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!

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