Home / Blog / Posts / MILAN DISPATCH: DAY 4.5


Headed down to Gianmarco Lorenzi’s showroom on Via Montenapelone for lunch, got out at Cadorna – the completely wrong metro stop, hailed a taxi and was very proud of myself carrying on a full conversation with the cab driver.

All week I have been SO LAZY with my Italian – have been around so many great people translasting for me that I haven’t been flexing my language muscles at all. Usually by Saturday I can fully understand a slow conversation (piano piano!) and/or carry on myself as well. I have been told I have a lovely accent in the three words I do know so that’s a step in the right direction (certo, andiamo and prosecco!)

Anyhoo, after a short cab ride, I catapaulted upstairs where Gianni awaited me. After a flurry of pictures and buono giornatas and excitement, we sat down to a full fashion show of highlights from his collection. The wonderful Stella made me comfortable and brought me more champagne and snacks (see the giant chunks of parmesan we noshed on in the pic), we talked about how bringing shoes into the world is like welcoming babies.

The three ragazze who were modeling the shoes were super fun – they helped tranlaste as well and reveled in the shoes telling me how they felt in each. I learned more about Gianni’s story – he’s had the idea of designing womens shoe since he was five, sketched his first collection at 15, and started manufacturing at the tender age of 21. He truly knows everything about fit, proportion, balance, technological innovation – and above all, sex appeal. He whole focus, like many of the Italian shoe designers I talked to this week, had more what to do with how a woman feels than anything else – from comfort to balance to the rise of the heel. It is the key driver in creating scarpe for le donna, and a sentiment I have heard echoed many times over from Giuseppe to Gianmarco to Rene – thye just want to make women feel good. Hello.

Back out n Montelenapalone, the street was bustling with hundreds of shoppers, basking in the warm glow of an unusual temprate and sunny day. From McQueen to Casadei, there seemed to be no slowdown in spending on this street, and I had a little moment of homesicknesses for Bleecker and 10th, right outside my old door in the West Village.

Circled back to the Melia for a quick tea and to change out of my Alaias and into my Jerome Rousseau’s and headed off to Premiata. The day continued its absolute gloriousness as we drove over the to showroom passing some sort of vocal disarmanent protest and getting lost a few times during the twisty turn streets. Finally we pulled around a curve, barely wide wide enough for our car, paved with bricks and lined with ornate doorways, into a little driveway. The Premiata space is very industrial and spare – white walls and raw wood. We previewed Endless the men’s line and then headed over to the women’s Premiata collection – Graziano is a man who has been in the shoe business since he was 21 when he took over his father’s factory in Marche. Quickly having to learn the business and step into a big role, he has parlayed the business into a key design house who consults and produces for many of the top designers you know’s footwear. I wish I could tell you who but I can’t. He is very highly esteemed among these designers for being able not only to interpret their sketches and designs into gorgeous lasts, but then to manufacture them as well. Well it turns out Graziano also makes wine these days, and of course we had to sample a glass (or four) which led to me trying on all his gorgeous women’s clothing samples with Ludmilla his wonderful sales director, and promptly falling in love with a few jackets, sweaters and above all, three pairs of shoes in particular. Can you say laser cut fir-green calf and grey paper-suede wedge boots?

He is an interesting shoe designer in that his shoes came first, then his clothing line which is very unusual in this business. The lines are classic and clean, and extremely elegant, the shoes are the kind of shoes you’d way day after day for years – classic pumps and flats but with subtle, rough-hewn design details that ground the footwear in a visceral earthy way.

Headed out into the now chilly night to Corso Como where I fell in big time love with a pair of crème flat alaia sandals adorned with mini conch shells. Persued the Marni and the Margiela, then went to see if Corso Como restaurant had any tables. Because the wait was one and a half hours (?) what, we haded down the street for gnocchi and torteloni. Then it was packing time. Of course I had some gelato to help me get those six pairs of platforms properly in the suitcase!

Sunday morning a delicious omlette at the hotel then off to Linate, with a gorgeous view of the alps as I headed out in the Italian sunshine.

Ciao Milano!

back soon!


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