Shoe Repair London, Handbag Repairs London - The Restory, London

The Ultimate City Guide For Milan Fashion Week

Emily John

Fashion month is upon us and wherever you look there are hundreds of city guides dedicated to fashion capital Paris, including our own guide ' Paris Is Always A Good Idea'. But Milan, housing the boldest brands in fashion such as Versace, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana, is not to be overlooked. So we took it upon ourselves to assemble the favourite hangouts of the fashion insiders for you below.

 

Pasticceria Marchesi at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele Shopping Centre

Pasticceria Marchesi at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele Shopping Centre

Pasticceria Marchesi

With matcha coloured walls and a retro interior, Paticceria Marchesi is every fashion girl’s pit stop in between the shows. You can gawk at the exquisitely handmade tarts and bonbons on display but don’t forget to taste some too. Partially owned by Prada since 2016, the pastry store is conveniently located within the famous shopping mall Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, right atop the Men’s Prada store. Getting your sugar and tea fix became that much easier!

Address: Corso Vittoria Emanuele II, 20121 Milano MI, Italy

 

Bice

Next stop is the family- run Italian restaurant Bice, where they serve the most delicious risottos and tiramisu. An institution since 1939, Bice has a history of catering to the fashion and football scene and is a must visit for anyone who loves to indulge in traditional Italian ‘cucina’. Besides, if the food doesn’t transport you back in time already the classic décor with red tartan carpets certainly will. Buon appetito!

Address: Via Borgospesso, 12, 20121 Milano MI, Italy

Restaurant Bice 

Restaurant Bice 

The Bulgari Resort in Milan

The Bulgari Resort in Milan

Bulgari Hotel

The Four Seasons may be perfectly situated to go on a shopping spree and also the place where all the fashion editors flock to but what if you want to get away from the fashion week hysteria and recharge your batteries? Then the Bulgari Hotel and Spa is your choice; located in an 18th- century palazzo adjacent to a beautiful botanical garden in downtown Milan. The indoor mosaic pool and hammam of the luxury hotel will make sure you forget you are in the middle of a busy city. Book a tailored treatment or a signature facial and expect to be pampered.

Address: Via Privata Fratelli Gabba, 7, Milan, 20121, Italy

 

10 Corso Como Store

10 Corso Como Store

10 Corso Como

Milan is famous for its fashion boutiques and specialty stores but nothing is quite as unique as 10 Corso Como, which is a stylish hybrid of a hotel, luxury concept store and restaurant. Founded by Carla Sozzani, sister of late Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani, the range includes everything from haute couture to candles and books. It’s impossible to leave empty handed so after splashing the cash on Alaïa and Lanvin make sure to wind down with a coffee or lunch in the greenery of the courtyard restaurant. Not to be missed: The Carla Sozzani Photo Gallery, right up the stairs from the courtyard. 

Address: Corso Como, 10, 20154 Milano MI, Italy

 

Armani Silos & Palazzo Morando

For a fashion history lesson in between shows, visit the Palazzo Morando on the Fashion District’s doorstep; a place where many aristocratic families lived throughout the years and where you can now find extensive vintage clothes collection on display in the18th century rooms. To indulge in more modern architecture and design, head to the Armani/ Silos which celebrates the designer’s 40 years in fashion with over 600 outfits!

Address: Palazzo Morando, Via Sant’Andrea, 6, 20121 Milano MI, Italy

Address: Armani/ Silos, Via Bergogne, 40, 20144 Milano MI, Italy

 

Villa d'Este Gardens, Cernobbio

Villa d'Este Gardens, Cernobbio

Villa d’Este, Lake Como

Thinking about skipping Paris Fashion Week altogether and immersing yourself in absolute escapism? Less than an hour away from Milan, Villa d’Este on the picturesque Lake Como is the perfect getaway from the fashion fatigue. Fittingly referred to as ‘ heaven on earth’, the Renaissance style hotel and 25-hectare garden is reminiscent of non other than Versailles itself! Rent one of the four private villas for the ultimate luxury experience and you might not want to leave…Ever! Don’t say we didn’t warn you..

