When Fashion Week Calls You, Go

Life is filled with once in a life opportunities. Everyday you make the choice to live everyday to its fullest or sit in bed and accomplish nothing. Opportunities come about in a variety of different ways whether for your education, career or just memories. So when I had the chance to go to Milan for Fashion Week I knew this was an opportunity of a lifetime I could not pass up. During the week, my friends and I decided to book a last minute day to trip to Milan. In our heads we were all like when are we ever going to have another chance to sight-see around Milan during Fashion Week the ultimate time to be in the city each year. One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is both going on adventures and enhancing your education, so what could be more perfect than a fashion major going to Milan Fashion Week.

I have always loved the quote from Grace Coddington (my fashion idol): “Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching. Because whatever you can see can inspire you.” This quote has lived with me for a while now. I find that it is a great reminder to take in everything whether good or bad because you never know what will change you. I have kept this quote very much in mind during this adventure but especially during my Friday in Milan.

When Fashion Week Calls You Go

We rely heavily on bus travel for our weekend and day trips and as nice as a nap sounds I tend to make myself stay awake to see the changing surroundings. Unfortunately this was not the case for Milan, pretty sure I slept the entire way there! But as soon as we got there my eyes were pretty wide open awaiting inspiration.

From the moment we emerged from the subway station there was absolute beauty. When you arrive at the Duomo station you ride up the escalator and all of a sudden you are in front of this piece of work that does not even seem real. Again we experienced the movie set feeling. To add to the beauty you could already sense the presence of fashion week in the air even though we were nowhere near the festivities or fashion district. Bloggers were posing in front of the Duomo, men were dressed in perfectly tailored suits, other groups were running with schedules in their hands. This was the first time I thought what is this city like not during fashion week?

Sometimes you have to take in the Florence street art

By this time we were all starving and just trying to walk off the long three hour bus ride. The tour guide took us to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the beautiful meeting point of Milan. I have been fortunate enough to have shopped Fifth Avenue before and have been to Rodeo Drive and neither of those places can even compare to the shopping of Milan. In this beautiful ornate meeting place there are designer names galore, Prada, Gucci, you name it is there. We sat down for lunch and models began strutting down the Galleria holding the one and only Karl Lagerfeld balloons for advertising. All my friends were like what is the point of that and of course the PR/Social Media management person in me was like look at all the people taking pictures with it on their stories, Instagram etc. its free marketing (HAHA).

As a fashion major I had some huge moments on this trip that almost brought me to tears, we got to walk by the actual Dolce and Gabbana headquarters (mention one of my favorite designers). Walking down in the fashion district I do not think I have ever seen more well dressed people in my life. The street style was inspirational, it was not outlandish or eccentric like New York City. Everyone was put together but still stood out against the crowd.

Our tour group got us into the fashion tradeshow where up and coming designers were showcasing their new collections to prospective buyers and customers. It was such an interesting opportunity that I did not realize we were going to have. Each designer spoke with us as a group about their collection, where they were as a brand and where they hope to be soon.

I didn’t think anything could top Florence’s Duomo

This trip was one of a lifetime and one of my dreams. I left Milan hoping one day I will return.

Olivia Pienta

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