Milan Fashion Week 2017: What You Have to Know

There’s New York and London Fashion Week… and then there’s Milan Fashion Week!

Fashion month has gone and I want to keep up with the new collections thrown our way in the four fashion capitals: New York, London, Milan, and Paris. I was attending Milan fashion week as you might know and one thing’s for sure: The Italians know how to make a bold statement.

I have written at least a hundred times in my blogger career that I’m utterly in love with fashion. I know I am repeating myself! But it seems I will fall in love all over again when I’m going to fashion week.

The second day of Milan Fashion Week 2017 was way colder and here I come to my first look that made it out of the apartment. I am wearing a Leopard fur coat from Guess, that I have in my wardrobe for ten years. I added a simple black turtleneck dress from Ylana Shop as the coat is the key piece of my outfit. Some patent leather boots and the look is done.

Because Fashion Week is a very discussed topic right now, let’s talk about what is really happening there!

 

Here’s my Guide to Milan Fashion Week 2017

I want you guys to get the inside, so I decided to respond to a few questions about my fashion week experiences, like how I pack and plan, things that surprised me, and what does it mean for me attending Fashion Week.

First of all: What is Milan Fashion Week?

Milan Fashion Week (Italian: Settimana della moda) is a clothing trade show held semi-annually in Milan, Italy. The autumn/winter event is held in February/March of each year, and the spring/summer event is held in September/October. These shows are always a season ahead, so the Spring/Summer 2017 collections are actually shown in September 2016, in order to get an idea of the collection demand for sale in stores. Milan Fashion Week, established in 1958, is part of the global “Big Four fashion weeks”, the others being Paris Fashion Week, London Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week. The schedule begins with New York, followed by London, and then Milan, and ending with Paris.

Milan Fashion Week 2017 for the upcoming Autumn/Winter 2017-18 started on Wednesday, February 22nd. It included 68 fashion shows during 6 days! Renowned Italian brands, including Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Gucci, Fendi, Moschino, Bottega Veneta, etc. as well as emerging designers, showcased their AW17 collections to an audience of A-listers, the fashion press, and international style elite. Some even have two shows each a day, like Emporio Armani and Roberto Cavalli! Fashion shows usually take place every hour, and range from 5 to 30 minutes long.

Milan Fashion Week is a fabulous occasion for designers to show their collections to journalists and buyers, who then review them and start placing orders for their boutiques and stores. More importantly, the designs that walk down the runway will dictate the fashion world’s upcoming trends.

Did you know that the first Fashion Week was held in 1943 in New York? To be honest: I always thought Paris was first.  Because in New York they concentrate more on street style and setting trends, wearability being the key here! While London Fashion Week distinguishes itself by being rather eccentric it’s also known for especially promoting young designers and newcomers. I want to try it also in September. While Paris is more androgynous and classic, Milan usually goes all the way regarding showing skin and being a woman. Italian fashion always strikes me as very feminine, floral, and definitely sexy. Maybe is just my impression but it suits me perfectly!

It can be also ironic – just look at Moschino’s latest collection which I will show in another post.

So, after arriving home I like to scroll through all the designer collections and try to find my favorites.

Where do the fashion shows take place?

Milan Fashion Week transforms the city into a touristic hub by simply creating various venues for the shows selecting the most elegant and influential places to become the stage for design.

Aside from the standard studios and showrooms, many of Milan’s fashion shows are held in historic, outdoor landmarks and palaces—like the Piazza Duomo, the courtyard of the Castello Sforzesco, Palazzo Reale, Palazzo Serbelloni, etc. These outdoor venues offer more space and the opportunity for the public to be a part of the show. The problem for us is that each and every fashion show is held in another corner of the city and all day long you just have to run from one location to another.

As a blogger, what do you look for when you go to shows?

As a Fashion Blogger, I am attending the shows to see the new collections for style inspiration and to shape an idea of what I want to wear next season, write about the fashion trends in my upcoming articles. While shows are being so debated as to usefulness, there is no denying that an amazing fashion show can change your perception of a brand and a designer in an instant. I’m always excited before a show and I appreciate craftsmanship, storytelling and beautiful ideas.

