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Italian Fashion Couture Bridal Tradition and the Power of the Veil



Italian Fashion Couture Bridal Tradition and the Power of the Veil


The Week of the Italian Language in the World promotes Italian as a great language of classical and contemporary culture. Every year the diplomatic and cultural network of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation chooses a theme for this initiative and organizes a series of events in the third week of October. In 2016, under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic of Italy, for the XVI edition of the Week of the Italian Language in the World - October 18 through October 24 - the chosen theme is "L'Italiano e la creatività: marchi e costumi, moda e design".

As part of these series of events, the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Washington DC, in collaboration with Italians in DC, the Georgetown College Italian Research Institute, and Le D.I.V.E., invite you to a conference by Enrica Ponzellini, Editor, Vogue Sposa, and Max Botticelli, Fashion Photographer, in dialogue with Alison Miller, Creative Director, Monvieve, and the opening of the fashion exhibit Italian Fashion Couture Bridal Tradition and the Power of the Veil, which will be on display until October 24, 2016. 

The bridal veil dates back to ancient Rome. 

An Italian tradition that has stirred emotion for centuries, it has become the symbolic accessory that best exemplifies ‘bridal’ around the globe.  Eternally timeless yet steeped in tradition, the veil represents a wonderful window onto the world of Italian design and couture manufacturing. 

This event will present Italian couture and discuss what Made in Italy truly means, focused through a singular fashion product- the most significant and powerful bridal accessory that exists in the world today. Photography and video will illustrate the many ‘bridal vignettes’ that a veil inspires throughout the bridal arc, and that this accessory lives well beyond its historic and symbolic oeuvre

The sublime beauty and meaning of the bridal veil will be captured in various engaging formats, ensuring a fascinating and enriching evening.  Attendees will leave with an enhanced appreciation of the Italian experience and couture manufacturing.  Most importantly, they will view examples of bespoke heirloom veils that will help further their understanding of what is possible under the tutelage of Italian tradition and design.

The selected panelists will provide their unique perspectives on bridal couture and accessories through the lens of history, culture, tradition and the industry today.  Particular focus will be placed on the veil as a primary driver of the bridal dressing experience.  







EXHIBITION ON VIEW UNTIL OCTOBER 24, 2016 (by appointment only):
(Monday to Friday 10am-12noon and 2pm-4pm)

HOW TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT: email reservations requests to with:

  1. Date & Time
  2. Complete name of each guest as it appears on photo ID

PLEASE NOTE: the date and time you request may not be available. You will receive a confirmation email.

Not open on weekends or holidays. 



Embassy of Italy
3000 Whitehaven St, NW
Washington, DC 20008




Enrica Ponzellini

Editor, Vogue Sposa

Enrica Ponzellini received a diploma from the European School of Luxembourg and graduated with a degree in Political Science from Bologna University. She began her career in Condé Nast as a fashion editor for Vogue Italia in 2006. In 2012, she became a Senior Editor for Vogue Gioiello. Ponzellini has been the Director of Vogue Bambini and Vogue Sposa since September 2015.

Vogue Sposa, founded in 1982, has always been an absolute leader in the Italian wedding magazine market. Great attention to image, elegant graphics and a high-status approach are the characteristics of the women’s magazine that dictates the rules of wedding etiquette in Italy and overseas.

Fashion is just one of the topics discussed in the magazine; because a Vogue wedding is identifiable in every detail. It aims to be a style guide in the choice of the elements of the ceremony, helping the future bride prepare her wedding.


Max Botticelli

Fashion Photographer

Max Botticelli received a Degree in History and Criticism of Cinema at the University La Sapienza, Rome. This combined knowledge of theater and film served as fertile ground in his pursuit of photography and, more specifically, the world of fashion.

In 1994 he began documentary work for the Vascello theater and opera in Rome, The San Carlo in Naples and La Scala in Milan. Recognizing the experimental nature of photography, he moved to Milan in 1999 to work with the Pleiades agency Superstudio 13. It was in this period where he began to define his own aesthetics and approach to fashion. Highly influenced by the 70’s/80’s, Botticelli is recognized for his stylistic and contemporary approach that interprets and evolves these periods for the present day. Some previous collaborations include: Giorgio Armani, Gianfranco Ferre, Iceberg, Antonio Marras, Valentino, Kenzo, Alidiomichelli, Albino, Monvieve, Renato Balestra, Gattinoni and Romeo Gigli.   

Botticelli’s creative trajectory and personal interests also led to the realization of projects including "The Darkfish” (2003) presented at the festival Enzymes and Altaroma in 2006. "Maguro Market” (2005) [research conducted in Japan from 1999-2005] International Festival of Photography in Rome, Milan "Luxury Factory" (2006), "Un Amie Chez Moi" (2007), and "Milano15Agosto" (2007/08).

