Milan, Fashion Capital of Italy!

Milan is the business, fashion and design capital of Italy, with numerous fashion and trade fairs in the Rho` district of the city (previously held in the Fiera district). It is also Italy’s second largest and richest city. The city is split into 9 zones and full of beautiful architecture, lively nightlife and many museums and exhibitions. As Milan is based in the very north of Italy, Switzerland is only a short distance by train, so worth a day trip if visiting the city. The stunning scenery of Lake Como and Lake Lecco is also worth a day trip and again a very short journey by train.

Centro Storico (the historical centre) is full of life, with many things to see and do. In this area you will find the huge Piazza Duomo and Duomo Cathedral, (see above photo) the castle Castello Sforzesco, the world renowned opera house La Scala, and stunning shopping gallery, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.(see below photo). Also, just a few minutes walk away from Piazza Duomo, are Via della Spiga, and Via Montenapoleone, two of the most famous influential fashion streets possibly in the whole world. These streets are richly concentrated with fashion designers, jewellers and furriers. Every designer imaginable has a shop or two in these streets: Armani, Iceberg, Luois Vitton, Dior, Bottega Veneta, to name just a small handful. When Milan holds fashion trade fairs at numerous times of the year, these streets can be seen full of people from the fashion industry (designers, manufacturers, buyers etc) both day and night, visiting the shops and shop windows observing what new fashions ‘are in’,getting new ideas and looking at the impressive window displays..

Navigli is a lively and fashionable (canal)district (the Navigli Canal runs through Milan), where you will find many bars, cafes, live jazz concerts and antique shops. (photo below of Navigli district by night)

Brera, is a very fashionable district not far from the centre, which used to be known as the ‘artists’ quarter’, and very bohemian in it’s day, inhabited and frequented by poets and artists. It remains a very ‘in’ area today, and is a very exclusive and fashionable district, with boutique shops, ‘sophisticated bohemian’ homeware shops, bookshops, restaurants, and bars. This area is also where you can find the famous Pinacoteca di Brera, one of milan’s most fashionable art galleries, exhibiting works from many well known artists, including Rubens and Canaletto. This art gallery is housed in the 18th century palace Palazzo Brera. This area is also home to the very exclusive fashionable 10 Corso Como, which can be found along equally fashionable Corso Como (many bars and restaurants frequented by the rich and beautiful). 10 Corso Como is a shop, restaurant and bar housed in a beautiful courtyard lit up with candles and fairy lights at night, and definitely somewhere to go if you want to impresss anyone, such as business clients for a meal, or maybe a romantic date….the shop sells and exhibits luxury high fashion designer wear, jewellry, shoes and other various items. It remains open most nights with the bar and restaurants, and you are offered complimentary glasses of champagne while you browse. Brera also houses some of Milan’s famous nightclubs, frequented by models, footballers and the ‘in’ party crowd. Corso Como is an ideal place to go out at night time; you can start early with an aperitivo, move on to a restaurant, then nightclub. It is the perfect location to stay, although may be a little expensive!

St.Ambrogio is the city’s patron saint, and the Basilica of St.Ambrogio in the heart of the city, is one of the oldest churches in Milan. Every year from the 7th to 9th December it’s the patron saint’s day, and there is a lot of celebrating and events to be found throughout the city. There are many various stalls, including food stalls, music etc in Piazza Sant’Ambrogio and the surrounding area. It is the city’s most traditional festival, and a nice way to get you in the festivities spirit, at the start of the Christmas period!

Is Milan Still One of the Fashion Capitals?

A few days ago Men’s Fashion Week in Milan ended and in less than a month Women’s Fashion Week will begin. The city will turn into chaos, the bloggers will occupy the streets and nervous journalist and editors will run hysterically from one show to another.

This makes me wonder: is all this hype justified? Can Milan still think of itself as one of the main fashion capitals along with Paris, London and New York or is it slowly losing the battle against some rising fashion metropolis like Madrid, Berlin and São Paulo?

There is no doubt that when it comes to the commercial aspect Milan is the winner. What you see on Milan’s catwalks is what sells all over the world and there will always be big brands like Gucci, Armani, D&G, Prada that will attract international buyers and press. But what matters for the future of any fashion industry is the young and upcoming talent. And that is exactly what is missing in Milan, or rather it is not featured enough as in other fashion weeks around the world. When I think about it, I can’t really come up with any Italian designer that has emerged in last ten years and has created an internationally known and successful brand. Maybe DSquared2, but they are originally from Canada, based in Italy, but not really representatives of Italian taste and style.

So what is missing? There are countless fashion schools all over Italy, there is even a solid platform for the manufacturing process… Maybe Italian fashion community doesn’t do enough to support and guide young designer so they just end up working as assistant designers for some major brand never getting the real recognition for their work. Sure there are events like “Who is on Next?” but still after all these years not one young designer has managed to surpass the borders of Italy and make it big worldwide. And young designer always have their shows on the last day of the fashion week, after all major brands have already finished their shows, and all the press and buyers have left for Paris wich is the next fashion week in the calendar.

