Robyn Andrzejczak/IS Photography/ImagesofVegas.com
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 | 5:29 p.m.
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Talk about fabulosity! The duchess of design, the sovereign of style, the formidable figure of fashion Kimora Lee Simmons dazzled and radiated golden glamour to kick off the opening of the three-month-long Carnevale celebrations at The Venetian and Palazzo on Monday night.
Television’s tantalizing tsarina was the surprise celebrity and arrived on a float hidden behind a custom jeweled-and-feathered mask headpiece that matched her hand-beaded, gold mini-dress from Farah Khan atop the outrageous fabulosity of Giuseppe Zanotti high heels.
The whimsical event took place at Doge’s Palace Plaza outside the Venetian where guests previewed the summerlong celebrations. The evening included Italian-inspired food and beverages, a cast of lighted characters who mingled with visitors, a performance from speed painter Salvador Live! and the melodic sounds of the stunning blonde triplet beauties of the violin trio Alizma.
Queen Kimora was escorted by hotel President John Caparella, and together they led the crowd in a countdown to the finale: an inaugural unveiling of “The Light of Venice” 3D light spectacular in which the facade of the Clock Tower was illuminated into a light performance that brought the building to life.
For regal royal Kimora and I, it was a wonderful reunion from TV shoots back East. Busy at work on a new reality TV series, she told me she was so overwhelmed by the excitement of The Venetian and Las Vegas that she planned to return this summer with her kids to enjoy the festivities.
Obviously, when you are a statuesque beauty, designer and fashion figure, she’s constantly asked about how, as a supermom successful in the workplace, she continues to look fabulous.
She said: “Family always comes first. You don’t have to be a superhero to do it all. It’s about prioritizing and knowing what is most important -- and that’s being happy.” How does she keep that sexy figure and perfect summer body? She said that she is creating a “fabulosity diet” that includes balancing cardio, protein, the gym and carbs.
The Carnevale countess wrapped the magical night cutting an extraordinary cake. “This is a wedding from Alice in Wonderland,” she joked and fed a slice to one of the illuminated characters. Kimora insisted on a ride on the Venetian gondolas before her late dinner at chef Wolfgang Puck’s CUT at the Palazzo.
The magic of Carnevale featuring three months of classic Italian festivities, including entertainment, art, music food and wine, continues through Sept. 9. The Las Vegas events replicate time-honored summer traditions, and I’ll be celebrating them next month during my annual visit to Tuscany.
On Friday, The Venetian will present the most comprehensive exploration of Leonardo da Vinci’s work. The limited-engagement exhibit will feature more than 75 life-size machine inventions crafted by Italian artisans from the Renaissance. French science engineer and fine art examiner Pascale Cotte will present “The Secrets of the Mona Lisa.” He’s the only man in the world who was permitted to remove the Mona Lisa from its frame to conduct an analysis that revealed dozens of secrets behind that elusive smile.
There will be 13 themed areas set up to showcase da Vinci’s genius in flight, music, military engineering, time and anatomy. Never-before-seen artwork reproductions and sculptures of his works, including the controversial new discovery “Bella Principessa,” also will be on show.
It’s going to be a beautiful summer on the Strip with The Venetian Carnevale and its light show every night that bathes the buildings there more remarkably than the neon marquees elsewhere on the Strip.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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