The Dogaressa, wife of the Doge who ruled the Serenissima Republica di Venezia, was the most influential female figure of the day.
An ideal wife and mother ,patron of the Arts and the head of numerous charitable organisations, emblematic of nobility, compassion and love, the figure of the Dogaressa anticipated the modern day first lady. The Doge’s consort even brought about notable innovations in cultural traditions. It is thanks to a Dogaressa that use of the fork was introduced at table and it was through the foresight of other Dogaresse that the arts of weaving and the making of handbags were developed. In 1726 on the small island of Poveglia in the Venetian lagoon a craft shop was set up for the production of the first small handbags designed specifically for women which were the precursors of the modern day pochette.
This small bag was very dear to the Dogaressa since it was traditional for the Doge to make a gift of this type of bag to his spouse on the day of their coronation. The bags were decorated with pompoms and coloured ribbon indicating the noble lineage of the owner. They were made out of Venetian brocade and Soprarizzo, a precious silk velvet with a raised pattern. DèVENISE , working within this cultural tradition, re-interprets this antique craftsmanship in a language which speaks to contemporary esthetics.