#601 Milan Menswear Day 1 Recap

It’s 12:42am Milan time, 6:42am Singapore time and 10:42am New Zealand time, I’ve slept four hours in the past 48, my body is numb, my feet are swollen like a pregnant woman’s and I’m pretty sure I’ve developed a lazy eye slash facial tick. But who am I to complain – today was so simple I may as well have had a full, unadulterated backstage pass to the entire event, such was the ease with which I came and went. Not that it began hitch free – I had a minor onset of panic (translation: hyperventilation into a paper bag) when my suitcase was the very last to come off the luggage belt 50 minutes after my flight had landed in Milan. An hour or so later (7:30am) I arrived at my hotel to find that I wasn’t able to check in until midday. Luckily Bryan Boy was on hand with a friendly smile, a hot shower and a place to store my bags. I headed on my merry way to the first show – Frankie Morello, which I had an email invite for but no physical one, only to be told that my name wasn’t on the list. “Not on the list?” I cried, “whatever do you mean!?”

A few moments of proving that I really was as important as I said I was and I was in. Within twenty seconds I’d spied Steve Wood and ran straight backstage – and straight into my old mate Ash Stymest. As excited as I was to see Ash, I was even more so to see Kelly Osborne, so much so that I forced Steve to take a photo of me with her out on the catwalk. Now I don’t actually have a copy of the photograph but I will prove it to you tomorrow by posting it as my shot of the day when Steve sends it through.

After Frankie Morello was the day’s first big challenge – Gucci – supposedly the hardest show to get into in Milan – (I’ll verify whether that rumour is correct after Prada tomorrow). Steve and I waited in line for backstage entry for about fifteen minutes, then Steve was ushered in and I followed him vaguely, all the while sending a very important email on my Blackberry. It worked a charm and mere moments later I was backstage Tweeting up a storm. I can’t verify for certain but I do believe that my shots – no matter how blurry they may have been – were the first from the show to go up online.

Now the world might be a fairly large place on the grand scale of things but us New Zealanders seem to downsize it wherever we go. I hopped on a tram to Versace and who should I sit down directly opposite to but NZ model Ella Drake. She’s been working over here for a few months now and will be seen on the catwalk in the morning at Enrico Coveri. I’ll Tweet her as I see her.

Versace was a breeze, I sailed in with Steve and his assistant Vicky, helped myself to some pizza and focaccia bread, took a little video of Donatella herself (who’s so minute in real life she makes size sixes seem rotund), super hair stylist Guido and all manners of enormously muscled male models.

I had an odd experience at John Richmond where a security guard shook my shoulder fiercely about three quarters of the way into the show, for, get this – taking photographs. Go figure. He stood behind me for a while, I stopped taking photos for a while, then just took a whole bunch more. He didn’t mention it again.

Last show of the day was Guiliano Fujiwara. For some peculiar reason one of the PR agents took offense to my presence backstage and escorted me out the front not once, not twice but three times over the course of half an hour, finally yelling at me in Italian on my last botched attempt to shoot some video. I found that there’s no shame in being yelled at in front of a whole bunch of people – so long as you can’t understand what the person is actually saying.

It’s now 1:45am Milan time, 7:45am Singapore time and 11:45am New Zealand time, I’m literally falling asleep at the keyboard so it’s about time I signed off. The reason for my late late night is that I foolishly agreed to accompany NZ model Michael Whittaker to his agency’s party thirty five minutes north of the city. Falling asleep on the ride there was an inauspicious start, then realising that there was no way of getting back unless I convinced eight people to ride in a shuttle with me proved my decision making process at a tired state like this to be fairly non-existent.

Favourite show: Gucci hands down. Incredible prints, the skinniest cropped suit pants and such cool chunky primary coloured cotton knits.

Favourite model: Marcel Castenmiller, and not just because we share half a surname. I will be flabergasted if he doesn’t book just about every campaign in the months ahead.

I’ll post my video from day one tomorrow morning.



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