Monday, January 19, 2009

Milan Ready to Wear Collections: The Inside Story Part Three

The key thing about covering the Milan shows is that it's impossible without a car and a driver. The shows are spread out all over the city and the public transport system doesn’t seem to go anywhere near the show venues. The shows are every hour and, often, two an hour, so you would never get to anything on time if you took the metro. Average cost of a car & driver (including moderate overtime) for one week: EUR2000 ($2654).

My day started around 7am, but you can easily start an hour before that if you are an uber-groomed American magazine diva (& if you are Anna Wintour you have hair & makeup done professionally), followed by breakfast downstairs at 8am (39 Eur/$52) per head at the Grand et Milan but, fortunately for my expenses, included in my room rate), unless I had a breakfast with a publicist. Then I would totter out in my five inch platform stilettos to hop in my black car (door held open by uniformed driver) which would be idling on the pavement in a line of about 7 or so cars at 830 to take me to for the first appt/meeting of the day.

You rely on your driver to keep you sane during the shows. There's no time to eat (hence the importance of stuffing down large quantities of breakfast in manner of a grumpy dormouse filling its cheeks for the winter, although I expect that the nervy twiglets eschew breakfast for yoga or some such nonsense) so a good driver knows automatically to fill every spare pocket, door and niche (after all nature abhors a vacuum) in the car with sweeties, mini bottles of waters and tubes of Pringles.

Because that is all the nourishment you are getting till you eat at 10pm or later. (Can you imagine being in Italy and not having time to eat?) Some of the early morning shows lay on breakfast, if a Danish, espresso, glass of Champagne can be described as such, and you do actually see people eating - hell this is fashion, people eating is a noteworthy occurrence - because the show will inevitably run late and there is bugger all else to do except graze on carbs.