Forecast: a Storm is Underway
First glimpses from a journey to Italy, venturing after fabrics for Fall-winter collection 2011/2012
Exciting design, intoxicating scents, and inimitable style – I spent most of this week in Italy, searching for fabrics for the next winter collection of Maya Negri fashion house. I set out with Michal, my good friend and the ultimate partner for my voyages.
Every fashion designer runs a hectic schedule. Moments after the collection finally hits the stores and we can share the new creation with the common public and it's time to move on to the next one. It's an experiential route, exciting and filled with adrenalin.
This time, my process was even more intense than usual. When working on the current summer collection, I followed my heart, trying to take mu choices as far as possible. Apart from the collection, we also worked on launching the new store at Rothschild 1 Tower. And now, a new focus is attracting our attention – developing fall-winter collection for 2011/2012.
I landed in Milan in the early hours of the morning; hoping and knowing that here I will find my first steps. Amidst exhibitions, fabric stores and unusual restaurants, I came across an area that stimulates every sense. Here's a definite must-see for your next visit: Via Tortona. As can be expected, the rise of this street is inherently connected to the origins of the local fashion arena.
In 1938, artistic director of Italian Vogue Flavio Luccini and photographer Fabrizzio Ferry, opened studio spaces in the area. Up to that point, it was mostly known as an industrial area, sleepy and drowsy. Many snobbish snorts were turned to Luccini and Ferry. The snorts, of course, were wrong. In 2001, Giorgio Armani hired renowned architect Tadeo Ando to build his local headquarters in the same area.
Nowadays, Via Tortona (and Zone Tortona, in which it located) is considered a vigorous and vibrant center for art, design and fashion. Combining new and old, existing materials, deserted industrial spaces and the city's creative future.
Last year, the city of Milan commissioned British architect David Chipperfield to transform Ansaldo, an old steel plant to a center for visual art studies and a photography museum. The project, by the way, will be completed within a few years.
Nhow, the boutique hotel in which we stayed was incepted as a plant. Ever since it was re-borne as a hotbed for design lovers, it's hard to spot its history. Every detail was elegantly crafted – the lobby entrance, the works of arts presented in alternative spaces or even the closet in the room.
At night we found ourselves at Naigli – an artificial canal constructed in the 12th century. Nowadays, it is a bohemian meeting grounds, hosting dozens of bar and music clubs, At Berlinio, for example, you will find artists and musicians, gather at night for jam sessions.
Italian way of life, successfully combining intensive work with self indulgence, always fascinated me. Yesterday we headed out to Alba region. We were invited there by fabric dealer Carlo Maroni, who invited us to the castle and winery of the Miroglio group.
After a few hours of hectic work, Maroni took us to the balcony, where we were greeted with a gourmet lunch and a tour to the winery. No wonder, then, that we napped in the black Mercedes on our way back to Milan.
Pretty soon, I will be able to share first glimpses from the visual worlds which will become part of the fabrics and figures that will lead us into the fall. The experience, after all, has only just begun.