PaperCity Magazine

September 2016 - Houston

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Page 41 of 197

T here are no birds left with feathers in all of Florence! So exclaimed a Florentine guest at the summer apartments of the princely Palazzo Corsini on the banks of the river Arno. The scene was the first evening of Aquazarra designer Edgardo Osorio's two-day 30th-birth- day extravaganza. Indeed, the Eccentric Jungle–themed party was a triumph of lush vegeta- tion, wild animal prints, African beads, stuffed parrots, and, of course, colorful feathers. Hailing from every stylish corner of the world, 400 guests descended upon Florence for the weekend celebration. To greet them, Osorio sat enthroned like the mythological offspring of an African ruler and a Mayan deity. Flanked by body-painted guards reminiscent of Keith Haring's personages and set off by a backdrop of jungle-sized palm trees and exotic flowers, Osorio looked awe-inspiring in a headpiece of radiant-red feathers and a zebra-skin coat. The ground floor of the palazzo had been decorated and propped to create a lavish, sexy atmosphere: A bar with floor-to-ceiling leopard-print wall coverings set the mood for the night, which culminated in a grand salon that had been transformed into a nightclub. Hundreds of zebra-shaped balloons embraced the fres- coed ceiling and its circa-18th- century chandeliers, like a Pop Art version of a prehistoric cave. The best decorations were surely the guests: Naty Abascal, Duchess of Feria, wore a long, flowing leopard-print dress by Giambattista Valli, completed with a headdress of cascading red and purple feathers — a fashionable, mythological animal that was half-feline and half-rooster. Spanish super- model Nieves Alvarez stunned in a figure-hugging Balmain dress and gold butterfly mask. Princess Lucilla Bonaccorsi di Reburdone stole the show, however, in a dreamy dress of white tulle and purple feathers made by her mother, Milanese designer Luisa Beccaria. The pressure to dress to impress was felt by everyone — myself included. In a last- minute creative attempt, I made a run to my family's nearby country house and found, in what we call the "fabric closet," several old feather dusters made with multicolor rooster plumes, an ancient embroi- dered Guatemalan poncho and some oriental silks. A turban that would have put Carmen Miranda to shame was quickly concocted, and — voilà — I was ready to knock everyone off the stage with just a quick turn of my neck! I was quickly named the feather-duster dude and am sure the old Princess Corsini will be eternally grateful for the good spring-clean I did around the palace! The second night was held in the grand courtyard and the piano nobile of the palazzo. The Surrealist-themed bal-en-tête was an elegant rendez- vous of couture dresses and dream- like headpieces paying homage to everything oneiric. For this evening, I was better prepared, having commis- sioned London–based artist Tuesday Riddell to create a huge lobster chapeau encrusted in Swarovski crys- tals, all in reference to Salvador Dalí and Isabella Blow. It was my lucky night, as I was seated at the lavish dinner between two of my favorite Texas girls. On one side, I had Georgina Hartland from Dallas, who was resplendent in Valentino. (For the Eccentric Jungle the night prior, she wore a Michael Faircloth couture dress with peacock feathers, while daughter-in-law Nasiba Hartland-Mackie, who also lives in Dallas, played a radiant unicorn in Rodarte.) To my other side was Dallas- born, New York–based Amy Phelan, who donned a shocking-pink gown by Oscar de la Renta and a headpiece of hundreds of pink butterflies designed by Los Angeles milliner Fabhatters. The Duchess of Feria made a grand Ricardo D'Almeida Figueiredo; Naty Abascal, Duchess of Feria; Edgardo Osorio Nasiba Hartland-Mackie Michael Coorengel; Naty Abascal, Duchess of Feria My-Hanh Tran, Ricardo D'Almeida Figueiredo, Indre Rockefeller Chantal Sciuto Filippo Tattoni-Marcozzi Amy Phelan Ekaterina Mukhina 38

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