On the occasion of the ICWF, International Convention of Wedding Fraternity, which was held in Venice recently, I was invited as a speaker to talk about luxury and lifestyle in events planning means to me.
It was a real honor for me to welcome to my beloved Venice the great professionals who joined the event in town. Venice has always been the inspiring muse of my career and my life as a creator.
I was born and raised in this beautiful city and since I was a young child I have felt the privilege of of breathing the true essence of every corner of this town. This is the reason why Venice became the natural setting for the events I organize, both here in Venice and worldwide. It’s not the precise reconstruction of the town’s architecture that characterizes the atmosphere I recreate, it’s the Dream it represents, and all that lingers in the imagination of those who choose it as the emblematic place to fulfill their dream.
A wedding is, undoubtedly, the Dream par excellence, the privilege of loving and being loved and to share with the ones that are closest to us – to offer a dream is a privilege to me.
I’ve been asked to tell what luxury and lifestyle in events means to me. The event gave me the chance of collecting my thoughts and share my own vision of luxury behind my career.
LUXURY AS TIME
Indeed, it is thanks to time that we can dream, create, and love, but also to enjoy beauty and freedom.
Without time, none of these values could have a part in our lives.
As we rush our lives, we often either look back in regret or look forward with anxiety, do we not?
So – is there a better day to stop and enjoy the luxury of living in the present than the one of our wedding?
When I meet a couple in love wanting to plan their wedding, the first luxury I take into consideration with them is precisely to make sure that, on their wedding day, they treat their guest and themselves by taking care of the time they will spend together. “To care for one another” is one of the values that is celebrated in weddings, on the day of the event to try and create a moment in which “to care for your own time” and to create an atmosphere and an ambiance accompanying both the protagonists and their guests in a dimension of lightness, where fantasy takes us beyond material things. A world where everything is possible, to undo everyday rules, as long as we give ourselves and enjoy the moment, for a day, for one night … all life long!
This is one of the parts of my job I love the most: to create settings, decoration and shows that tell a story, a story of which everyone can be a protagonist and free their mind, without prejudices.
LUXURY AS FANTASY
How often do we hear about “daydreaming”?
The ability to go back to the time we were kids is a luxury, as it allows us to overcome our limits.
An event is successful as long as it offers the guests some benefits they will take with them over time, in their memory, and relive the sense of wonder and fun. For example, as far as I’m concerned, when I design and realize my costumes, fantasy is my most reliable companion, as it enables me to interpret endless stories for person who will wear it. The best feedback I get is when the guests of the events come to my atelier for their fitting and when even the most reluctant ones immediately change their minds as soon as their start to try the costumes on – I can clearly see the sparkle in their eyes that makes me understand the inner doors of the world of fantasy are finally opening up.
What a marvel it is for me to try and imagine the fairytale they are living deep inside themselves!
LUXURY AS EMOTIONS
I’ve always believed it, and I’ve been doing it since my debut with my most renowned event in the world, Il Ballo del Doge, whose first edition was held on 1994 and now got to its 27th edition, and it now is a really common topic: luxury not only is the possession of something tangible, but also and foremost is a personal experience of paramount quality.
Emotions are the very core of the experiences that linger in memory for a long time.
The exceptional quality and uniqueness of the emotions a guest lives, are the actual luxury. A luxury that is impalpable, in which the desire of fulfillment is not satiated by the possession of an object, but by the desire of living something worth telling.
A few years ago, a guest of Il Ballo del Doge told me “Vous êtes la page qu’on a pas envie de tourner”. That, I believe it is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever been told and that proved me that emotions are the most luxurious commodity to be produced and, I hope, even the one rewarded the most by our clients!
LUXURY AS SHARING
If emotions are today’s luxury, the possibility to share them and to make them available to our beloved ones is both the sparkle that guides the quest for them and a challenge to those who, as we do, organize memorable events in the life of our clients.
It’s not a coincidence that, today, the act of sharing is overcoming the limits of our private lives and, through the ether, gets to our most distant contacts, thanks to social networks.
There is, maybe, a form of exhibitionism in all of this, yet I am a hopeless romantic and I believe that images tell more than words ever can – and this is not a matter of frivolity: probably, going back to the origins of mankind images were, even before words, the very first means of communication, because they were tangible and understandable to everyone across time.
To share with the closest to us and the ones farthest away.
A luxury event gives us an experience that allows us to share the emotions that are meaningful to us, for our wellbeing and the relations we cherish the most (our family, our friends, our colleagues).
To be able to create new emotions is such a rare thing it is considered a luxury.
In my events’ backstage, I realize my team and myself are so emphatically involved we live the emotion that is happening on the front-line with the same excitement.
LUXURY AS ETHIC
The reasons why I believe luxury is something positive and not to be demonized can be summarized into three of them:
– High-end products represent a sector for the economy of a country
– To choose them is both responsible and ethical, as quality and craftsmanship are preserved
– Real luxury is sustainable, it respects both people and the environment
Thirty years ago, I decided to found my business in the historical center of Venice, where I still operate. Logistics in Venice are complex and surely not the easiest ones, but to me it is a source of pride to be able to preserve productions that operates at the heart of Venice, to employ many young people living in Venice and its outskirts, to carry on the Venice artisanal traditions by designing and realizing by hand, together with my team of real artisanal artists the decoration and scenes, the costumes, the fashion lines, the fabrics, the decors and every detail of an event that, as I love to say, is an original “Hand-made with love in Venice”.
It is important to spread a great deal this kind of culture, as to choose ethical luxury also means to support a market’s sustainability and to enhance skills.
LUXURY AS DETAIL
We are used to thinking about craftsmanship in fashion, but behind the realization of a luxury event lies an enormous amount of artisanal work. It has to be so, the better to express one’s own creativity in the realization of an event that fits the customer like a glove, a tailor-made work is necessary: from the creative idea to its realization, in which the detail is never of secondary importance.
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo Da Vinci and, as a creative, I can’t help but to be fascinated by the personality of Leonardo, for the geniality with which he sketched and designed his machines for special effects and for the theatre generally, a forerunner of the great Hollywood scenographers.
I can’t refrain from borrowing a quote of the great Maestro: details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail.
What makes an event non-replicable lies in the details, in those apparently secondary intuitions that give uniqueness to the experience.
This is the most challenging and exciting part for me, as it enables me to give an unexpected and final touch to an event, even when everything seems to be defined already. You surely feel that sense of joy pervading you when you disclose to your client the unexpected surprise, those details that will always make the difference to them!
LUXURY AS LIBERTY
Luxury is a liberty, and I take it all!
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