Address: Via Regina, 40, 22012 Cernobbio CO, Italy

 

The list goes on so here is a quick breakdown of a few more hotspots you shouldn’t miss: if you are a sweet tooth just like us, then don’t skip Il Massimo del Gelato who serves the best gelato in town. They do all the classic flavours on a gorgeous chocolate foundation- can you ever visit Italy without trying all the delicious gelato? Didn’t think so! Next, go to the spot where all fashion editors host their dinner parties and try the famous fruit tarts in the stylish setting of the Giacomo Bistrot, where all the walls are lined with leather-bound books. The perfect ending to Milan fashion week is an evening at Ceresio 7, the exclusive rooftop bar of design duo Dsquared2. All that’s left is to enjoy your aperitivo and the beautiful views over Milan.

Address: Il Massimo del Gelato, Via Lodovico Castelvetro, 18, 20154 Milano MI, Italy

Address: Giacomo Bistrot, Via Pasquale Sottocorno, 6, 20129 Milano MI, Italy

Address: Ceresio 7, Via Ceresio, 7, 20154 Milano MI, Italy

Giacomo Bistrot in Milan

Giacomo Bistrot in Milan

Rooftop Terrace at Ceresio 7

Rooftop Terrace at Ceresio 7

Iconic Handbag: The Gucci Bamboo

Emily John

Gucci is well known for creating the most covetable it-bags season after season but it’s the more demure Gucci bamboo, worn by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Ingrid Bergman and Lady Diana that is considered as one of the most iconic handbags of all time. Also called the 0633, the Bamboo top handle bag stems from the 1940’s when the leather shortage as an aftermath of the war left many fashion houses scratching their heads over resources. To save on materials such as leather, Gucci came up with the brilliant idea to incorporate bamboo into their handbags. This happened to be a particularly good choice due to the fact that the material was extremely durable and easily imported from Japan during that time.

 Gucci Museo Archive

 Gucci Museo Archive

In contrast to the usual slouchy bags Gucci was so acclaimed for, the brand introduced a new and innovative handbag design with a bamboo handle and a small, boxy leather frame made out of pigskin. The artistic process that goes into the creation of these bamboo handles is quite possibly the most interesting out of any bag ever made. First, highly skilled Gucci craftsmen select the most perfect and unblemished pieces of cane for the bag handles. The bamboo is then softened and worked over an open flame by hand to manipulate the material into a semi-circular shape. During the next step, the handle is coated in multiple layers of lacquer, after which it’s toasted- yes you read that correctly, toasted- in order to achieve a shiny golden-brown finish. Once cooled, the handles are affixed to the top of the leather frame of the bag. Due to this meticulous process not a single bamboo handle is ever the same. As was to be expected, Gucci has patented this unique method and to this date, all bamboo handles are still handcrafted by trained artisans in the Gucci factory just outside of Florence.

Gucci Artisans Heating Bamboo In Florence

Gucci Artisans Heating Bamboo In Florence

Storing Bamboo Handles In Florence

Storing Bamboo Handles In Florence

Fuelled by celebrities and even royalty, the bamboo bag became an instant hit and a status symbol in the 50’s and 60’s when top handle bags were all the rage. The newly revamped version of the bag, first created in 2010 during the tenure of Gucci’s then Creative Director Frida Giannini, has a larger frame and a detachable leather shoulder strap; making it more easy to wear and modern-day friendly. Unsurprisingly, the popularity of the New Bamboo bag seems undying and can now be seen dangling from the arms of Beyonce, Cate Blanchett and Naomi Watts to name a few. Over the years the bamboo handle has become a signature and a symbol of the Gucci heritage. Recognizing its pull, Gucci’s new creative force Alessandro Michele has expanded the bamboo line and introduced several new models to lust after such as the Dionysus top handle bag.

