Glimpses of Milan Fashion Week

Yes, my wife Jan and I are back in Daglan after a vacation in Milan. And no, we hadn’t planned the trip to coincide with Milan Fashion Week, which ended yesterday (September 25). It just sort of happened.

We had a similar experience a few years ago in France’s capital, when our visit there coincided with part of Paris Fashion Week. What I was able to observe there, as we walked along the Rue du  Faubourg Saint-Honoré (“Luxury’s Stronghold”), heading for dinner, were (a) beefed-up security at the entrances to all the luxury shops, and (b) some very strangely made-up women and men.

In Milan, we did see quite a few young women, in a variety of settings (hotel lobbies, bars, restaurants), who appeared to be models, or at least aspiring models. But it seemed somewhat rude to start taking photos of them.

But to brighten this posting, I am able to offer just one photo, that was taken by Jan. It’s a dramatic shot of a mature male model, striding ever so smartly through the Piazza del Duomo. Here he is:

Wait — that’s me in the photo shoot!

Wait a minute — that’s me! Sorry about that. At least there is a touch of fashion in the photo, in that I’m wearing my new blue cotton pullover, that I had bought in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

Well, okay — I can include another photo. It’s a close-up of a huge display of jewelry in the Galleria:

Interested in some (very) large jewelry?

Now to show that I take research for this blog seriously, I can confirm that I’ve spent a fair amount of time today with the Telegraph online.

I was reviewing such photo features as “The best street style from Milan Fashion Week,” “The choicest and maddest catwalk looks from Milan Fashion Week,” and in-depth coverage of the Green Carpet Fashion Awards, featuring pieces from the collections of Giorgio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stella McCartney, Versace, and Gucci.

With this extensive research behind me, I can now confirm that I am able to recognize Anna Wintour, at a glance. (And if you need to ask who she is, then like wow —  fashion is definitely not your thing.)

Aside from all the Telegraph coverage, here are a few personal observations of mine:

It’s all in the face. Based on the models we observed, I’d say the “right” facial expression is a combination of bored, vacant, and sullen. On the plus side, the young women did seem fascinated with their smart phones. And of course, they are actually beautiful.

Lettuce anyone? Describing the young women generally as slender doesn’t quite capture it. If anyone can exist on a lettuce-only diet, I’d say that young models would be right up there.

Legs, and more legs. Not only were the models almost uniformly tall, their height seemed to be made up mostly in their legs. Wow — there were some very long, slender legs on show.

Hijacking. An evident side-effect of  all the glamour is the ability of hotels to jack up their rates during the week. On the first day of Fashion Week (Monday) the night rate for our downtown hotel went up by 150 euros from the day before. And note: That’s not the rate; that’s the increase in the daily rate. This may be a good reason to check on special events (conferences, shows) when planning your next trip to a major city.

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4 Responses to Glimpses of Milan Fashion Week

  1. Lesley says:

    You look seriously smart. My husband is still shirt under pullover and definitely socks. To be honest I never read the Fashion pages of the Telegraph – the photos of the offerings are too extreme for us and the male fashions look merely ridiculous.

    • Loren Chudy says:

      Thanks so much Lesley! I didn’t mention it in my blog posting, but out of all the fashion photos in the Telegraph that I looked at (approximately 124,567), the absolutely most ridiculous was of a woman (didn’t know her, although she’s probably world famous) with Lewis Hamilton — as in the racing car driver. He was wearing (as I recall) colourful shorts (like Bermuda shorts) with a “matching” top that seemed to have been woven in the Peruvian mountains, plus some sort of boots. (By contrast, the actor Colin Firth was shown with his lovely wife, and he was wearing a tuxedo.) Honestly, Hamilton looked like he belonged in a zoo.

  2. S and K says:

    Well, the photo validates that Fashion Week does indeed bring out all the beautiful fashion people. Milan is a magical time during fashion week, strolling along via Montenapoleone taking in the artistic beauty in the shop windows, and the fellow patrons walking by. It’s a must see for anyone with a great love of fashion, design, textiles, and colour. Good timing…yes, elevated hotel pricing is not fun…but rubbing elbows with supermodels doesn’t come cheap!

    • Loren Chudy says:

      Thanks Shirley. And if anyone I know knows fashion, and being fashionable, it’s you. Possible future posts: Mayor Milan? Head of Fashion Week, Milan? I see lots of possibilities! And of course, I wish you all the very best. Same goes for “K.”

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