A year ago one of my biggest dreams came true. I had always been one of those children who flipped through fashion magazines: each page fanning a burning desire to be at the epicentre of it all. That’s exactly what happened when I landed in Milan to pursue my Masters in Fashion Communication.
From the very first day I landed in Milan I knew a whole host of great experiences were coming my way. For starters co-incidentally I had booked myself into a hostel where 25 male models were staying since it was right in the middle of Men’s Fashion Week. Though such luck might not befall everyone, models strolling the streets of Milan are common sight, just keep your eyes peeled for Greek gods and goddesses looking utterly lost clutching onto a map.
Milan is a city that for most tourists could seem cold and uninviting. There is little to see as far as tourist sights are concerned and it is often referred to as the least pretty city in Italy. However if fashion, glitz, glamour and a roaring night life is what your looking for then Milan is the place for you.
Just make sure you time your trip around fashion-week. Milan hosts four fashion-weeks through the year: two showcasing men’s wear and two showcasing women’s wear. It’s during this time when Milan truly comes to life.
Fashion week in Milan boasts of some of the coolest parties of the year. Most of them are private parties, on an invite only basis, however all the night clubs around the city also have their own takes on fashion week; just as much fun but without the A-listers. Though the private events may not be open to all, the brave must attempt to sneak-in, as gate crashing at such events is common and almost expected. I myself have become somewhat of an unapologetic expert, the key: confidence.
A trip to Milan is an opportunity to pull out all those clothes, shoved at the back of your closet for lack of an opportunity to wear. Voted one of the most street style savvy cities in Europe, Milanese fashionistas really take their style statements seriously. Milan creates an atmosphere for free expression with clothing.
One of the key factors that nurtured my own daring personal style, the city has many hot joints where dressing up and dressing different is essential to fit in. Be sure to check out Plastic, Punks wear Prada and Smoking Kills.
Milan over the past year has given me a great deal. Apart from friends made for a lifetime it has given me a whole lot of confidence: a confidence that comes from being in an environment where individuality is truly valued.
Written and photographed by: Daniel Herman