Post on 06.03.2019

Carnival, Costume and Couture

Those who meet Denis Durand for the first time would never guess that the French designer also has a big passion for the celebrated Venice Carnival where he organizes every year a private, very coveted bal masqué.

A privilege in the world of fashion, Denis Durand is one of the rare designers to take personal care of his customers. Not only does he welcome his visitors with a delightful generosity, but he also designs and realizes each of his extraordinary creations in person. However, once a year, the highly skilled couturier invests his time and energy in another passion, the Venice Carnival where he and a group of happy fews organize a big private event in a historic Palazzo.

Named “Fantasmique Casanova”, this sophisticated bal masqué offers the opportunity to set up fantastic scenery in a perfectly appropriate venue, while showcasing his talent for costume design. The 2019 edition themed the Year’s Grand Vampire Bal is no exception to the extravagant fiestas that one can expect during Carnival. Among the ugly and scary creatures that will be roaming around, Denis Durand’s costumes might simply become the major attraction. Starting his career as a theater costume designer, after a childhood spent in a family of silk weavers in Lyons, the couturier’s early passion for historic costumes remains intact. In fashion history, he confesses a preference for 18th century style and the sumptuous “robes” worn by ladies at the court such as Madame de Pompadour.

Nevertheless, with his magic fingers Durand is able to stitch these Robes à la française and other splendors in the same perfect way as he makes the modern array of garments including chic dresses, beautifully tailored jackets and fantastic evening gowns for his worldly clients. Clearly, with this multi-skilled couturier, the traditional debate amongst fashion professionals whether fashion can be considered art or craft seems definitely relevant.

Jacqueline Sablayrolles