mercoledì 24 settembre 2008

à la mode

It’s fashion week again and I would just like to dispel a myth:
Living in Milan does not mean that you get to go to fashion shows. It seems like every time I tell someone that I live in Milan, their immediate reaction is “How glamorous – you must meet models all the time!”. Sorry to disappoint folks, but the reality of the matter is that models are usually only seen out in public during fashion week (i.e. twice a year), and then they are on the catwalks by day and holed up in the some dingy “VIP” corner of the latest ‘place to be’ by night, where they spend the entire time going in and out of the toilets in pairs, sniffing and adjusting their nostrils each time they emerge.
To get to see an actual show you have to be, without exception:

The Designer
The Designer’s friends / family / sponsor / hangers-on
A celebrity
A fashion journalist

Just to prove my point I will tell you that my best friend’s boyfriend works for Ralph Lauren in a fairly responsible creative role. He has worked here in Milan for the past 5 years, and has met Ralph himself on more than one occasion during business trips to the New York office. He has even set up and assisted at this season’s New York shows. However, in spite of all of this, he has not yet seen a show here in Milan, has never been able to get tickets or even swing a backstage pass…
Many (mostly American) tourists come to Milan during fashion week assuming that they can buy tickets to the shows when they get here and leave disappointed that the closest they got was standing in the queue for the toilets, watching one model after the other stumble out, dazed and confused. Probably not a million miles from the real thing, but then I wouldn’t know because I’ve never been…

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