MILAN — It was a breathtaking scene.
Guests at the Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott dinner, organized by Vogue Italia and Pomellato to celebrate the duo’s 25 years in fashion, entered the Basilica Sant’Eufemia in Milan to find four long tables laden with candles, casting an ethereal glow over the church’s painted ceilings.
“I’ve never had dinner in a church before,” gushed Kendall Jenner, who was wearing an embroidered dress by Francesco Scognamiglio. “It’s amazing.”
The model, who was shot by Mert and Marcus for the February issue of Vogue Italia, rushed over to greet Emanuele Farneti, editor in chief of the publication, just as the two guests of honor arrived.
“We wanted something very authentic for tonight,” explained Piggott. “Because we are used to loud fashion parties, we thought it would be good to get a place where we could actually sit down and talk, listen to calm music and enjoy the evening.”
Just then, models Anna Ewers, Eva Herzigova and Amber Valletta entered the candlelit church. “All my babies are here,” beamed Piggott. “It feels like my birthday.”
Another famed fashion duo was present that night. “We’ve been designing together for over 30 years,” said Dean and Dan Caten of Dquared2. “Fashion is always better when there is two of you.”
Giambattista Valli greeted model Mariacarla Boscono, who posed for pictures with her boyfriend Ghali in front of the church’s organ, to the sound of classical music played by a live orchestra.
Guests including Anna Dello Russo, Irina Shayk and Vittoria Ceretti trickled over to their seats to enjoy their starter of red prawns in vanilla, tarragon and sour potatoes, followed by a dish of yellowtail fish and grilled artichokes.
Just before taking his seat, Brunello Cucinelli offered a spot of architectural history: “There are a lot of marvelous churches in Milan, because they are built for eternity,” he explained. “When you throw an event in this kind of location, you need to respect the spirituality and intimacy of the place. There are spirits here tonight.”
Just then, as if on cue, a chair lost its balance and fell on the marble floor. “There is a spirit here right now,” laughed the Italian designer.