But the Street style is the most important and fun part for us bloggers. We can become a street style favorite if we have good outfits. In Milan, the pavements are brimming with inspired and creative style pairings in shoes and bags. I am always inspired by the styles worn outside the Milanese catwalks as I am by what’s being worn on them.

Italian glamour is the key street-style trend for show attendees at Milan Fashion Week.

Milan fashion week means loud colors, bold prints, embellished sneakers and furry coats. I can’t decide if it’s the morning espressos, stylish Italian men or drop-dead gorgeous clothes all my favorite Italian designers are currently showing which allows everyone to be so on point with their dressing. Perhaps it’s the sunny Milan weather. Whatever it is, we can only aspire to this level of fabulous dressing.

Why is it important for fashion bloggers to attend Fashion Week?

I have been attending the shows for the last two years and I value everything for the fashion knowledge and history it gives me. For the authentic stories it tells and the evolution of a designer! And let’s face it, there are some amazing parties and people I get to meet and hang out !!!

Even if you don’t plan on attending a single fashion show, walking around the city and visit the stores—which throw parties, often with DJs and complimentary refreshments—will give you a great feel for Fashion Week’s energy… not to mention the chance for some celebrity sightings! And have fun with your friends!

If I’m not in the fashion industry, can I still get into the shows?

Not all of them, as most fashion shows are invite-only. But many fashionistas can be found waiting outside the shows or events to get a sneak peak. And there is NO SHAME in this! Plus, there are always specific events and presentations of collections in the designer’s showroom, that are free and open to the public.

Dress your best and show up anyway. You might just make your way onto the list of Best Street Style!

Nobody has invitations to all the fashion shows during a fashion week. Maybe just Anna Wintour and Anna Dello Russo!

 

What don’t people know about fashion week?

That there are a lot of non-glamour moments as well! Like the struggle of having to change inside a cab or restaurant in between shows, because you don’t have time to go back to your apartment! Yes, it is necessary to change if you want to be spotted by famous photographers.

Sometimes it is also difficult to get to some venues that are located so far away from where are you. Yes, I believe that we all have money to pay a taxi if we managed to come to Fashion Week. But for those who don’t understand, the city is so crowded and stuck during Fashion Week. So, if you want to catch the next show, the easiest and fastest way to get there is the subway. Doesn’t mean I will lose my Glamour! I’m still a normal person!

Finding time to eat during the fashion week can be a little tough also, when you have early morning shows.
Nothing is as of a bigger challenge than wishing you had clones of yourself or the ability to be present in multiple places so you can do all of the five things happening at the same time.

How are you preparing for Fashion Week?

During Milan Fashion Week I don’t have access to all of my wardrobe. When I travel I always think, “Oh my god, if only I had brought that one thing!” even when I already have three suitcases! When I travel I have to work with what I have but then I always need something more! Locals are at a definite advantage when it comes to prepping for Fashion Week.
When I have to choose my clothes for Fashion Week, I always go with how I feel. My style is a work in progress, so one week before I’m doing fittings. Then once everything is packed, I have my week worth of beauty and clothes. I always feel like Cinderella, and I begin to mix and match. Sometimes I change three times a day because I like to experiment so much. I have moments when I don’t know what I’m going to wear the next hour, so it’s really random but it’s always fun. And stressing!

How I’m going to stay warm during fashion week? What shoes I’m bringing?

Shows in February and March are always tricky as I definitely favor warmth and comfort over fashion. Definitely a pair of over-knee boots to keep me warm, because I always have dresses to wear. So you will find me in Fur coats. I play a lot with clothes but when it comes to shoes is very difficult. I like high heels and I like that my ankle is going to be seen. So, I’m always the same: black high heels with a pointed toe or high heel sandals. This gives an elegant touch to all my looks.

