that it was beautiful! After the show Dolce and Gabbana chauffeured guests to a dinner on the terrace of the Hotel Danieli.

The next day we all had lunch at Hotel Cipriani, and then we spent the day getting ready for the masquerade ball. After a quick dinner at the Gritti Palace, we were taken by gondola to the ball, which was held at the Palazzo Pisani Moretta. It was incredible to watch the guests arriving via the city’s famous Grand Canal. When we disembarked, the name of each guest was announced, and we were personally welcomed by Domenico Dolce (who was dressed like a harlequin) and Stefano Gabbana (who was wearing a traditional bull fighters’ torero outfit). The Palazzo Pisani Moretta was completely decked out for the evening with Baroque-style decorations, with all guests and even the servers in 18th century outfits. At the beginning of the night guests danced traditional waltzes, while later on the dj Graziano Della Nebbia played contemporary songs for everyone to dance!

Guests included Giovanna Battaglia, Karen Elson, Bianca Brandolini D’Adda, Eugenia Silva, Audrey Tautou, the Duke of Anjou Alfonso de Borbon, Naomi Miller and Anna Dello Russo.