Dream Buys in Milan

Other than lots of pasta, art and Prada, Milan is of course fashion. It’s refreshing to see brands like Thom Browne emerge in Europe and labels like Balenciaga shaking up the vision of a retail space. Here’s a little dream shopping tour in the ‘fashion quartet’ of Milan’s Brera quartet… and it’s getting even better when you know that it’s 50% discount everywhere since the beginning of January!

What shocks you the most at Balenciaga are the mannequins standing at the entrance. Or rather two human corpses, which are hyperreal wax figures of two models of the brand. They are disturbing and even spooky. But it’s Demna Gvasalia’s world, so there’s no such thing as „basic”.

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Of course, Bottega Veneta is the busiest store in Milan. I overheard two women literally killing themselves for the last pair of block pumps in blue. That’s the Daniel Lee factor standing behind the brand’s accessories. Still, my heart belongs to the orange intrecciato shoulder bag.

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Off to the mountains for the holidays but still need a ball gown? The Moncler x Pierpaolo Piccioli duvet coat-dress is the only option.

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While everybody went crazy for the Mickey Mouse capsule that hit all the Gucci stores that day, I went mad for this faux fur coat. So dramatic.

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The killer heeled boots from Rick Owens. Not sure if they are made for walking, but they will elevate any silhouette. And those amazingly draped gowns in burgundy… they look incredible.

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Thom Browne’s preppy tailoring and quirky elegance is expanding in Europe. The Milan store – kept in the brand’s signature retro office style – is filled with Thom’s classics, as well as his fashion show garments (like the blazer with Una Troubridge intarsia illustration). My favourite item? The puppy slides.

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Loewe! The details! The William de Morgan capsule! Too many things to love.

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Jil Sander’s soft minimalism is always appealing. And it’s even better when styled with those calf hair wedge boots.

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All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Elegance. Thom Browne Pre-Fall 2020

Thom Browne‘s pre-fall 2020 is at his gender-blurring best. “I love the sensibility of it being so beautifully masculine; but on a girl, I think there’s something beautifully feminine about it too,” he said of an ultra-high waist held up by suspenders, pleats so sharp they draw shadows, and shoulders shaped with the gentlest slope. The black tuxedo, which closed the look-book, is most seductive look of the entire collection. But for those who aren’t always impeccably elegant suit & tie fans, Browne also shows his “fun” side: take the skirt and jacket incrusted with a giraffe worn with a matching coat for an example. Style the look with argyle socks and quirky shoes, and here you’ve got the edgy-snobby, polished-kind-of-look you can only get from Thom Browne.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Marie Antoinette. Thom Browne SS20

If you’re looking for a show (and equally spectacular clothes), go to Thom Browne. Just beware of killer heels he’s offering his models every season. For spring-summer 2020, the designer was drawn towards the unabashed decadence of France before the Revolution. With models in Marie Antoinette-esque wigs and powdered pink faces, Browne’s vision of the 18th-century silhouette aligned most closely with the historic original. Anna Cleveland walked down the runway in a dress that owed its waist-whittling line to traditional corsetry. There was often a layer cake of prettiness underneath the rigorous feminine architecture: petticoats and ruffled bloomers in the softest pastel shades, for example. Browne’s signature gray flannel suits were stripped back to their red, white and blue lining in places, revealing traditional men’s boxer shorts that were buoyed by suspenders. But mostly, those looks said one thing: “let them eat cake!”

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Fun is Key. Thom Browne Resort 2020

“When quality is so important, I think you also have to counterbalance that with something that makes it seem not so serious. Fun is key.” This is how, in two sentences, Thom Browne explained the quintessence of his ready-to-wear line, which is presented as pre-collections (the fashion shows in Paris are ready-to-wear too, but on a very different level…). For resort 2020, Browne showed his signatures, like cropped suits (this time in cute, dolphin print) and impeccably tailored coats in a not-just-for-business kind of attitude. It’s a classic Thom Browne collection, cheered up with a gorgeous vinyl rain-coat in yellow and white rubber boots with the brand’s signature tricolour tag.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Suit Up. Thom Browne Pre-Fall 2019

Thom Browne‘s pre-fall 2019 collection is quintessentially… Thom Browne. Expect the designer’s subversive take on suiting – whether we’re speaking of an over-sized, wool blazer worn over an equally ‘business’ dress (and a crisp white shirt with a tie, layered underneath) or something more playful, say, duck-print tailored jackets with matching knee-lenght skirts. The look-book as well sees the designer’s signature intarsia techniques: tie stripes meet willows, landscapes and even more geese. Also, really love the shoes, kept in red, white and black. They look as bold as Browne’s upside-down elegance.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.