So how can we explain the phenomenon of two extraordinary talented Italian designers like Riccardo Tisci who has resurrected the french maison Givenchy; and Giambattista Valli who is equally successful both in prêt-à-porter and haute couture. And somehow they are both based in Paris and are fully embraced by the French fashion industry.

Maybe what is happening to Milan is what used to be the problem of London till recently. It just didn’t have the support system. But one of the biggest British brands Burberry has eventually returned to the London Fashion Week. I don’t see Italian brands like Valentino ever coming back from Paris to Milan.

And lastly, maybe it is to consider also the fact that fashion lives where creativity and young energy burst. In a city that can simply be described with the color grey, where walking down the streets there are significantly more old than young people, and where anxiety and bitterness is the common state of mind, even the fashion has given up. It has moved to a better, warmer and more prosperous place. I bet it is having a fabulous time somewhere in the streets of Rio.

http://www.fallenfashionista.blogspot.com

The Four Fashion Capitals of the World

As with many things, location is a key factor in the success or failure of a model. Proximity to jobs means you can get there faster and cheaper, and in the fast moving fashion industry, quick turnaround is often a deal breaker. You should always put yourself where the action is. As a general rule, big cities offer many more opportunities than smaller places, as the clients and agencies are concentrated there.

There are four major fashion capitals in the world: London, Milan, New York and Paris.

London

London has a long history as a trendsetter and leader in world fashion, and in recent years has been named as the number 1 fashion capital of the world thanks to the ascendency of Kate Middleton and the London Olympics. The vast majority of the international modelling agencies have their main UK offices in London and it is the base for hundreds of fashion photography studios and the supporting teams, including the best photographers for glossy magazines.

London’s fashion hub is located in Soho, in the centre of the city between Oxford Street and Picadilly Circus. This area is full of trendy shops and bars and has a bustling cosmopolitan atmosphere.

The major modelling agencies are mostly based in Central London, around South Kensington and Leicester Square, including: Elite, Storm, Premier Model Management, Models 1, BMA Models and Next Models.

Milan

In 2009 Milan was declared the top economic and media capital of fashion. There are a great many world famous Italian fashion brands which have their main headquarters located in the city, including: Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Prada, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana. Milan Fashion Week is held twice a year and is one of the Holy Grails for catwalk models.

New York

The only recognised fashion capital outside of Europe, New York is a metropolitan city that never sleeps and is home to the cutting edge of innovation is style and culture. New York Fashion Week, branded Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek in 2009 is held in February and September every year – and was originally the first ever fashion ‘week’.

Paris

Paris has a long standing history as a centre of art and fashion and is home to several prestigious fashion houses. It is known for the classic timeless elegance of the designs that are born there. It has an up market high fashion shopping district where all the most exclusive labels can be found.

The Biggest Fashion Industry Events in the World

The five fashion capitals of the world hold the most anticipated annual industry events known as fashion week. The latest creations from top designers and brands are showcased in these presentations. Runway shows are the highlight of any fashion week, and this is the venue where fashion enthusiasts, buyers, and members of the world media can participate in the unveiling of the latest offerings of the creative geniuses behind the fashion industry. In these cities fashion week is held twice a year and ahead of the advent of the new season so that buyers and the media are given a preview of what the fashion houses have in line for the upcoming season. The schedule is also set as such so that retailers have ample time to incorporate the designs into their own marketing and arrange purchases ahead. The autumn and winter collections are showcased in the months of January to April, while the spring and summer collections are unveiled in the months of September to November.

The locations of the most important clothing trade shows are held in the cities of Paris in France, Milan in Italy, London in the United Kingdom, Berlin in Germany, and New York City in the United States of America.

London Fashion Week

This event has made history in 2010 when all the events happening on the catwalk at were broadcast on the Internet via live streaming. It was the first time that any major fashion event took advantage of digital technology. London Fashion Week is held in the capital city of the UK in September and February. It is one of the “Big Four” clothing trade shows in the world, the other three being the events held in Milan, Paris, and New York. Toni & Guy, a prominent hairdressing company and the famous automobile brand, Mercedes-Benz, officially sponsor this program. Reports indicate that orders made in the London Fashion Show amount to anywhere between £40 million to £100 million. On-schedule events are typically held at central London in Somerset House. Off-schedule events are also organized and held elsewhere.

A West London car park was the birthplace of the event. That year, 1984, fashion icons such as John Galliano, David Fielden, Ghost, and Betty Jackson debuted their creations on the catwalk. The event had the support of the British government and Vogue UK.

Paris Fashion Week

This is held twice a year as well primarily at the Carrousel du Louvre and additional venues in Paris. The French Fashion Federation determines the specific dates for the fashion week, but it usually comes after Milan. The fashion week in New York City starts out the “Big Four” followed by London, and then Milan, ending in Paris. Major fashion houses based in France are the main features of Paris Fashion Week, with names such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Dior, Guy Laroche, and Comme des Garçons headlining the impressive lineup. The event usually features haute couture events and men’s fashion shows in addition to shows featuring ready-to-wear garments.

The first Paris Fashion Week was held in 1973.