Thursday, 10 October 2013

MADE IN ITALY

Brace yourselves girls, this is all about shoes. Travelling always conjures up visions of fashion, food, flavours, sights, sounds, memorable architecture, and off course, a little shopping. These  things are all interconnected, allowing us to touch, see, feel, hear and taste. And so it should be. What fascinates me about travelling to Fashion Week events, is how styles differ.  Although the French claim ownership of style and fashion, the rightful propriety, to my mind, belongs to the Milanese, being the birthplace of all things luxurious and well crafted, and the city with the most stylish and sophisticated women. Luxury knows no boundaries in this modern European city, and if you thought that you could do some thrift shopping here, you may be gravely disappointed. Most of the Fashion Outlets like Fox Town on the Swiss border, or those on the outskirts of Milan, sell overstock  or previous season's branded items at a fraction of the original price, but still tipping the scale on the higher end. After many years of experience, I've also learnt that instead of having hundreds of pairs of low end and poor quality shoes, it's better to invest in the odd excellently crafted Italian pair. Nowhere in the world is craftsmanship better defined than in Italy. My most sought after and cherished pairs, all originate from the skilful hands of the Italian people. Attending Fashion Week in Milan stimulates all the senses, requiring considerable self constraint not to venture out into the shopping alleys of the Quadrillatero filling up your coffers with extravagance and piling up receipts with more zeros than your Iphone calculator can account for. However, it doesn't mean that a girl shouldn't have any fun. It just requires some careful planning and deliberation when shopping for things this special and unique,  and perhaps not otherwise obtainable from your home country. Although most of the Italian brands can be found elsewhere, the flagship designer stores all hail from Milan's part of the world, and obviously offers a much bigger variety. The most stressful difficulty I then had to face, was being a little spoilt for choice. I took revenge on the damage caused to my shoes spoken about in a previous post on Milan, and did some justice to my bruised ego by replacing them with a pair commensurate with the hurt I felt when I discovered my ruined heels which got caught in the metal grid. Go on girls, start planning ahead. Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail, so if you have baggage restrictions when travelling, start shopping for couriers or shipping agents...... but don't come home without a dainty pair depicting the label  "Made in Italy". If timeless style and quality is your criteria, don't settle for anything less.  Fortunately this is one event where nobody takes offence if you point your lens at their feet, so I hope you enjoy my take on shoes as spotted in Milan during Fashion Week.