Paris Haute Couture took a lesson in evening wear, from table tops to crop tops, from Lauren Santo Domingo last night. The co-founder and brand director of Moda Operandi, already infamous for her guest lists, hosted cocktail parties alongside Giambattista Valli (and with the help of Digame Events) to celebrate the designer’s exclusive collection in Moda within the Gismondi Gallery. Inside the three-level space that’s usually a retreat if you know you know the city, Regny & Pidansat Champagne and lively conversation flowed as attendees dove inside to witness what Valli described as “casual intimate dining” settings that seemed to reflect the week’s luxurious dreams and cool personalities.
“At one point, I heard seven different languages around me,” Santo Domingo said of the international crowd that Couture Week made possible. Guests of the evening, including Marie-Chantal Crown Princess of Greece and Olympia of Greece, Korlan Madi, Olivia Palermo, Raf Reyes, Jessica Aidi, Ivy Getty and Bianca Brandolini, ranged from fashion and art insiders to talented emerging and close friends. Giambattista Valli’s Santo Domingo tweed ensemble for the evening comes from Brandolini’s own closet – or rather the body – after the model (who closed Valli’s show this week in a candy pink confection) arrived at her 4th of July evening by wearing it. And for evenings like this, “when the ball gown is too much, we have a silver oyster shooterjoked Santo Domingo of the dishes prepared in collaboration with Jean-Paul Vaugoin scattered across the large table set for six (and surrounded by more) alongside roses and peonies sourced from Natur’Elle and Valli himself.
“The idea is to be in the countryside, and the decor you’re going to see on the tables is almost created by nature itself – there’s wind on the pergola and all these flowers falling and insects and butterflies on the table,” Valli said of his vision for the large painting, nodding to a smaller one-on-one frame draped in marigolds by Louis Castor of Castor Fleuriste which depicted the encounter when he and Santo Domingo decided to spend the next three years researching artists and designers across the globe to produce each piece. “It all started when Lauren messaged me on Instagram,” said Kenza Echouafn from Santo Domingo, spotting sheets made by her Moroccan homewares brand Atelier Houria Tazi. The family studio employs many of the same female makers his mother began working with nearly 40 years ago (their craftsmanship emerges in the collection in intricate ways embroidered sheets).