Italian fashion in the time of Covid 19
Kate Phelan, contributing fashion director
The best moment for me regarding fashion? I almost cried Versace fashion show in September 2017, when Linda and Christy and Naomi sang the George Michael song on the catwalk. When the lira made us feel rich for a week during Fashion Week, we begged to leave with the first flight to Milan to be the first to see Prada and Gucci. My first Made in Italy purchase was a pair of Giorgio Armani black velvet trousers, taken at the outlet in 1989. My favorite restaurant in Milan will always be Da Giacomo. I will never forget the grilled porcini, the sea bass in salt and, of course, the wine. Other memories: the fantastic house parties, when they took us around in an Audi station wagon, when we went to the clubs and played the bottle game at the Grand Hotel until dawn. Ah, and also when Zoran (Ladicorbic, ed) turned my sweater into a top at three in the morning. Milan is fashionable, and the Teatro alla Scala is also a magnificent place.
Olivia Singer, fashion news director
For me, Italian fashion is pure wonder: Monica Bellucci in a black fitted dress, Donatella Versace in a fitted dress with Medusa print, Sophia Loren in a fitted red velvet dress. In this somewhat strange period in which I am always in a suit and I urgently need a manicure, those images are my greatest inspiration. But apart from that, fashion in Milan offers us some of the greatest creative suggestions, and my favorite will always remain, of course, Miuccia Prada, the woman who created the first luxury item of my life: a black nylon pencil skirt , of which I have infinite variations. Even after years of work in this sector, nothing makes my heart beat faster like an invitation to a Prada fashion show, and there is nothing more electrifying than when the first model enters the catwalk for Miuccia. The cancellation of the Cruise shows and the calendar of the still uncertain season serve to remind me that I am really lucky, because I have the opportunity to see his creations first of all. My thoughts go to you and all our Italian colleagues, from stylists to journalists to assistants, who are currently dealing with Covid-19. When we return to work at full speed and we will all be together again, we will celebrate the Italian style in a big way.
Sarah Harris, deputy editor and fashion features director
Only the Italians could have created the ‘It’ bag phenomenon. Fendi’s Baguette was the first in this sense and I was very proud to own one. No matter what I wore, that bag always made me feel glamorous and splendid. Since then I have had many bags, but I still keep my Baguette, and I don’t think I will ever be able to separate myself. I hope my daughter will wear it someday.
Laura Ingham, fashion market director
There is something that makes Milan different from all other cities. Milan stands out in the infinite fashion calendar. Many of the big brands present their collections in their majestic headquarters. From the Gucci Hub, with the unmistakable and instagrammable red bricks, and the industrial-style courtyard in the southern suburbs of Milan, to the Prada Foundation, located in a former gin distillery, and transformed into an extraordinary arts center covered in leaf gold, it is a real privilege to see the parades in these places. And at the Fondazione Prada the Vogue UK team often finds an excuse to make meetings at Bar Luce, created by Wes Anderson, with its formica tables and sugar-colored seats, in stark contrast to the minimalist atmosphere of the Armani Teatro e del Silos, with pale gray concrete walls, brutalist style floors and columns, perfect locations for the Emporio and Giorgio Armani collections. What about shopping? My first Made in Italy purchase was made in a Prada shop which occupies a prominent position in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Historic shop in Milan, the four-storey building, with a glass and wrought iron roof, is located next to the beautiful Piazza del Duomo. Following tradition, I turned on myself three times and made a wish on the worn mosaic floor, and bought myself a pair of Prada pumps.
Dena Giannini, style director
For me the true spirit of Italian fashion is the family, not only the genetic one, but also the one you choose. Whenever I was a consultant for an Italian brand, spending a lot of time in their ateliers, or I visited a company in Italy, I was always struck by the mentality of family management and obviously by the incredible quality of the craftsmanship, which is not I have seen in no other country. Each garment, each bag or shoe is created and packaged with extreme care. At lunch they all sit together to eat, often with a nice glass of wine, with warmth and laughter. And it really seems that what is produced is positively influenced by this, and appreciation and love of life and traditions shine through every garment. The generational mix creates a magnificent base for creativity and inspiration: there are many fashion houses in which multiple generations work side by side, and it is not unusual for an employee to have worked with the same family-run company for 20, 40, even 50 years. Long live Italy!
Ellie Pithers, digital director
From fashion shows to shoes, from parties to pasta, no place makes your heart beat faster than Milan. As a fashion journalist, I find it intriguing: it is the third city in chronological order in the calendar of ready-to-wear shows, it is in Milan that the decisive seasonal trends begin to be seen. When I shop I always keep my head on my shoulders, yet this is the only place in the world where I let myself go and buy on impulse (and it is where I let myself be persuaded by Vogue’s Kate Phelan to buy a Mia Farrow dress by which I didn’t need from Miu Miu. A very inspired purchase). Here I wrote my best articles, late at night, on my hotel bed, with a huge pizza; here I danced until dawn in the company of incredibly beautiful supermodels, wearing a Versace dress that made me feel like one of them; here I met many extraordinary Italians, first of all Gianluca Longo (British Vogue style editor, ed) who always says: “Italians have a taste for life”! That’s why I love Milan.