Instead of booking into a hotel I chose an apartment in an area considered to be the hub of Milan Fashion Week. Now I’m renowned for not doing my homework as extensive research gets to complicated and presents too many options. So I logged onto airbnb, found an area where reviews included ‘good location’ and ‘fashion week’ and chose an apartment for under R1000 a night.
Via Solferino, 18 (here the street name precedes the number) turned out to be a
small cosy one bedroom on a rather swanky street; a fact I discovered by the raised eyebrows of fabulously gorgeous store assistant at Aesop. (I’ll tell you about that store later)
For now, lets walk the ‘hood where my first surprise was yielded from Cape Town Lifestyle. This store owned by an Italian couple who spend about about 3 months in Cape Town stocks among other things Simonsig wines, MonkeyBiz beaded decor and those rustic wooden frames we all have. It was a pretty heartwarming start to the day which my friend Adele, who loves Milan more than shoes, would appreciate.
Moving along the popular shopping street, Corso Garibaldi and it’s offshoots I discovered that here you need to look hard and long for the British and American chain stores we have become accustomed to. I spotted G*Star RAW, H&M, Zara, United Colours of Benetton, Adidas and Foot Locker, but for the rest, its one chic boutique after another.
Admittedly, I still have a lot of ground to cover but this does explain why the term Made in Italy is such an accolade. There appears to be such a strong support for local design as opposed to anything mass produced in China, it’s understandable why quality is so high. The competition is tough and only the excellent survive. I’ll find out more about owning and running businesses here if I’m in the mood.
Dinner was a 5€ glass of wine and free tapas from a street cafe where the owner vehemently spats some Italian at me for taking photos inside so I won’t show you cafe. (Sorry for you, lady.) Then, after some soft retail therapy at H&M & Zara, I gatecrashed a party in swanky store for free bubbles.
Vogue Fashion Night Out is the prequel to Fashion Week when stores stay open until 23:00. I had lost track of time so didn’t get tarted up for this event. Yes, it’s an event where people dress to the nines just to walk the streets and shop. So there was little me, in a denim dress and trainers, gatecrashing a swanky store for free bubbles.
The cherry on the cake of my walk about was bumping into a couple of fab fashion-savvies at a store called Forest Garden. I’m heading there later today to take more pics of this incredible little local label. But for now, know that nothing tastes as good as free prosecco on the street outside an incredible store with the cool kids on the night before Milan Fashion Week.
Katerina, Chris & Gianluca, thanks for making my day.
love & light