All images from Twitpic – The City‘s Adam Senn, backstage at Ermanno Scervino
Casual Fridays aren’t just reserved for the modern workplace, today the final day of Milano Uomo erupted in a sea of denim, tee shirts and Chucks. Gone were the suits, the ties and the fresh, chipper faces of days one, two and three, out came the jaded, wincing, hungover scowls. Though four days doesn’t sound like a lot, when you’re going to 12 hours worth of shows every day, each one a spectacle of blinding lights and deafening music – then going home and sorting it out in your mind so you can make some sort of sense of it all, four days can seem like a millenia. I’d eaten my fair share of the humble pie yesterday so I was eager to make up for missed opportunities. And here’s how it went down.
The frescoed ceiling at John Varvatos
First up was John Varvatos, a show I actually had an invitation to (shock, horror) thanks to the lovely Grant and Rachael at Black Magazine. Set in a dark old frescoed church, bared ankles and skinny cuffed pants were the order of the day – just what I always wanted. The suits looked to have taken a leaf from the Lanvin book – matching colours for pants and jackets but in different textured cloths. Definitely a highlight of the week so far.
A quick 100 metre walk down the road took us to DSquared, whose invitations came in the form of bright red cloth bucket hats. I went straight backstage and found myself surrounded by models in flannel shirts, thick socks and hiking boots – the twins were going camp this season. The show itself was great fun – the Caten brothers narrated over the music – Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens and Kid Rock – alternating between singing along and words of encouragement for getting out into the great outdoors.
Next stop was Iceberg, once again I had an invitation (that’s three from three so far – I like those odds), and, once again, I headed straight backstage to join Steve for some backstage photography and a breakfast of champions – sandwiches, strawberries and brownies.
I must have been overwhelmed by all the food because next thing I knew the show had started. All of a sudden models, dressers and production staff were scrambling around pulling this on, chucking that off, screaming orders in Italian, counting down the seconds between walks and generally getting amongst it. I shot video of the entire experience which I’ll post later. Stress levels were extreme back there – I don’t recall ever having been backstage during a show before – but if that’s what they’re always like there must be a fair few producers on the brink of heart attacks. Steve and I stood there giggling with our cameras making as much of a nuisance of ourselves as possible.
I caught the last shuttle over to D&G and ran to the PR agent to check the list in order to get in. I was late, the show was about to start and she was not in the mood to argue so I hopped in a cab to meet up with Steve again at Ermanno Scervino. It was there that I ran into core cast member of my number one favourite scripted-reality show of all time – Adam Senn from The City. You know how massive he looks on TV? I swear I was taller than him, though I daresay he’d still beat me in an arm wrestle.
Once again I caught the final shuttle, this time over to Armani, luckily with Steve in tow. We were the last to arrive and got inside and all the way to the backstage, only to be told we weren’t allowed to shoot. Then the bomb dropped – Chace Crawford was the special guest star. We’d walked right past him in the front row to get backstage. We pleaded with them to let us leave the building by way of the front row, but to no avail, security ushered us out the backdoor. Once outside we sprinted around the front to get back in and get the shot but just as we were talking to security on the door we heard the opening strains of show music – we’d missed our boat.
Final stop was Z Zegna. We walked there – it was close to Armani – and were given royal treatment when we arrived: backstage passes, salads, water and near exclusive access to the thirty or so boys. As soon as I got there I knew that they’d saved the best for last. The clothes were probably the best I’ve ever seen in my life. The skinniest Victorian morning suits in thick charcoal chalk stripes, complete with tails and top hats, sheer elongated armhole singlets and the most brilliant blue double breasted coat. The models walked out to a solo cellist playing at the top of a long set of stairs, and when it was all over the applause was deafening. And it never seemed to stop. I was obviously not alone in my appreciation.
I must end this now because I’m an hour off catching the overnighter train to Paris. One day off, then four more of menswear. Lanvin approaches. I can almost taste it. More to come.
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