The Colliseum–Chad Buchanan, our ESCAPESEEKER still
photographer when to great lengths to capture this image.

Chad stopped in his tracks when he witnessed these two
sisters praying in front of the Vatican at dusk.

Haute Couture Designer, Guillermo Mariotto, presenting
the vestments he designed for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

Audrey Hepburn’s exquisite “Empire gown” (pictured above) worn in the 1956 classic film, War and Peace, earned Fernanda Gattinoni, the Maison’s founder, an Oscar nomination.

Princess Grazia Borghese,
Internationally Renowned Jewelry Designer

Rome, Italy–With a special invitation from the oldest haute couture fashion house in Italy, Maison Gattinoni, we were able to get a first hand look of the creative genius behind two of Italy’s most gifted designers: Guillermo Mariotto, Creative Director of Gattinoni Couture and Princess Grazia Borghese, internationally renowned jewelry designer. (Both Guillermo and Grazia pictured above in black.) Together they create a visual feast of high fashion: It’s HAUTE COUTURE meets HAUTE JOAILLERIE as they jointly tell the story and demonstrate the lasting beauty found in designs handcrafted in the Maison Gattinoni. From Lana Turner, Ava Garder, Elizabeth Taylor, Ingrid Bergman to Audrey Hepburn, Maison Gattinoni has been the one called upon to design and create the most unforgettable gowns worn by the world’s legendary women of cinema. By the way, Audrey Hepburn’s exquisite “Empire gown” (pictured above) worn in the 1956 classic film, War and Peace, for which Fernanda Gattinoni, the Maison’s founder received an Oscar nomination must be a size zero! I examined it first hand. She definitely makes me look beefy! By the way, it is also the Maison Gattinoni where women in politics turn to when only the finest will do for their momentous occasions–Jacqueline Kennedy, Eva Peron, Princess Diana, just to name a few.

For people like me who are a ‘slave to fashion’–it was truly a privilege to visit Maison Gattinoni, a house who has dedicated itself to the art of fashion…we even met the gifted artisans who labor for hours hand crafting each creation, under the direction of Guillermo. One tailor has worked for Gattinoni for 50 years. She started when she was 14!

Guillermo was an absolute delight. Both he and Princess Borghese are ready-made for television–so easy to interview–with outstanding soundbite after soundbite–stories that only insiders of fashion can share. For instance, how many designers receive the honor of creating the vestments for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI during the Holy Father’s visit to Assisi in 2007 to mark the eighth centenary of the conversion of Saint Francis? Yes, it was Guillermo Mariotto. It is also Guillermo who is among the celebrity judges of the Italian version of Dancing with the Stars, and Nights on Ice. I asked him if he was the equivalent of Idol’s Simon Cowell, and he just grinned with a giant smile, and answered, “YES!”

So make sure you stay tuned to ESCAPESEEKER’s premiere episode featuring Italy, and entitled, La Dolce Vita, and discover for yourselves the geniuses behind MAISON GATTINONI. For a sneak peak, I’ve posted a few of Princess Borghese’s designs which was recently featured on the catwalk of Santo Spirito in Sassia–a great display of fashion and emotions by Guillermo’s dresses and the precious creations of Princess Borghese. Long pearl necklaces, gold, tormaline and rubies. Ostrich eggs with opale of fire. Three thousand black diamonds on the Gattinoni’s catwalk proves nothing is spared to showcase the lasting legacy began by Fernanda GATTINONI, the undisputed protagonist of international fashion…and as everyone in Rome attest, fashion is an absolutely important element of La Dolce Vita!


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