If you are curious how many I have, I am taking with me three pieces of luggage—one with shoes, one with clothes, and one with bags. With bags, I say, “Take everything!” Because when I do a fitting, sometimes it’s not working and it may take trying 10 bags to make the look perfect. It’s really an important accessory that can change the look. So my rule is: Take them all! You’re always going to need the one you leave at home! I pack an extra battery charger, lots of accessories and of course, a huge makeup kit. But when I’m going to the shows, I always carry with me an extra pair of flats or sneakers. They are the only shoes who save me after going to multiple shows throughout the day and walking on cobblestone.

After spending Fashion Week on heels, Now I’m trying to wear as little as I can heels. The scary ones this season were the Atelier Faiblesse nude shoes with 15cm heels.

How far in advance should I book my trip to Milan if I want to attend Fashion Week?

As far in advance as possible. In fact, because of the crowds, I suggest reserving hotels and transportation months before to secure your tickets and accommodation. Of course, you can find something closer to the date, but prices reach exorbitant rates. I recommend you Tailor Events. They helped me a lot with this trip.

During Fashion Week I like to rent my own apartment on Airbnb, because I simply love to have my own place where I like to go when I am in between shows and disconnect from all the craziness. Otherwise, if I go to a café, I’m still looking at my phone. When I have the time I come home and enjoy the beauty of the city from my balcony. I feel recharged and able to go out and be fabulous again!

 

What was your first show and how is your first fashion week experience different from now?

My first show was John Galliano at Paris Fashion Week, a year after I started blogging. The difference from then I wouldn’t have an assigned seat, most times I would stand. Today, fortunately, a lot of the designers know who I am and I get to have a seat and watch the shows up close.
For my first Fashion Week, I took a week off from work, because, dreams! I had no idea what I was doing and how crazy it will be. It was still one of the most magical moments I’ve ever experienced in my life. Of course, that first show I never imagined I will receive an invitation, and eventually making my way back toward the front row. That first show gave me a taste of what fashion shows could be that I never stopped chasing.

What makes a show stand out other than the clothes and styling?

I always appreciate when a show speaks to an idea that’s bigger than just “these clothes are cool.”It makes the clothes more meaningful. Just take a look at Gucci, who has a vintage but with a modern idea of mix-and-match that felt like a statement of how most women dress.

This season, not one designer was feeling indifferent of what is happening now in the world. I’ve never felt such a profound sense of disconnect while sitting at a fashion show. Some focused on sharpening the “reality factor,” working on collections grounded in women’s everyday needs, polishing shapes, simplifying volumes, erasing embellishments, working on the primal need of protection that an outfit can provide, without detracting from celebrating luxe and sensuality the Italian way.

The best example was Fendi, which sent out one of the best collections of the week!

Real Clothes, Real Girls, and Real Glamour

Fendi twist on simplicity was surprising and quite unexpected!  Fendi’s Fall 2017 collection at Milan Fashion Week offered posh options for *a modern woman* on the go. I leave you with the Live video.

I leave you with the Live video.

 

 

Fendi’s new collection introduced us to “a cinematic character pacing the streets of Rome at dawn.” The first look definitely did nothing to deny it, Cara Taylor wore a fitted herringbone coat with mink cuffs over a Prince of Wales check shirt.

Karl Lagerfeld put his twists on classics, proving that they need not be boring in his Fall 2017 RTW collection for Fendi. A palette of grey, brown, red, and black was used to tell his story, applying them to traditional silhouettes in skirts, suits, and top coats. The grey came by way of glen plaids, brown was the color of lush mink, and the red…..thigh high boots to pair with every look. But it was Mr. Lagerfeld’s innovation in fur design, a trademark of the house of Fendi, that brought the greatest reverence. He proved once again that FUR trend is going to stay for FALL 2017-18.

And you know how much I love FUR!

 

Overall, Milan Fashion Week 2017 was pretty relaxed and much warmer than usual. Even though fashion week can get hectic, I always love the craziness of people. I had a lot of fun with my friends and I am proud that I had the chance to see the latest Fall winter 2017-18 collections so close.

Find the rest of my outfits under the Fashion Week category on my home page, and make sure to let me know what you think!

Have you ever attended a Fashion Week before? What did you think? Tell me in the comments!