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Antonia Sautter is a designer and entrepreneur born in Venice, to a German father and an Italian mother, renowned for her costumes that recreate the elegance of the past ages of Italy’s history, from the 17th century up to the 1920s. Her passion for the creative arts, costume history, textiles and ancient techniques of tailoring, accompanied by her love for artisan craftmanship has permitted Sautter to become known as a distinguished Italian celebrity.
In addition to haute couture, Sautter plans and organizes private events worldwide with her distinguished style, the most notable of which is Il Ballo del Doge, the most exclusive luxury event of the Carnival of Venice.
Having returned to Venice, she became the managing director of the Italian branch of Venezia Mode, a leading company in the distribution of products bearing the Made in Italy hallmark to the United States. Subsequently, she becomes an entrepreneur by starting her own workshop and founding Antonia Sautter Creations & Events, in which she develops her unique concepts of luxury products and haute couture creations.
In 1994, she created Il Ballo del Doge, the international gala event of the Venice Carnival, described by Vanity Fair as "the most lavish, exclusive, and coveted social event of the world".
While her costumes are sought-after particularly during the Carnival period, her works have also been used in theatrical and film productions, most notably in Jean-Louis Guillermou's Antonio Vivaldi, un Prince à Venise (France, 2006) starring Michel Serrault and Stefano Dionisi.
Il Ballo del Doge
IIl Ballo del Doge is an annual ball organized by Sautter since 1994 during Venice’s Carnival in Palazzo Pisani Moretta on the Grand Canal, a beautiful 16th century palace. The concept of the ball developed in a very original manner after a chance meeting between Sautter and Terry Jones, a founding member of the Monty Python team. Jones was in Venice preparing a historical documentary for the BBC on the Crusades. Sautter was in charge of logistics, costumes and set designs for the shoot. From her involvement in this venture, the idea of recreating the magical elegance of bygone ages developed in her mind and from there the Ballo del Doge began to take shape. It is considered "the main event of the Venetian Carnival season". Each year the event develops along a different theme that is conceived by Sautter’s artistic vision; in 2016 the theme was "The Secret Gardens of Dreams".
The ball dress code is very strict. Traditional evening wear is strictly forbidden. Accesses may only wear periode costumes that guests can fit at the Atelier Antonia Sautter. The event is normally attended by the international jet set, VIPs and aristocrats from the world over who delight in wearing costumes created by the designer and made available for the event. Each costume is unique, made following age old skills of Italian craftsmanship.
AS Creations & Events is the umbrella name covering all of Sautter’s business activities, from her fashion line Fashion Venetia and her line of home furnishings to the organisation of corporate events and private parties for cultural organisations, international companies, as well as public and private individuals.
In three boutiques situated just behind Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark's Square) in Venice, Sautter sells her fashion creations – Fashion Venetia, hand dyed and hand printed silk velvet fabrics, shoes and bags, and home furnishings all following traditional Venetian artisan methods. The boutiques also sell masks (traditional Venetian masks), bronzes, lost wax sculptures, carousels, music boxes and marionettes.
In her atelier, Sautter has more than 1,200 costumes, all designed by her and handmade by her expert female artisans in the historical heart of Venice.