Luisa Venier is heir to a fourth-generation family business dealing with lace and embroidery. Luisa’s great grandfather, Carlo Colombo, moved from Cantù (Lombardia) to Rome in 1870, just when the Eternal City became Italy’s new capital, and established his business in Via Frattina, where it still stands today. Soon after relocating to Rome, his shop became well known for the high quality and unique designs of his lace, gaining the appreciation of sophisticated international clientele. Thanks to his expert knowledge, Carlo was able to acquire and deal in numerous antique varieties of lace, receiving acclaim through specialized award-winning exhibitions. Not long after, Carlo’s lace was also being sold to museums as well.
Carlo’s daughter Flaminia was married to Giulio Venier, an interior decorator who in 1913 renovated the family shop and designed its furniture according to the Art Nouveau style. In their joint name, the company went on to sell lace of all kinds: Valenciennes, Alençon, Chantilly, Malines, Point de Gaze, Tombolo, Burano, Blonde, Guipure, Honiton, Point d’Angleterre, Bruxelles, Tulles… These were employed for ruffles, collars and (entre-deux) insertions, and were sewn by seamstresses and dressmakers to decorate undergarments and dresses, and specialty items of intricate detail such as handkerchiefs, shawls and bridal veils.
Since the late 1950s coloured lace designed for dresses became more and more sought after as the Italian style became the rage of high fashion. As a result, fine lace and trimmings were often sent between the Via Frattina shop and the Alta Moda ateliers nearby. Cesare and Isabella Venier, heirs to Giulio and Flaminia, continued searching for laces, tulles, embroidered gauzes and bridal veils, reproducing ancient designs and contributing to the creation of a few unforgettable masterpieces in couture, such as the bridal dress of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Valentino.
Antique trimmings from Cesare and Isabella’s shop are also eagerly sought after by film costume designers: they have been used for Angelica’s ball gown in Visconti’s Gattopardo, and for his L’Innocente, as well as for costumes in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York and Emmerich’s The Patriot. In addition, they have also developed a line of refined embroidery comprised of items such as house linens and handkerchiefs.
Since 2010 Luisa Venier, Cesare and Isabella’s daughter have launched a new showroom on the first floor of Via Frattina 80. Luisa integrates contemporary designs while continuing in the family tradition, offering lace tablecloths and doilies in old pattern styles, embroidered table and bed linens, placements, centerpieces, handkerchiefs, chiffon (mousseline) colored scarves, small cushions, towels and baby garments. Her creations all show a unique and special touch, linking a tradition of quality to a quick eye for modern functionality and contemporary designs.
Thanks to her longstanding experience, Luisa is able to dedicate her imagination and passion for lace embroidery to the creation of small, exquisite objects and planning bespoke, high-quality linen for homes, yachts and sophisticated spaces.