1940's Gucci Advert

1940's Gucci Advert

1991 Gucci Advert

1991 Gucci Advert

How easily do we forget the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into the creation of these beautiful bags when we find ourselves on the hunt for the next piece to add to our collection? Some food for thought for the next time you are eyeing a Gucci bamboo bag: the process of creating one bag requires 140 individual pieces and takes 13 hours to assemble. So we might not be paying for ‘just the brand’ after all...

Needless to say the Gucci bamboo has remained one of the greatest classics in handbag history and there is a reason why it has gathered such a huge and notable following throughout the years. Besides the distinctive look and design, the bamboo handle is so durable that it will last much longer than any leather handle. However, it is good to keep in mind that bamboo has wood-like properties and just like wood it can easily dry out if not carefully taken care of. Another thing to watch out for is the chance of bamboo bouncing back to it’s straight shape, which is why all new Gucci bamboo bags are accompanied by a contraption especially crafted to hold and keep the C shape of the handles.

Whether you are the lucky owner of this beloved Gucci classic or have one on your wish list, rest assured that the Atelier team at The Restory can buff and shine the leather and re-moisturize bamboo handles in case of some wear and tear. Book a complimentary collection and make sure your bag remains in perfect condition for you to enjoy that much longer!

Spring 2017 Collection

Spring 2017 Collection

Elizabeth Taylor with her Gucci bamboo

Elizabeth Taylor with her Gucci bamboo

Fall 2017 Collection

Fall 2017 Collection

Meet Neil Moodie, Co-Founder Of Hairdresser & Product Range Windle & Moodie

Emily John

 

We sat down with hair guru Neil Moodie, founder of award winning Covent Garden hair salon and British haircare brand Windle & Moodie, to gain some insight into the art of hairstyling. With 30 years of experience in the industry, Neil and co-founder Paul Windle are both renowned hairdressers who have now also developed an innovative and eco-friendly haircare line. Needless to say they are experts in all things hair. 
 

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How did you first get into hairdressing and did you know it was what you always wanted to do?

When I was at school I wanted to be a journalist but was discouraged by my English teacher who didn't think I would be suitable... It was the 80's and we were all into doing each other’s hair at school, cutting and colouring. It was generally a very experimental time for hair, make-up and fashion and a lot of my friends asked me to do their hair. I suddenly had a light-bulb moment that I wanted to become a hairdresser and began hairdressing without any idea if it was the right thing. I was also fuelled to make this decision by people who wanted me to continue with further education. So I really have my discouraging English teacher to thank for.

Neil Moodie Co-Founder Windle & Moodie

Neil Moodie Co-Founder Windle & Moodie

 

Did you enjoy the transition into editorial, what was the biggest change?

The transition was completely unplanned. After almost giving up hairdressing, I decided to become a hair colour technician at Toni & Guy salon in Kensington when it was still a smaller, non-franchised company. Then I met photographer Corinne Day in 1991 through a mutual friend after which I began to colour her hair. In 1993, Corinne asked me to colour the hair of a new model for a shoot for The Face Magazine. Just two days before the shoot, I got a call from Corinne that the hairstylist they booked had dropped out and asked if I could style the hair. I then committed the cardinal sin and called in sick at the salon on a Saturday to able to make it to the shoot.

The shoot was published three months later, and there was one picture where I had sprayed the model's hair pink at the ends. It seems this picture launched my editorial/fashion career because the week thereafter I received a call from the bookings editor of Vogue Italia who asked if I could go to Milan and reproduce the pink ends for their shoot. 

Corinne enjoyed working with me and she liked my ideas so when she kept pressing me to work with her, after some initial trepidation, I agreed. I was thrown in at the deep end and Corinne became my mentor. The first advertising campaign I booked was with Corinne for Miu Miu and the rest is history.  The change was huge as the approach to hairdressing is completely different from salon work. I soon realised that my hair "dressing" skills were coming a lot more into play than my cutting and colouring skills. The concept of hairstyling requires much more thinking outside the box.

 

You’ve worked with so many incredible photographers, brands & celebrities, which shoot are you most proud of?

That's a really hard question to answer because I've done so much work over the past 24 years and to pick just one would be impossible. Though there are a couple of things I'm most proud of:

1) The 9 portraits of Kate Moss taken by Corinne Day for the National Portrait Gallery in London. These are now part of their permanent collection and knowing that my work is on display forever at that gallery is quite special. 

2) All my Vogue covers feel special; to have your work featured on the frontpage of Vogue, which only issues 12 covers per year, is an incredible feeling. 

3) Any shoots I have done in the past where people even now comment they are iconic images of their time. It gives me a warm feeling knowing that my work has had a real influence on others. Even though it's not just the hair but the whole image that's had an impact. 

 

Gigi Hadid's First Vogue Cover March 2015, Hair By Neil Moodie

Gigi Hadid's First Vogue Cover March 2015, Hair By Neil Moodie

As a hair dresser & stylist you’re on your feet a lot, what are your go to shoes?

I mainly wear trainers to work for better support for my feet. My go to's are Nike Air Max 90's and I usually tend to go for limited editions or colour block ones.  I also like New Balance and my Adidas Stan Smiths by RAF Simons. I wear a lot of black so I like to throw in some colour to my wardrobe with my footwear, socks and underwear. My Grenson Brogue boots are a current favourite and I also wear Doc Martin brogue shoes a lot. I also love Converse All Stars but  you have to wear an insole in those as they have no foot support whatsoever.

I always wear PRO II Wellbeing Insoles in all my shoes as I suffered from Plantar Fasciitis for a couple of years until recently, which is a painful heel condition that occurs in elderly people or youngsters who are on their feet a lot. These insoles helped me through that period and it took many treatments and home therapy sessions to overcome the pain. I still wear the insoles as a prevention because they give great heel support. 

 

Moschino Runway

Moschino Runway

Moschino Runway

Moschino Runway

What can you not live without?

A Mason & Pearson Brush, Japanese Hair Pins, WAM Revolving Irons, Beard trimmer Victorinox luggage, Tom Ford Tobacco & Vanilla fragrance, music and good food.  I also have a secret addiction to Vanilla flavoured Coke Zero, but my new year’s resolution is to cut down on that as I'm aware that I drink too much of it. 

 

What’s your advice for someone wanting to start the year fresh and have a new hair style?

Firstly, it's only hair, it grows!

On a more serious note: Try on some wigs to see how you would look with another hairstyle, but make sure they are a bit more high end. Try wigs that are close to your own hair colour so you get a more true representation of what the haircut will look like. 

Talk to your hairstylist about what they think would suit you. Other things to remember are: to check that the haircut is right for your face shape; make sure you pick something that's flattering for you and not just because it looks amazing on your favourite celebrity. On top of that, is your current wardrobe compatible with your new haircut? If you have chosen a haircut that requires more daily maintenance, are you the kind of person who will make extra time for that? Being able to carry it off is important too.

Windle & Moodie Range

Windle & Moodie Range

From Designing To Creating Handbags, Behind The Scenes At ODP

Emily John

A native Texan now based in Italy, Allison Hoeltzel Savini is the founder of Officina del Poggio, an accessories line completely made in Italy, focusing on traditional construction methods. Having spent the last 17 years in Italy working for various brands, she launched ODP in 2014. Through her own collection and also her consulting business in product design and development for shoes and leather goods, Allison spends her days hands-on at tanneries and factories throughout Italy. We had the pleasure of meeting Allison at the Lineapelle fair in Milan, and asked her to share with us a little more about her work.

 

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Your role sounds very behind-the-scenes, so explain to us a little more about what you do:

For my own line, I manage the entire creative and development process: researching shapes and trends, sourcing materials, designing and developing the protos and samples, and even the sales. Fortunately now we are growing so I am able to delegate some of the sales and marketing to external collaborators, which allow me to work more on the product. 

