Editor's Blog: Milan Fashion Week Day 2

A peek behind the scenes


Today I'm Wearing: Viktor & Rolf Playsuit, Rayban sunnies, Dolce & Gabbana bag, Tabitha Simmons shoes

The temperature is 24 degrees by 8am (sorry London) so a quick breakfast in the hotel garden before the MaxMara show starts the day at 9.30am. Then it's a non-stop fashion timetable: Fendi (where @SamMcknight's rough-cut black bob ruled the runway), @Roberto_Cavalli (after a panini lunch on the steps outside the show in the sun) and finally Prada (probably the best Prada show I have ever seen, but more on that later).


In between shows, there are appointments and meetings – today I was privileged to have two very special appointments. First I met with Etro designer Veronica Etro, who talked me through the inspiration for her show on Friday. In the spring she found her grandmother's collection of books – all the novels were neatly covered with offcuts of fabric, all carefully glued on by her grandmother, so the bookshelf was a riot of pattern and colour. Veronica use the prints across her 45-piece collection we'll be watching on the runway. The story behind a show is often a very personal one and it's a joy to learn these details as an editor – they bring the show to life and give it meaning beyond the collection.

And then I had the enormous pleasure of a preview of Sunday's Dolce & Gabbana show with the craftsmen themselves. This is a very special thing – a 'pinch me' moment for an editor. Standing a foot away from Domenico Dolce as he pins and sews the most exquisite dress onto a model is like watching Leonardo da Vinci paint. Everyone seems to be holding their breath in the peaceful and almost studious showroom as he works. It's an incredible thing to witness for anyone who loves fashion. The clothes are, of course, beautiful – each garment a piece of the story the designers will tell on the runway, all of it held together by a narrative that reflects the designers' deep-rooted Italian heritage. It's like being behind the scenes of a film being made. A huge table of glittering accessories all neatly ordered runs about three metres long, all the models are fitted and photographed one by one and rows of shoes line up against the walls of the calm white space the designers work in. Only an old-fashioned peach-coloured telephone in the middle of the table breaks the hushed atmosphere when it rings loudly. I could watch for hours (drinking my mint tea out of a Dolce & Gabbana pottery mug!) but unfortunately the last show of the day beckons and Milanese traffic is very unforgiving. I can't wait for you to see the show on Sunday – it will take your breath away.


Next, Prada, with unconfirmed rumours abound that Britney's new single will be the runway soundtrack. This is an amazing show – read @Rebecca_ELLE's review now because I won't describe it anywhere near as well. And Google the playlist – you will want it!

1. The Dolce & Gabbana foyer - it's bigger than it looks.

2. A fashion picnic - not as glamorous as it sounds.

3. So, I spotted this in the New York Times T magazine? 'Life does not happen in black and white' - very wise words from this 32 year old superstar. Makes sense, who do you think said it?

4. Which bag today? It's coming to Prada with me so it has to be in the mood!

Things I have learned today? Silver shoes go with everything, everything. That's my fashion tip for you. A playsuit is your friend, the easiest thing to wear ever. And if you go jogging in Milan, at least brush your hair – I have never seen so many stylish people running anti-clockwise around a park. So now you know.

For those not in Milan this weekend, make sure you head down to our brilliant This is London exhibition in Somerset House this weekend. And from Sunday 22nd, download the app. here's a taster of what it has to offer...

Read Next: