The last time I had been in Italy was February 2022 – the precise week Covid began breaking out in the north of the nation, in an area called Lombardy, which, as it turned out, turned out to be the precise location of Milan Fashion Week. Unaware of how serious the pandemic would grow to be, I arrived in the town and went straight to the Gucci show, which made headlines around the globe due to the incredible set that depicted the brand's ateliers putting the final touches on model's looks in real-time. I almost died when I arrived home afterward to locate a ticket towards the week's hottest event, the Versace show (it was right after Jennifer Lopez's internet-breaking Grammys dress revival) and proceeded to consume pasta for every meal – a legal requirement when in Italy.
About midway through the week, talk of the virus began picking up among attendees and masks started appearing around the underground the very first time.
As I zoomed out on a map, I realized how close i was to the epicenter and for the first time, started mildly freaking out. Shows were soon canceled and also the world shut down. Pharmacies set up signs saying goggles were “finito tutti.” Italy battled a serious outbreak, which cost countless their jobs and thousands their lives.
Over 18 months later, the capital town of fashion finally reopened, welcoming editors, stylists, models and designers back the very first time because the outbreak of Covid-19 sent the nation, then your world, into disarray. Last week, I landed to determine blue skies and cobblestone streets. People walking with gelato and focaccia in hand. At the coffee shop, waiters spoke about how happy these were to determine the city come alive again.
There would be a buzz in the air. It felt as though the world was finally healing.
I checked into my hotel and began preparing the week: first of all was Fendi – a brand new debut show for Milan Fashion Week after Gucci decided to reduce its yearly presentations inside a bid to lessen waste. Then Jil Sander and Roberto Cavalli followed up within the afternoon, the latter of which has an enormous revival thanks to the current '90s and Y2K-era trends.
In fact, for a dinner with Sunday Riley – Milan Fashion Week's first-ever official skincare partner – the following evening, I wore a vintage Cavalli dress featuring butterfly print and ruched detailing, that we found on Vestiaire Collective (where I spend all of my time, when not on Instagram!).
The next day kicked off with Max Mara, where coffee and mini croissants were provided where new redhead Gigi Hadid closed the runway. Then it was onto Boss x Russell Athletica, where attendees were come to their seats in the Kennedy Sports Centre using a golf caddy to obtain the city's baseball team faux playing a game title mid-pitch.
Mascots, cheerleaders and a marching band – as well as the popcorn, hotdogs and foam fingers – made the big event a sensory overload having a commentator speaking over the loudspeaker the whole runway performance. On the backstage of the show, Sunday Riley’s team of experts worked their magic on the models’ faces (they also prepared models for Maryling Milano, MSGM, Budapest Select and Milano Moda Graduate shows). “We prepped your skin from the models by cleansing with Ceramic Slip and Blue Moon, which pulls dirt and impurities up and from the skin while getting critical hydration. Then misting with Pink Drink, a peptide-infused treatment resurfaces, balances, and corporations the look of your skin while supporting the natural microbiome. Next, we applied Good Genes, an all-in-one AHA infused brightening treatment mask, designed to remove
dull-looking, pore-clogging dead skin cells while plumping the feel of wrinkles and fine lines. And then carried out with Auto Correct, rejuvenating caffeine enriched eye treatment which will awaken tired-looking eyes. Skin is left with a natural-looking radiance that is bound to steal the show”, explains Craig Starling, Education and Training Manager at Sunday Riley.
Also of note was Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid's BFF, Fai Khadra, sitting (very) pretty in the front row.
Though I had been silly and didn't request a ticket for the show, Blumarine would be a highlight of the day and that i lapped up all of the incredible looks via Instagram whilst getting ready for any dinner of pasta and wine with Sunday Riley in the iconic restaurant Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone, before heading to The Attico's late-night party around the corner.
Friday started out slowly after one too many wines the night time before but after a few espressos along with a croissant we were back in business and ready for Prada and Versace, where Dua Lipa – my personal favorite woman – surprised guests by both frequent lowering and raising the show in her own runway debut.
Then it had been onto Sunday Riley's cocktail event at The Roof Milano – a restaurant with 360-degree views of the city – in which the margaritas were flowing and so too were the skincare tips: after years of avoiding ascorbic acid because of thinking it's harmful to my hormonal acne, I was informed which i was, in fact, drastically wrong.
After getting a Sunday Riley facial in the very same hotel Dua was staying in the next day, where fans and paparazzi were lined up outside for hours, I've since begun while using C.E.O. Brightening serum. Serious, I'm not sure how I ever lived without them. The Auto Correct Brightening and Depuffing eye cream also deserves an honorable mention based on how much it's saved my very tired eyes (these bags unfortunately aren't Chanel).
At 8 pm that night, the Marni show began. Prior to the day, every guest was invited for any fitting where they were given their own Marni outfit to put on around the night, making the big event an immersive experience – and something of the most long awaited shows of year. Rather than using regular models, the company enlisted artists, creatives, and muses with Dev Hynes on musical production, Mykki Blanco doing a spoken word performance, and singer Zsela performing. I think the way in which Marni approached its show will become essential if brands wish to keep people's attention, especially when a lot of are revaluating the way the fashion industry should work post-pandemic.
Afterward, it was straight to the outlet of the Gucci Vault, before I made my method to a Marni after-party and freaked out over my closeness to my personal favorite model, Paloma Essler.
The following day, fashion week was supposed to be over, but Donatella Versace had another thing in your mind. The designer sent a select few special guests a save the date for Sunday night where she debuted an unexpected (but much-rumored and whispered about) collaboration with Kim Jones' Fendi. Dua Lipa was back, also was Gigi Hadid. With them, Milan Fashion Week is thankfully well and truly back too.
Here’s what you’ll need if you wish to try backstage Sunday Riley facial at home:
Clean-Rinse Cleansing Balm
Firming Resurfacing Essence
All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment
$85.00 – $122.00
Brightening and Depuffing Eye Contour Cream
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