Belluno | Made-to-Measure

Among the lovely people I was lucky enough to meet while prospecting up in the Veneto not long ago was Elisabetta Venturelli, an achingly young but singularly talented fashion designer from Belluno. A recent virtuoso graduate of Milan’s Istituto Marangoni, world-class fashion academy which counts Franco Moschino and Domenico Dolce among its alumni, she’d just opened her own atelier in the very heart of her home town, on Via Roma. Some of the creations of her student years are part of the décor in sumptuous, feminine spaces designed to invite and relax. But in the workroom, with a judicious nod to historical continuity, Elisabetta sometimes cuts and sews alongside one Maria Antonietta Mezzacasa, time-honoured seamstress of this parish – indeed of these very rooms – enticed from retirement to confer the benefits of long experience.

Elisabetta plays with contrasting fabrics and twists on historical or vintage looks. The distinctive collections on her CV include outfits in boiled wool and heavy furnishing fabrics, a sort of Amish look with the saving grace of added colour, or ultra-chic dresses which are a cubist makeover of the sharp little suits of the 50s and 60s. Now she actually prefers working directly with the women – of all ages but women only –  who’ll wear her original clothing, reviving the luxury of that unique, custom-tailored designer outfit. Take advantage if you’re in the area. In any case, watch out for her name in the fashion news.