PaperCity Magazine


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 61 of 63

60 I t's that eagerly anticipated time when we do our annual fl ip on a theme. Think of that other famous magazine's annual Swimsuit Edition … Here at PaperCity, we do the opposite, taking a break from the ladies who make our city great (She's the Bomb) to ogle a boy dressed for the summer. This month's Bomb is the boyishly handsome and utterly enchanting Alvise Orsini. Alvise moved to Dallas a few years ago when his husband, Geoffroy van Raemdonck, was appointed CEO of Neiman Marcus after a successful tenure at Ralph Lauren. The two relocated from Paris with their toddler twins, Charles and Hadrian — the latter, named for the emperor known for his building projects throughout the Roman Empire, not to mention Hadrian's Wall in northern Britain. The twins are now four. "They are a gang," Alvise says lovingly, with a hint of the exhaustion that comes from rearing young children. At a recent rendezvous to discuss his Bomb feature, social distancing was in full force. Alvise fl ung open the dramatic, classically paneled door of his family's Lakewood home and greeted me with exaggerated hand-flung air-kisses. The architecturally significant h o m e , w h o s e p r e v i o u s pedigreed owners include some Hunts, is Italian Renaissance-inspired, designed by architect Anton Korn in the 1920s. It seems straight out of a Rudolph Valentino fi lm — apropos, given the old Hollywood glamour exuded by its current owners. Think a pairing of Cary Grant and Errol Flynn. The couple enchants everyone they meet with charm, wit, and mellifl uous accents (Alvise is Italian; Geoffroy hails from Belgium) as they share stories of their fabled lives. One of those is the tale of how they met: at a luncheon that Geoffroy, while working at Louis Vuitton, was hosting during the Venice Biennale. Alvise was born in Venice, where his parents and older sister still live. He attended a high school that specialized in the arts, then studied architecture in college. During that time, his matinee- idol looks were noticed, and he began modeling; indeed, it's hard not to get lost in his azure eyes when he talks about subjects that are important to him, from performing arts groups in Dallas to his latest design remodel in Highland Park. In his early 20s, he worked for a contemporary art gallery in Paris. He fondly recalls those carefree years living among elegant sophisticates who were amused by his joie de vivre. Next, he moved to London, where he remained for 15 years. There he founded Orsini Design, a full-service interior and commercial architecture and design fi rm. He also served as head of design for French architect and designer Jacques Garcia. His voice slows a moment when discussing that era, in hushed respect to a man he feels privileged to call both mentor and friend. They designed homes all over Europe, an experience that Alvise says refi ned his tastes and ability to adeptly juggle projects around the globe. Alvise's exquisite style ranges from great drama to great restraint, when needed. He's been known to cover walls in mink or extravagant Chinese wallpaper, but his greatest achievement, he says, comes from creating something that mirrors a client's personality and lifestyle. Whether classical or modern, embellished and baroque, or clean- lined minimalism, he delights in any challenge put before him. Even though Alvise's plate might seem terribly full, he always fi nds time to give back to Dallas, the community he now considers home. He and his husband are NorthPark Ambassadors and have chosen the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, where Geoffroy serves on the board, as the benefi ciary of their work. Alongside Ann Hobson (our girl in March 2018), Alvise has been enlisted to launch the Friends of Klyde Warren Park. It brings a tear to my eye when he speaks with such passion about this outdoor haven in the middle of the Dallas Arts District — and the role it will play when we once again come together as a community. Approximate date. Winter 2000. Occasion. A trip to Mustique for my birthday. What you were wearing. I guess it was Sundek swim trunks and a too-dressy cotton shirt. What price fashion. Seriously? Who knows. I do remember one of the fi rst luxury items I purchased was when I went to Florence with a friend to do some proper High Street shopping. I bought a beautiful Dries Van Noten T-shirt. It was the most staggering price I had ever paid. Why this is a picture. I was in my 20s, living in London, looking good, and starting my life as an interior designer. It's a coming-of-age picture of a young Venetian in love with travel, architecture, and good times! B Y B I L L Y F O N G HE'S THE BOMB ALVISE ORSINI Alvise Orsini, Mustique, 2000

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of PaperCity Magazine - PaperCity_Dallas_July_August_2020