Sunday, February 27, 2011

FRIDAY, FEB 26, 2011

1030 backstage at Antonio Marras
We arrive a little late and having started to get the impression that all backstages are the same, spend only a minute with the models and dressers before heading to our seats. In the second row we sit by an aisle hoping to move forward and get a good view for pictures when the show starts. Unfortunately a videographer has the same idea so I am only a spectator at this show.
1940s inspired with plenty of wool and knits in charcoals, navys and moss greens, it is some of the more fall/winter appropriate clothing we have seen.  The detail and quality, the time that has gone into creating each piece is apparent. An beautiful presentation: the stage  backdrop splits to reveal all the models lined up on tiered levels like a choir as the finale. After a few moments and a standing ovation, the models swarm the runway to an upbeat soundtrack. Most impressive finale to date.

1130 - 1400 ETRO
Because Antonio Marras started so late we make a choice to skip Les Copains and take the press bus directly to Etro. It takes us an hour to get through traffic. We have standing room only and have to wait outside. Street photographers are everywhere. Today everyone is dressed really well, and I wish I had nicer shoes. When we are let in its another wait before they let us to our seats. The red-tie guys don't seem to know what is going on. Just as the lights are dimmed, we jump the ropes with the crowds of people and I head directly to the front row, Lindsay sits just behind me. I have a perfect seat right beside a very nice journalist from V magazine.

Not surprisingly, this is by far the best collection we have seen so far.

1500 Massimo Rebecchi
Over to Massimo Rebecchi who always shows in a jaw-dropping gold gilded and mirrored room. We have front row and sit down between two famous italian beauties. We are told one is a model, the other a journalist. As the show starts I am yelled at in Italian by all the photographers on the podium for leaning too far out onto the runway as I attempt to take pictures. They had to know this would happen considering their position on the Podium. The corner is where I end up at most shows and just have to deal with it.

Brightly coloured ankle socks match with pumps gets me excited for spring!

1600 Blumarine
I sadly did not receive an invitation and decide not to hound the PR, at least this time. As Lindsay heads to the show I work in the press lounge in anticipation of C'N'C.

1730 C'N'C Costume National
I head over early to the tent in Piazza Duomo, just steps from the press lounge, to try and get early entry as a photographer. There are already crowds outside. I wave down a PR person who is standing behind all the red-ties. My invitation is for seat Cd3 but I say my editor would prefer me to take pictures from the podium. She says of course you can pass, but looks confused and asks me if I have a camera, which is particularly embarrassing because my camera is hanging off my shoulder. So what my lens isn't two feet long and I don't have a monopod sticking out of my bag.

I am one of the first to arrive who like to shoot from the front row of the podium and plant myself just off centre feet from the edge of the runway. The next hour is hell. The show is supposed to start at 1800 which of course means 1830/1845. The pit is a mess and photographers are fighting to get their cameras in. Some Italian television program wants to put an operator behind me and tries to make me move. He basically puts a tripod on top of me. I scream at him and he asks to see my business card. He wants proof that I am a photographer and so I show him my photographers press badge (100 euros well spent!) Some of the other photographers are on my side and yell a bit of Italian at him so he finally lays off. Fellow photographer Alex who is staying at our hotel and has been giving me tips on Photoshop comes to claim his spot on my right.

At the same time as all of this frustration the dress rehearsal is underway. Some of the models are joking around with us. One takes a snapshot of the pit as she does her turn at the end of the runway and everyone applauds.

Finally crowds start rushing in. I recognize famed fashion blogger and fashion editor at Vogue Japan Anna Dello Russo, dressed as always in bright colours.

Everyone is seated and we are still waiting for it to start. The photographers start whistling and clapping to get the show on the road. They are a noisy bunch! I just read in WWD Collections that at Doo.Ri in New York last fall, the music gave out mid-way through a David Bowie song and the photographers took over whistling the tune.

note the hand in the handbag

A favourite model, walked a lot this season. 
We think they were told to smile at the end of the runway.

Male models walk C'N'C Costume National.

Lindsay meets me at the front and whispers she has a story to tell as she quickly turns to say goodbye to the passing Anna Dello Russo. As we get outside and pass through the street photographers she tells me she got backstage access, an interview with the designer, AND got to ask Ms Dello Russo about her favourite things to do in Milan, an interview she will write for Stylesight's members only Citizen Hip.

We breifly check out a store opening by San Babila and are a little unimpressed so instead of waiting for champagne head straight to aperitivo at the nearby Victory Cafe. Delicious! For 7euros each we get a bright pink italian cocktail and fill up on pastas and salads from the free buffet.

