What Happens In Venice Stays In Venice

imagesCan you keep a secret?

The year is 1753 and you are at the spot to lose your fortune, the Ridotto in Venice. The thousand-year-old Republic is still a few decades away from Bonaparte rounding up the horses on the Piazza San Marco, but at the Ridotto’s eighty gaming tables it’s faro (a variation on baccarat derived from the king card “pharaoh”) that is pillaging the coffers of Europe’s crème.

imgres-1You have paused in the sala lunga, the candlelit hall where the crowd lingers to lick their gambling wounds, when the long shadow of a slender boyish figure dances by like a moth in the flickering flames. It belongs to Andrea Memmo, twenty-four-year-old member of the Venetian ruling caste who is doing what such men are meant for – chasing after a captivating woman, seventeen-year-old Giustiniana Wynne, while her mother runs interference. “I don’t know how it all ended at the Ridotto,” he writes Giustiniana the next day. “As long as I was in your mother’s range I tried to conceal myself.” Read more . . .


The Sultanette And The City Series

ALL-NEW EPISODE: The Sultanette defies sleet, slush and hat hair to watch NYC’s downtown fashion subversives walk on the wild side of the runway.

Fashion Inspiration at Launch NYC

Fashion Inspiration at Launch NYC

Since the pre-pubescent Sultanette marched up the aisle of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in white taffeta and rosary bead accessories to receive her First Holy Communion, I’ve been circumspect about how I dress up to get on my knees.

The next watershed moment was at the YSL couture show while living in Paris, by invitation of a Time Magazine journalist I’d met there. The venue, an imposing palais that looked like it might have hosted the Third Reich during their unstylish WWII sojourn, was now jampacked with the fashion cabal. Read more . . .