I must say, Milan was not my favorite place the first couples of times I visited. My first impression of the fashionably famous Italian city was during the month of August, a time when most people are on holiday and almost everything is closed. So yes, the first time I visited Milan I ate at McDonald’s. There is nothing wrong with a little Italian Mcy D’s, although you know I would always prefer Italian Shake Shack. Could you imagine? My mouth is salivating just thinking about an Italian made Shack Burger . . .
Needless to say, Milan was a ghost town in August, so the relationship was off to a slow start. In Milan’s defense—it’s simply not fair to go from a week in Monaco to Milan, or anywhere else in the world for that matter!
When I returned for my first MFW in September 2015, I decided that we would start fresh and I was open to a new first impression and ready to be swept away by Milano. Yet, the New Yorker in me came out and I felt disenchanted by the lack of taxi’s and basically zero Uber’s on the road, leading to many uncomfortable walks through the city, alone in high heels and stranded. Many feet have bled for you, Milan!
On this most recent trip I went into it thinking I would have to power through until Paris. And then . . . Milan totally surprised me.
First, I was blessed to be able to call the newly opened, Mandarin Oriental Milan, my home for the week. This hotel is stunningly beautiful and eloquently executed in every single way. Although, it is the staff that set it apart from every other hotel. Their genuine friendly disposition, helpfulness and sunny demeanor is everything you want to come home to. I’ve learned that the best hotels in the world are not just a comfortable place to rest your head and superb room service, they are an experience, a feeling that stays with you long after you’ve returned home. They made me feel something, feel cared for and special, and not in a forced ‘I have to do this and be nice to you because its my job’ kind of way, it was sincere. It was this extraordinarily unique group of people at the Mandarin Oriental Milan that stole the show for me in the best way possible.
My love letter was sealed when I needed a dress strap repaired and they sent up a seamstress at 9pm, who returned the dress in perfect condition 10 minutes later. Also, I almost cried when I saw USB outlets thoughtfully placed throughout the room. A European travel dream come true! All my devices were always charged and I never had to worry.
It’s the outstanding attention to detail and that never say ‘No’ attitude, which makes the Mandarin a reason on to itself to visit Milan. Bravo!
It was from this perfectly positioned balcony that I witnessed the most gorgeously dressed gentlemen I have ever seen. It was truly jaw dropping and impressive. The class, taste and style of this rare breed of gentlemen in Milan is truly something to behold. Timeless. Secretly I watched them from my perch, allowing me to better understand my own Milan style of dressing which lead me to a refined-eclectic-ultra-feminine-gypsy-lady. Inspired by the masterful layering of Prada and the genius color combinations of Gucci. It’s never too terribly serious, but very thoughtful and highly stylish. Then you can go a step further, taking inspiration from the most jovial and fun fashion houses, Moschino and Fendi. We see this ultra playfulness in the style of Milanese fashion icons, Anna Dello Russo and Chiara Ferragni.
Milan is like that friend that you keep finding yourself in the company of and the more time you spend with them the more you come to appreciate them. Milan sneaks up on you and then all of a sudden you’re smitten by its secret courtyards, ornate interiors and the its people. Milan has the best energy of fashion month. I love the festive atmosphere outside of every show, like a big party. Fashion is truly valued in this city and you can see this in how they take pride and celebrate.
Milan Fashion Week Looks
Photos by Arianna Bonucci