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House of Savoia Holiday Bash, Animal Fair Magazine Host 7th Annual Toy Drive for Dogs

Published December 27, 2011 by Cognac Wellerlane · Under Gossip

Cognac Wellerlane

(Long Island, N.Y.) Vanity Fair Editor George Wayne hosted a Holiday Celebration at the House of Savoia located at 147 Essex Street right in the heart of lower Manhattan.

Sponsors of the event included cocktail courtesy by Molinari and Van Gogh Vodka and appetizers provided by Chef Nino Coniglio.

Costume Designer and Tailor Michelle Savoia has been creating handmade custom suits and costumes for the sports, music, Broadway, Film, HBO and television industries since 1984.

Michele Savoia has designed magnificent well-tailored clothing for celebrities and has been featured in more than seventy five publications worldwide including international news, broadcasts, local television coverage, the E Channel and the Style Network.

It is the romantic era of Old Hollywood that inspires him to create beautifully tailored men’s and women’s custom suits. It is the seductive and streamlined beauty of the late ’30s and the Art Deco aesthetic that Savoia considers to be the epitome of glamour in Hollywood. When movie stars really looked like movie stars!

Many celebrities have dined at Chez Le Chef including, Dr. Ruth, Fashion Model, Iman and New York City Mayor Bloomberg.

From the paper to the cashmere. Savoia does and oversees it all. House of Savoia does not send paperwork off to some far-off location to “interpret” his customer’s measurements. Savoia will personally take your measurements and cuts your paper pattern based on his measurements. Savoia will also lay out the fabric you choose and he will meticulously go over every inch of the cloth double checking for imperfections.

Savoia traces the pattern onto the cloth and then cuts your garment. Himself!

New York celebrities that attended the holiday bash included Vintage Model Jasmin Rodriguez, Motorcycle Expert Copper Mike, Actor/Photographer Luigi Scorcia and HBO Soprano Star Dominic Chianese.

During our interview at the event Jasmin spoke about her love of vintage couture. She is an avid collector of vintage dresses and most people know her for her unique style. She is also an artist and tries to incorporate all aspects of art in everything that she does. Jasmin reveals, “I am an aspiring designer and I plan to take over the fashion world with my limitless imagination. My whole philosophy on fashion has always been to think outside of the box. My style has no boundaries but I have commonly taken inspiration from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. I love the pinup culture and style however I love being versatile so most of the time I like to clash opposites, different genres of history and fashion and somehow, someway, I make it work.”

Later I chatted with “Soprano” Star Dominic Chianese. Before appearing on the hit HBO TV Series, “The Sopranos” the son of a bricklayer, Chianese was born in the Bronx, New York. He graduated from Bronx High School of Science in 1948 and worked as a bricklayer with his father. Chianese attended night school during the 1950s, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in speech and theater from Brooklyn College in 1961. His love of the theatre landed him a gig in 1952 with a Gilbert and Sullivan repertory company of singers, actors and musicians called The American Savoyards, under the direction of Dorothy Raedler.

Chianese attended his first professional acting class at HB Studios in Manhattan and studied under Acting Coach Walt Witcover. Drama and musical theater became Chianese’s passion. His first Broadway show was “Oliver” in 1965. He has continued to perform in Broadway theatre, Off Broadway and regional theatre. To supplement his income during dry spells he played rhythm guitar and sang in taverns and restaurants. Chianese’s first television credit occurred when George C. Scott recommended him for a role in the acclaimed series East Side, West Side.

In 1974, Francis Ford Coppola cast Chianese as Johnny Ola in The Godfather Part II which established him as a film actor creating more movie roles and plays with Al Pacino.

Chianese is also an accomplished tenor and musician and recently released a CD titled Hits in 2000 which he serenades American and Italian songs.

His son, Dominic Chianese Jr., is also an actor and appeared in the final season of The Sopranos as a member of the fictional Lupertazzi crime family.

His latest project is the second season of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire as Leander Whitlock, a retired Atlantic City alderman.

During our interview he talked about his latest endeavor, a nonprofit charity,

The Company’s mission is to improve the quality of life for residents of nursing homes through regular interaction with professional artists trained in music and theater. The residents are typically unable to leave their facilities to attend “live” musical or theatrical performances. As a result many residents do not have access to a vibrant social support system to satisfy their emotional needs.

Unfortunately, many such seniors become lonely and depressed. Music and theatre have long been viewed as powerful forms of expression which can elevate depression symptoms. When coupled with the social aspect of visitation from these artists, the approach can be particularly beneficial and uplifting to the residents of nursing homes.

To learn more about the House of Savoia please visit and to learn more about The Joy Through Art non-profit organization please visit

Animal lovers gathered at the 7th Annual Toy Drive for Dogs Charity Event on December 19th at the Mark Miller Gallery hosted by Wendy Diamond and her lovable pet Maltese, Lucky from Animal Fair Magazine.

The event at The Mark Miller Gallery showcased images of the Guinness Book of World Records most photographed canine with celebrities – Lucky Diamond!

Over a decade ago Wendy Diamond’s entire life was transformed when she adopted a little white Maltese, she affectionately calls Lucky. Wendy was immediately inspired by Lucky’s sweet disposition and the unconditional love she provided. In 1999 Wendy founded the premiere pet lifestyle media company, Animal Fair Media. Wendy’s mission is promoting fairness to animals and rescue. Since Animal Fair Media’s constant public awareness efforts the number of animals euthanized in shelters has declined from 12 million to 5 million yearly.

One unforgettable night in 2002, Wendy and Lucky were invited by Ohio hometown friend and model, Raven Toney to the grand opening party of the New York City VBH store, honoring iconic designer Valentino. Wendy was starstruck and delighted to find herself rubbing elbows with celebrities Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant, socialite Nan Kempner, and legendary designer Valentino with his life partner Giancarlo Giammetti.

Wendy wanted to capture the unforgettable moment of this special night, but feeling a bit shy politely asked Hugh Grant if he would like to take a photo with little Lucky instead. Hugh Grant held Lucky in his arms and the first Who Got Lucky? image was recorded.

This loveable pet and charismatic dog, Lucky has sparked global interest becoming the poster face of homeless animals worldwide. Lucky has tirelessly lent her support to countless charitable events and campaigns by joining and taking photographs with celebrities.

Lucky is the Chair Dog of the Katrina Pet Memorial and also has a wing named after her at the Humane Society of New York honoring all she does to help animals in need globally. Some animal-related organizations that Lucky has aided through charity and media attention include: Delta Society, Humane Society of New York, PACT, Pixie Project, Elephant Nature Park and IFAW.

Over 300 A-list celebrities, politicians, athletes and entrepreneurs of the 21st century have been photographed holding Lucky at charity related events breaking the Guinness World Record.

Proceeds from the Who Got Lucky? exhibition will benefit local animal shelters. To follow Lucky’s escapades go to

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