For other brands, I work as a consultant to help in the development of their lines. I collaborate directly with the creative directors or product development teams to help in building their line, whether it be completely from scratch in trend research and presenting designs and concepts, to developing their sample collections, or in some cases my clients just need help with sourcing materials. 

 

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Tell us a little about why you chose this career path:

Actually I studied something completely different. I came to Italy in 2001 for an internship to complete my MBA. I was specializing in Arts Administration, yet as most arts organizations are state-run in Italy, it was difficult to find a job in the arts as I wasn't an Italian citizen, therefore couldn't even apply for most jobs. I searched for a job in fashion as it had always been an interest. I wanted to work in marketing but instead landed my first job in product development. I loved spending time in the factories and really seeing the whole process: from the research and development of the raw materials up to the final stages of ensuring that the product meets quality standards. 

 

Working with shoes and leather goods, what was the most interesting thing you discovered?

I was really amazed at how complicated the process is, and how many components and manufacturers are involved in each product. The components are all made from different suppliers, so it is quite a process to organize it all together. For industrialized brands, even though you may make the shoes with a specific shoe factory, you still source the lasts, leather, soles, reinforcements, and heels all from different suppliers. You have to “build” the constructions starting from the last, and then all of the other components are custom fit to the last. The last has to be tested and fit as even just a millimeter can make a big difference in the comfort, and the height and pitch of the heel also has to be perfect. It is actually quite a technical process because in the end, the shoe has to fit well and be comfortable, while still respecting the design and “look” of the design team. With handbags, it is the same except you have fewer components. I am always tempted to say that handbags are easier to develop, yet it isn't necessarily true as handbags have to be functional, as they are more personal to a woman. 

 

What is a typical week like for you during the development process? 

No week is ever “typical”, as a lot of the process is just being on-hand to resolve problems as they arise. I have the luxury of being in Italy, and very central in Bologna, so I am at the factories at least twice a week to make sure that the development process is running smoothly, and I often visit the tanneries to check on the development of leathers or also to quality control before shipment to the factories. I try to at least have two days a week as “office time”, to catch up on correspondence, pricing calculations, and emails. 

 

What do you love most about this job? I love a good challenge, so it is always fun to hunt and search for unique materials or workmanship techniques. I also love working directly with the artisans. A lot of the process of both my bags and also the lines that I work for is a constant dialouge and hands-on participation with the various people involved: from the shoe technicians to the patternmakers to also the prototype makers, who are key in the process as they are the ones who take the pattern and transform it into the first piece, often needing to tweak the pattern or use particular reinforcements to make it perfect. The best part, though, is seeing the final samples... it is like Christmas each time a piece is completed!

 

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What is the most challenging part of your job?

Definitely keeping track of all of the deadlines. Italy is always thought to have too many holidays and a very relaxed attitude regarding deadlines, but I don't find that true. Those that are passionate about what they do know that fashion only works if it is presented in a timely manner. Therefore they often work long hours and weekends to make sure to get the job done. If you miss the runway or sales dates, then the entire development goes to waste. With all of the components involved, I have to make sure that they all arrive on time to allow the final maker to complete the samples. Often there are bottlenecks so it is just a matter of anticipating them. I never would have thought this at the time, but the most useful course of my MBA was definitely Operations Management! 

 

What advice could you give to someone wanting to break into a career in fashion?

Don't be afraid to take a job that might not have been your desired path, as you need to start out somewhere and the skills you learn will always be useful when moving into other roles. I didn't ever think to work in development, yet it was a perfect start as it gave me the technical skills I needed to then move into product management, line building, and design. Getting your hands dirty working on building and understanding the product is necessary in all aspects of the business.

 

Sign up to our newsletter before Tuesday 30th January 2018 to receive an exclusive discount of 20% off Officina del Poggio valid until 28th February 2018.

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