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Kelsea Ballerini Got “Goosebumps” on Her First Trip to Venice for Armani’s Couture Show

Kelsea Ballerini got “goosebumps” on her first-ever trip to Venice, she tells The Hollywood Reporter.

The singer-songwriter visited the glamorous City of Canals with boyfriend Chase Stokes to attend designer Giorgio Armani’s “One Night Only” event on Sept. 2, which included a haute-couture presentation and party for around 500 guests.

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“The pieces themselves were stunning. I really loved the throughline of using the contrast of pretty pastels with black. There were so many looks I was thinking ‘I have have have to wear that!'” she says of the fashion show, which was highlighted by looks featuring diamond shapes and harlequin motifs.

“However, the moment of the night,” continues Ballerini, “was watching Mr. Armani himself take his lap around the runway getting showered with praise and respect — goosebumps.”

A second presentation of the spring 2023 couture Armani Privé show which was shown in Paris this past January, the event — held in the city’s Arsenale complex —  drew such stars as Sophia Loren, Sydney Sweeney, Maude Apatow, Lili Reinhart, Kerry Washington, Jessica Chastain, Sadie Sink, Benicio Del Toro, Jesse Williams, Regé-Jean Page, Michelle Rodriguez, Camila Mendes, Adria Arjona, Lukas Gage and The White Lotus’ Beatrice Grannò.

Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini
Chase Stokes and Kelsea Ballerini at Giorgio Armani’s One Night Only Venezia event on Sept. 2.

Ballerini wore a darkly shimmering, sculptural black beaded vintage Armani Privé dress with a train which she calls her “favorite look of the weekend” and describes it as “a strapless sparkly black dress with a strong, structured silhouette — as soon as my stylist Molly [Dickson] sent me a photo I felt like it was a special dress for a special evening.”

Kelsea Ballerini - Behind-the Scenes Getting Ready Photo - Giorgio Armani One Night Only - Vintage Armani Prive Black Dress
Kelsea Ballerini in a vintage Armani Prive dress.

Ballerini — who is set to perform at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 12 — completed her look for the “One Night Only” event with Stuart Weitzman heels, diamond-drop earrings by Vera Belleza, and makeup by CoverGirl. (The “Heartfirst” and “Love Me Like You Mean It” singer became a face of the beauty brand last year.)

Kelsea Ballerini - Venice - Italy - Giorgio Armani One Night Only Event - Dress and Accessories Details
A close-up look at the details on Kelsea Ballerini’s vintage Armani Prive dress, plus her Stuart Weitzman heels.

“We wanted to complement the classic nature of the dress with an updo to show off the detail of the neckline but add a little edge with a smudgy, smokey eye. I loved playing with the juxtaposition of the glam,” says Ballerini, who worked with makeup artist Emma Day and hairstylist Ben Talbott.

Kelsea Ballerini - Covergirl Makeup - Giorgio Armani Black Dress - Venice - Italy
“The final look thanks to CoverGirl, Emma Day for makeup and Ben Talbott,” says Ballerini.

During the trip to Venice, Ballerini also made time to enjoy the city, telling THR that the highlights included “taking in the views from a water taxi, watching lovers cozy up on gondolas or frolicking through St. Marks Square. The experience was beautifully overwhelming. Also, the tagliatelle at Harry’s is a new core memory.”

Kelsea Ballerini - Armani Prive Vintage Dress - Venice - Italy
“And we’re off”

“It was my first Venice experience, and truly a place pictures can’t even do justice,” she adds.

The Armani “One Night Only Event” coincided with the 80th annual Venice International Film Festival, which is sponsored by Cartier and Armani Beauty, and runs through Sept. 9.

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