300 the next day
Finally going to bed after editing all night in the lobby. What a great day!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thursday February 24th

1230 backstage at ERMANNO SCERVINO
Snap some shots backstage at the Piazza Duommo tent. Lost a little courage from the day before so I don't attempt to tackle the photographers pit.

smiling models backstage at Ermanno Scervino

Lunch at the press lobby which is really nearby: ricotta vegetarian lasagna and after eight mousse for desert.

1500 HAUTE
On the podium. 1930s gangster inspired with pleated trousers, maxi coats, paperboy caps and fur. A neutral palette which is rare this season. Not particularly unique but my style.

This show drew a huge crowd of mostly Italians. Crouched on the scattered podium beside infamous Italian fashion writer and style icon Anna Piaggi who was escorted in just as the show started. The Facehunter was getting close up shots for his street style blog out front after the show.

I got great pictures. Unfortunately I - along with what I could tell many who attended - did not like the show.

Harsh cuts and bold colours that stuck to red white and black, even the setting was cold. Overall a lack of femininity. The press release dedicated the collection to fashionistas who are tired of the vulgarity in womens clothes but in fact vulgar might be a good description.


Lunch number 2 at the press lobby: sandwhiches and champagne, cookies and cappucino.


We skip Albino for the opening of Italian accessories brand Corto Moltedo's new Milan boutique. A huge turn out of models, journalists and wealthy Italians filled the nearby coutyard with champaign in hand. Since then we have noticed the structured mini clutches and brightly sparkling rubber laptop cases everywhere. The IT accesory brand this season in Milan.

Corto Moltedo's Pool Party on

Back to the Duomo for our last show and a spot on the podium. Simple clean cuts and solid colours equals a little boring. However I Loved the high wasted velvet skirts and black fur full length coat.


We miss apertivo and like the night before are stuck in the touristy centre. Out of money we opt for a fast food dinner, buy a cheap bottle of wine and head back to the hotel to get some work done.

Edit photos and publish on fashion windows in the lobby. To bed by 300.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Wake up. Grab a quick breakfast in the lobby and out the door by ten to take the subway over to the first show.

Despite not having received a designated PODIUM invitation was able to find a place among this photographers pit, a great sign for the rest of the week. After the show hopped back on the metro at CARDONA in a rush to the next.

1245 backstage at SIMONETTA RAVIZZA
Was treated really well by Alessandro of Insight Communications who took us backstage and introduced us to the designer for a brief interview which was cut short by the language barrier. Backstage was not what I expected! The models were dressed in their own clothes and BBMing or eating while getting their makeup and hair done. A handfull of photographers and videographers roamed freely, weaving their way around the hairdstylist and dressers who were racing to prepare the models.

Flares, fur and maxi skirts. The first two shows brought us right back to the 70s.

Simonetta Ravizza Fall/Winter 2011 Milano Moda Donna backstage

Simonetta Ravizza Fall/Winter 2011 Milano Moda Donna backstageSimonetta Ravizza Fall/Winter 2011 Milano Moda Donna backstageSimonetta Ravizza Fall/Winter 2011 Milano Moda Donna backstage

Simonetta Ravizza Fall/Winter 2011 Milano Moda Donna backstageSimonetta Ravizza Fall/Winter 2011 Milano Moda Donna backstageSimonetta Ravizza Fall/Winter 2011 Milano Moda Donna backstage
backstage at Simonetta Ravizza

So much fur!

Over to the press lounge to pick up - and in my case pay 100euros -for my photographers accreditation. Most expensive but best souvenir yet! Worth the price as it includes champagne with breakfast lunch dinner, fast wifi which is impossible to find in this city, and buses to and from the shows. Lunch is delicious and we have a great view of the Duomo from the roomftop patio.

the view from the press lounge rooftop patio: the Moda Donna tent in Piazza Duomo, the heart of Milan

This is a big one. We arrive just in time to have a brief chat with Scott Schuman, The Satorialist. I am introduced and he pays me the biggest compliment I may have ever received: he thinks he recognizes me and asks if he has taken my picture before. Speachless.

Lindsay has an assigned seat and makes her way inside but I get pushed to the side as standing room only must wait to get in. This works out in my benefit as when I eventually get in there is a perfect spot for taking photographs right at the end of the L shaped runway, away from the ugly mess that is the PODIUM. I squat beside Scott and his girlfriend: fashion illustrator, photographer and famous blogger Garance Doré. I get great shots of the lush colours and thigh high crushed velvet boots.

As I am walking out the door to wait for Lindsay the crowd outside have their cameras focused in my direction. I turn and Anna Wintour, editor-in-cheif of American VOGUE, is right beside me flanked by bodyguards front and back. I see Garance just a few steps away and work up the courage to introduce myself.