 In 2013 he exhibited at the FuoriSalone del Mobile with a variety of projects: "In a Perpetual Motion,” abstractions of the human body, “Topos Place,” landscapes where details whisper their natural origins, and "Singular/Plural" the various relationships between design, fashion and contemporary art that intersect in a play of reflections and synthesis. 

In 2012 Botticelli worked with the agency Fisheye Milan and collaborated with The Republic, Cosmopolitan and a number of other important magazines including Italian Vogue and D. He also founded STUDIO 14 in "Nolo" a new hipster neighborhood in Milan. Currently Botticelli lives and works in Milan and recently founded (2015) with Chanie Munn, the production company Moonlight - a collaboration based in Milan and London focused on servicing clients worldwide.

Alison Miller

Creative Director, Monvieve

Ivy league fine art trained Alison Miller has her base in the visual arts: she worked at Phillips in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and collaborated in Rome with the late Mario Schifano on numerous projects including the Venice Biennale. Constantly designing clothes, Miller developed a private clientele while living in Europe. Through her travels she gained in-depth knowledge and appreciation for exquisite fabrics while honing her skills alongside Roman tailors, couturiers and artisans. Her fine art background and well informed affinity for architecture and industrial design cemented an aesthetic of clean, sculptural silhouettes grounded in Italian tailoring and couture technique. Upon returning to New York, she attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and received the graduating fashion show critic's award.

In 2003 Miller launched her fashion business as the creative director for AlidioMichelli, a luxury women's designer r-t-w and accessories company located in Florence, Milan and New York. Modern clothes for urban living, they eschewed an understated elegance through high, directional design premised with a sophisticated, downtown edge. Highly received, the collections were distributed worldwide.

While at AlidioMichelli, Miller received critical awards, including being honored in 2008 by the Camera Nazionale della Moda in Milan, and awarded ‘The Best of Made in Italy’; Villa Borghese, Rome. Recognized for efforts grounded in research and technique, as well as an ongoing commitment to the highest levels of quality, AlidioMichelli was chosen as the first womenswear company to use the rarest luxury fabric in the world- an extraordinary cashmere with truly innovative properties. The collection was previewed during Milan Fashion Week and later presented on behalf of the Canadian Government at the Winter Olympic Games in Torino. AlidioMichelli was also selected to participate in NY/Mercedes Benz Fashion Week events such as The Red Dress campaign.

Miller always offered a couture bridal service (gowns, headpieces and accessories) directly out of her showrooms in Florence and Milan. Primarily servicing European brides, word of mouth garnered a growing American business. It was upon client request that Monvieve was born... and the commitment to bring to market the couture bridal accessories that were once available only to select private clientele. Today, Miller delivers a designer ready-to-wear/couture background and deep artistic sensibility to the bridal world... one that celebrates bridal as a composite of lifestyle, culture and emotion, and delivers an exciting Italian product with a definitive point of view.

All visual processes subscribe to the same vernacular. Coming from a fine arts background, I have learned to trust in my artistic method, instinctively applying this language to fashion design and conceptualizing it at its most rudimentary core… components of color, texture and volume/shape, cognizant that this way of working not only affords the realization of my designs, but also allows for acute editing, manipulation and exploration. Combined with a deep respect for craft, demand for quality and an understanding of technique, it is the knowledge gleaned from trusting in my creative methodology that I have found to be the singular most important experience I have gained thus far, and one that translates impeccably into the world of the high fashion bride.


Silvia Piazzini
Wedding Planner, Infinity Weddings

Born and raised in Florence, Silvia Piazzini lives in Chianti, a Tuscan region famed for its elegance and beautiful landscapes with deeply rooted cultural traditions. Piazzini has been organizing weddings for over 11 years and is skilled at ensuring that the style of the celebration is in harmony with the stunning surroundings Italy affords. Working with brides from all over the world, she specializes in designing the complete Italian moment, 360 degrees of experience grounded in the Italian culture for that most special day of one’s life. Piazzini is also well versed in the services of a stylist, and offers a comprehensive approach to bridal fashion, working with bespoke offerings throughout Italy. From fashion to location and everything in between, Piazzini holds up the window from which one can glimpse the very best that Italy has to offer.

I love to listen to what the bride and groom are dreaming for their special day, the atmosphere they want to create, the energy they wish to share and the message they want to communicate. The Italian culture is the genesis of so much beauty, that I can take my clients dreams and bring them to life immersed in this magnificent country.   

Infinity Weddings is the Italian bespoke wedding and event service. As dynamic and dedicated planners, our experience and passion make your wedding day simply unforgettable. 



Data: Da Gio 20 Ott 2016 a Lun 24 Ott 2016

Orario: Dalle 19:00 alle 11:53

Organizzato da : Embassy of Italy/Italian Cultural Institute

In collaborazione con : Italians in DC, Georgetown College Italian Researc

Ingresso : Libero


Embassy of Italy