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PaperCity Houston July:August 2022

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Page 25 of 67

T here is nothing more magical then wandering amongst the mysterious streets and storied bridges of Venice. Particularly if it's under a misty rain at sunset with the hordes of tourists having left — that almost indescribable time when the city again offers itself up in all its unique splendor — for yet another unforgettable night full of hushed possibilities. After traversing a sensual maze filled with the promise of a stunning revelation at the end, we found ourselves at the beautifully lit façade of the Teatro La Fenice where the Venetian Heritage Gala awaited. Guests appeared, locked arm in arm, from darkened corners and boat docks. Dashing gentlemen with chiseled features in tuxedos holding sizable black umbrellas to escort the beautiful ladies in evening gowns (mostly Dior creations), draped in long noir capes. A cavalcade of lithe models, European aristocracy, and philanthropic Americans like moths flocking to the light, ready to reveal their inner butterflies. And, if the arrival to the party was that magical, one can only imagine the spectacle awaiting inside. Supported once again by Maison Dior, the annual fundraising event gathered friends from all corners of the globe during the opening week of the Biennale 2022, the 59th International Art Exhibition in Venice. The majestic theatre, stripped of all its seats, welcomed guests for sumptuous cocktails while a stunning light and music installation projected on the surrounding curved walls made the experience feel like swimming in a coupe of champagne. Ushered by the ever-charming Toto Bergamo Rossi (famed Italian restorer and director of the Venetian Heritage Foundation), guests were seated at tables ornately dressed and adorned with delicate flowers, embroidered linens, porcelain, and gilt cutlery that one rarely sees out for consumption anymore in our overly utilitarian day-to-day world. Of course, it had been a couple of years since we had all been together. The international jet set's glamorous exercise of dressing for glorious affairs that celebrate the old-meets-new world was once again in motion — the elegance of screen goddesses such as Catherine Deneuve, Maya Hawke, and Mathilde Warnier mingling with international taste makers like Alvise Orsini and Edgardo Osorio. Also on hand was Peter Marino, in one of his signature custom leather ensembles, accompanied by the ever- stunning Cornelia Guest, a newly minted Texan. In addition, the wits of contemporary artists like Marc Quinn stirred with the aristocratic style of H.R.H. Princess Firyal of Jordan. It's this type of curated guest list that is a pitch-perfect recipe for a grand night of escapist merriment. That effervescent mix of CEOs, fashion tycoons, designers and models, and society grandes dames from far- reaching destinations — Houston to Paris, Uzbekistan to Morocco, London to L.A. — had all rushed to the Laguna to support the work Venetian Heritage does in restoring this unique World Heritage Site. The $1.5 million raised will go towards the restoration of the Ca' d'Oro, one of the most iconic buildings on the Grand Canal, and the never-ending need of proper preservation and respect this city craves and deserves from all of us who love it so much. By Filippo Tattoni-Marcozzi Beatrice Borromeo & Pierre Casiraghi Becca Cason Thrash Bianca Brandolini d'Adda Rosamund Pike Cornelia Guest Peter Marino GRANDE VENETIAN EVENING 24

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