Anna Wintour Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue

1745 backstage at N°21
We hop off the press bus just in time to rush backstage, I snap a few pictures and leave Lindsay to find a spot on the PODIUM which is already full. Luckily the Italian photographers are much more pleasant, especially to girls who have no idea what their doing, and a few of them let me squat between them. Creams and dusty pinks, lacy and softer fabrics, at the end of the show we both had the same question: fall/winter? None the less we really liked and would wear the clothes.

backstage at N°21

We force our way through the group of press and photographers onto the first bus and end up waiting in the line of Mercedes that receive priority for driving the important people from show to show. Finally we arrive at La Rotonda, a very beautiful building just outside the city centre. Once again I have standing room only and despite my attempts to make friends with the PR guys they don't let me pass to the PODIUM. I can't find a good line of site which is particularly unfortunate because this might be my favourite show of the day. Especially the mini dresses which are very unique in their detail and just the right amount of revealing.

20,00 JO NO FUI
Back on the bus which takes us to the tent outside the Duomo, the cathedral located at the centre of Milan which is second in size only to the Vatican in Italy. I manage to get a great spot on the PODIUM to snap photos of the 70s chic crop tops and flared suits.

Jo No Fui

We miss aperitivo - spend 8euros on a cocktail and enjoy the all you can eat free buffet at most of Italys cafe bars from 1800-2100 - and have trouble finding something that meets our fancy in this touristy area of the city. Just as we are about to settle for a bigmac we come accross an authentic Italian Restorante and Pizzeria Enoteca called Cocopazzo. We split a pizza and a salad, and order a half litre each for 6euros.

Back at the hotel I spend four hours editing photos which brings 1000 down to 300 and I make a promise to be more selective with my shooting.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Iron & Wine

Sam Beame aka Iron&Wine played for 2+ hours to a crowd of mostly Americans earlier tonight at the Alhambra, a really great venue in the tenth arrondissement of Paris. For the most part his new album Kiss Each Other Clean has received less than stellar reviews for straying from his acoustic roots. Nobody seems to likes the saxophone. But tonight the saxaphone player made the show - if only because of his dance moves. Overall I think adding these elements has at least made for a better live performance. Still, singing Flightless Bird, American Mouth alone on stage barely strumming his guitar, Beame's acoustic encore was the highlight of the night.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Canada is one step closer to taking over the music world as Montreal native Arcade Fire takes the well deserved Album of the Year for The Suburbs at the GRAMMY Awards last night.

Vincent Moon shot a really great Take Away Show for La Blogoteque back in 2007. A little tense to watch in parts so from what I have read an accurate portrayal of the band. I would not want to get in Win Butler's way. Just wait for the 5 minute mark. Sound isn't great but what an incredible show that would have been.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Nice, nice, very nice. So many people in the same device."

I am a superfan of Vancouver based Dan Mangan as with every talent signed to Arts&Crafts. Here is the just released official video for Sold off his sophomore album Nice, Nice, Very Nice: a title inspired by Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. It is a refreshing break from the various forms of beach foam pop and shoegazing that have been flooding the charts. Still can't get into Beach House. I think the loud organ matched with Victoria Legrand's voice drowns out the rest of their sound.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Whip my hair

Everyone knows Jimmy Fallon is brilliant with impressions and you have probably already seen the following video but just in case WATCH IT NOW.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Iris Van Herpen Spring/Summer 2011

Iris Van Herpen wowed us once again with her S/S 2011 collection "Escapism" at Paris Haute-Couture.  This young Dutch artist has fused together the worlds of industrial design and fashion to create futuristic garments out of materials varying from metal to silk blend. Favouring art and expression over functionality, and with the help of architect Daniel Widrig, she used what is essentially a 3D printer to create accordion style pieces that transformed models into sculptures. This season's collection was inspired by the creations of American artist Kris Kuksi and belonged in a modern art museum or up on stage with Lady Gaga as much as it did on the runway. 

Irish Van Herpen graduated from the avante garde haven ARTEZ Institute of the Arts (Anhem) in 2006.  She worked under such names as Alexander McQueen and Victor & Rolf before creating her own line in 2007. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Blue Ridge Mountain and White Winter Hymnal still rate at the top of my iTunes most played list despite having grown weary of Fleet Foxes these past few months. While subbing in as Dj at our most recent dinner party, I was accused of lack of creativity when I added them to the queue. Yes their self-titled debut album was overplayed. Yes everyone is a little bit sick of them. But not for a second did that thwart my excitement when I read their second album Helplessness Blues is to be released May 3. Finally. 

Tour dates are up and Toronto did not make the cut - yet. Get this though they are playing at the Bataclan in Paris May 30. I fly out June 1. Fate!