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Fashion / Style File

Europe’s Sexiest Party

Stunning Duchesses, Texas Beauties and Dancing Past Dawn

BY Filippo Tattoni-Marcozzi // 08.31.16
photography JAMES KELLY, GERMAN LARKIN

Imagine the invitation: two nights of parties in a Florentine palace in honor of handsome Aquazurra designer Edgardo Osorio’s 30th birthday. This dual extravaganza may be Osorio’s most over-the-top creation to date, combining couture, Europe’s sexiest duchesses, a sprinkling of Texas gems, and more than a handful of Ferragamos. From the Eccentric Jungle fête to the Surrealist Ball, contributor Filippo Tattoni-Marcozzi dances past dawn.

There 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-birthday extravaganza. Indeed, the Eccentric Jungle–themed party was a triumph of lush vegetation, 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 frescoed ceiling and its circa 18th-century chandeliers, like a Pop Art version of a prehistoric cave.

The best decorations were surely the guests: Naty AbascalDuchess 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 supermodel 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 — moi 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 embroidered Guatemalan poncho and some oriental silks. A turban that would 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!

Holiday Gifting

  • Oscar De La Renta - Earrings
  • Elaine Turner - GiGi Flats
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Cle Du Peau - Nail Polish
  • Loeffler Randall - Shoes
  • Cotton Club
  • Wayne Smith
  • Asher Gallery
  • Cotton Club
  • Loeffler Randall - Clutch
  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston
  • Oscar De La Renta - Clutch
  • Cle Du Peau - Lip Gloss
  • Wayne Smith
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Elaine Turner - Felicia Stole in Magenta
  • Bond No 9 - Candle
  • Bond No 9 - Perfume

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 rendezvous of couture dresses and dreamlike headpieces paying homage to everything oneiric. For this evening, I was better prepared, having commissioned London–based artist Tuesday Riddell to create a huge lobster chapeau encrusted in Swarovski crystals, 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 entrance in a monumental white dress with a train that was three meters long and a fabulous headpiece shaped like a white chandelier with flickering eyes. My dancing companions, Venetian Countess Viola Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga in Luisa Beccaria couture and her date, Charles Forte (the scion of the Forte hotelier dynasty), provided the best — and most fun — entertainment as we twirled by the DJ console that was shaped like huge puckered lips.

While the sun rose on the other side of the river, diehard guests retired to Osorio’s private apartments on the top floor. Here, we danced well into the next day, when we amazed tourists in the streets with the most glamorous walk-of-shame I have ever done!

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