Travel guides, as any globe-trotter knows, are a dime a dozen. There’s thousands of click’n'print websites, smart pocket-size books, fold-out contraptions that do triple-duty as maps, guides, phonebooks, and—when the traveler finally lands at home—doorstops. But a sourcebook that focuses on the what, where, and why for places that your average stylish gal would want to visit doesn’t seem to exist. (And by “average” I mean cool, savvy types prefer the unique people, places, and things over those who are ostentatious. You know who you are.) Correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t find a quick go-to resource for some of my favorite fashion cities—Milan, Paris, New York, etc. (And as I’ve just landed in Milan for the shows and am departing to Paris next, such a thing would really come in handy right about now.)
But since such a thing doesn’t exist, I’m going to do what any self-respecting DIYer would do: I’m going to make one myself. I’ll update this with more places as I see, hear, and experience them. And if you have any suggestions, please pass them my way. Until then, take a look at a few of my favorite spots and be sure to bookmark the link to refer to when your travels take you to Milan.
What: 10 Corso Como
Why Visit: Because it’s the Barneys/Colette/Maxfields of Milan. Drool over all the Alaia, Dior Homme, and Lanvin, then buy some of the store’s own paper-goods as souvenirs for your stylish friends.
Where: 10, Corso Como
Helpful Hint: Unwind in the store’s courtyard café, but don’t leave without visiting the bookshop upstairs. Some say it rivals Karl Lagerfeld’s 7L shop in Paris, though Manhattanites might compare it to the Moma’s Soho store. Como’s outlet can be found a few streets over Via Tazzoli 3, where racks of discounted Galliano, Dries, and YSL await the patient shopper.
What: La Rinascente
Why Visit: Because chances are you’ve forgotten one of your make-up must-haves during your packing hastes; The iconic Milan department store stocks all major cosmetic lines, as well as a tempting array of handbags, lingerie, homegoods, the works.
Helpful Hint: Set aside a decent amount of time to spend here; there’s lots to look at, and since the store is across the street from the storied D’uomo, tourists are a plenty too.
Where: Corso Vittorio Emanuele & Via Agnello
Why Visit: Because it’s not the Target you’re thinking of. The small shop is chock full of whimsical girly gifts from massage socks (printed with graph of acupuncture points) and retro Fiorrucci tees to blow-up punching bags meant for taking one’s boy-related wrath.
Helpful Hint: Plan on staying on that block for some time; two doors down from Target there’s a handful of good vintage shops to be found.
Where: Just south of Porta Ticinese & Via Santo Vito
What: Porta Ticinese, at night
Why Visit: Because at night, the crowd paints a pretty entertaining picture of what it means to be a young (read: high-school or college-age) resident of Milano. Groups of kids from every style tribe unite at night to crowd the small square, mill around for hours and imbibe from any of the many nearby bars. Relive your youth by camping out with a beer on the marble benches.
Helpful Hint: Plan on leaving at least ½ hour before bars close; taxi cabs are hard to find when 400 others are on the hunt for one too.
Where: Porta Ticinese, just off Via Molino
What: Marni Outlet Store
Why Visit: To get major moula off the past 6+ seasons of Consuelo Castiglioni’s smart, quirky clothes and accessories. Your fashion-y girlfriends back home will get all insta-jealous upon seeing your spoils, but be warned that non-artsy boys may not fully appreciate Castiglioni’s off-kilter cuts and bold embellishments.
Where: Via Filippo Tajani 3
Helpful Hint: Ring buzzer to enter, walk down driveway enter at far door on right.
[tags]Milan Travel Guide, Fashion Milan, Milan Shopping, Milan Fashion Week [/tags]