#603 Milan Menswear Day 2 Recap

All images from Twitpic – Preshow press conference with Roberto Cavalli – he’s very brown and smoking that big ol’ cigar

Jetlag set in today and with exhaustion came home sickness. I found myself calling Telecom International Roaming Helpdesk at regular intervals throughout the day – none of the people I spoke with were Kiwis, but the New Zealand accented recorded voice message did give me some small degree of comfort. As we all know, pride comes before a fall, so I was due for a face-first body-slam onto the concrete after my supremely cocky post last night. And it came. Twice. But today did start promisingly enough, first stop was Enrico Coveri.

NZer Ella Drake (right) backstage at Enrico Coveri

I told Ella Drake yesterday that I’d visit her backstage at Enrico Coveri, and I’m a man of my word, so first thing this morning I rushed to the venue to take a quick preshow shot. The clothes were lots of fun – sporty, preppy and very old-world American; pastels, floral prints, bow ties, seer sucker and baseball gloves featured prominently.

Funny how some guys just automatically stand like super heroes

Next stop, Dirk Bikkembergs. Seconds after convincing the PR lady that I really was worthy of seeing the show, I was backstage and marvelling at the assortment of male models. Who knew that those 80s topless firemen calendar guys still existed? Not me. These men were so beefed up that their jaw muscles made my biceps look like an infant’s.


Two froggies – Vincent et Clement at Cavali

Surprisingly enough, Roberto Cavalli was a lovely change after the testosterone fuelled butchfest that was DB. Casting was superb (not a muscle in sight), catering ideal, and, wait for it, wait for it… I didn’t see a single animal print in the entire collection. That is remarkable for a man who has built his whole career off the backs of leopards and zebras. I don’t know if it was the sheer relief of being away from Eurotrash gym-bunny-wear, the excellent casting (great models make great clothes look even great-er) or simply a fantastic collection, but I was sincerely impressed. Before the show Mr Cavalli held court at a one man press conference; hair oiled, skin bronzed to the point of looking like a native of the countries his favourite animals hail from, and of course, that ever-present cigar in hand.

Not only refused entry, but made to stand outside like common trash. Oh the humility

But then things started going downhill. On the bus over to Salvatore Ferragamo, I started to feel tired and homesick and I lost a big chunk of mojo. You know how it goes, a little slump in energy levels mixed with hunger and nobody to complain about it to can do serious damage to a guy’s ego levels. The thing is, ego helps you get into shows. Supreme self confidence speaks louder than invitations when you breeze past a security guard. I must have walked into Salvatore Ferragamo with a less than sprightly demeanour – the security guard spotted it straight away and directed me to the PR girls. I started to plead my case but at this point they could smell the desperation. No meant no. I accepted it and sat down in the foyer. A few minutes later a security guard came up to me – “I’m very sorry to have to do this but the organisers have requested that you leave the building.” Ouch. Now I was going to be embarrassed and sunburnt.

NZer Bruce Raubenheimer on the catwalk at Etro

Luckily I had an invitation to the next show, otherwise I would have been in dire straits. It was Etro, they served delicious preshow nibs, the catwalk was sand, the models were smiling, and NZer Bruce Raubenheimer showed up in a surprise appearance.

Oh behave. Michael Whittaker with Ash Stymest backstage at Moschino

I managed to talk my way into the next show, Moschino, on the basis that I was writing for the New Zealand Herald, there was a New Zealand model in it (Michael Whittaker), and me being there would guarantee them a mention. So here we are. Some people say they don’t get the whole Moschino thing, but it worked for me this season. The best 60s specs, I’ve been wanting a pair like that for so long, newspaper print shirts that I know have been done before but still managed to look fresh here, and the best floral printed pants I’ve ever seen. I’m a sucker for floral prints on guy’s clothes – especially liberty print – but have never really worn it, particularly because Jordan hates it. Well Jordan, if you saw this one I think you might just change your mind.

Mission failed before it had even begun. I hang my head in shame.

Final show was the biggest of the week – Prada. I’d had some lunch and a little break and I was feeling better so I headed down. Six security guards and two PR agents stood at the four metre wide gate. They saw me approach with no ticket and waved me on. One word: FAIL!

So, what I’ve learnt. I made the mistake of believing that my getting into the hard shows yesterday was the result of, I don’t know, me being cool or something. How wrong I was, how wrong I was. Besides luck and an innate ability to blag, two words and two words alone got me into Gucci – Steve Wood. My backstage photographer friend knows all the tricks. He was absent today, leaving me to fend for myself.

I obviously still have a lot to learn.


share on TumblrShare on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter


  1. Jordan Rondel says

    Isaac, I can definitely handle floral pants, it’s just liberty print shirts that get me. But I trust your taste and if you say Moschino will change my mind I’m sure it’s quite possible.
    Looking at your photos makes me sad! I want to be there with you like Paris all over again, but in the warmth. I miss MJ Whitty and Ash and feeling exhausted and hungry and very excited all at once. There wasn’t a second of boredom.

    (p.s there’s a small error in your 5th paragraph where you wrote ‘too’ instead of ‘to’.)


  2. Anonymous says

    i love it, ex girlfriend still has to mention a spelling mistake, life is hard in the fashion trenches, go isaac !

  3. Anonymous says

    It’s great you are so humble in this post Issac, I really enjoy reading your blog.
    Other writers sometimes try and make out that they don’t have any issues but you are always honest which sets you apart. Good work! :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *