Italy is the land of all things beautiful and tasty—intricate gold jewelry, sharply tailored men’s suits, lucious linens, and of course, artisinal leathers— as in shoes and bags. During fashion week Milan is buzzing with buyers, editors and influencers who are franetically racing from fashion show to previews ( and if lucky enough, a dinner at Da Gacomo). I was in Milan after a long hiatus from the city and found it the same as it ever was—fashion and food are #1 and so are Italian shoes. Although my time there was limited, I was able to highlight what Milan had to offer. Here are a few of my finds.
Stuart Weitzman is American but since Edmundo Castillo became Creative Director, they upped the presentaion to Italy. Mr.Castillo is a veteran shoe designer, starting at Donna Karan back in the day and moving on to Via Spiga, and his eponymous brand to name a few. He respected the codes of the Weitzman name, updating their splurge-worthy thigh-high boots into a bright white flat and adding patent thigh-high stilettos to the mix. Weitzman fans will be happy about the infusion of creativity like the butterfly snakeskin sandal but not put-off by drastic changes from their well-loved shoe. Bravo Edmundo on this colletion.
The family owned house of paisley, Etro’s runway show played upon the 18-Century Victorian era and didn’t stray too far from the brocades, tapastries and of course paiselies that define Etro. I visited the showroom on Via Spartaco to see the accessories up close. I loved the tartan bootie with multiple buckles and straps—Mona Lisa’s gone punk. The tapastry flat was a stand out and they showed their version of the ubiquitous sock sneaker with Etro swirl.
Pedro Garcia comes to Milan to present his simple grouping at a cocktail party at Six Gallery on Via Scaldesole. His thing is to use buttery soft leathers which he does in limited colors of tan and black. He infuses some of the styles with the distinctive rows of diamante rhinestones.
As I entered the Geox showroom I was surprised to see a geometric patterned stiletto boot in hot pink and purple suede. This was not what I was expecting from a comfort shoe brand. Other surprises included velvet booties with gold heels and Stephen Sprouse lettering on oxfords. My favorite were the 3 toned stacked heel loafer with kilt—I love a kilt.
Although I didn’t attend the Prada show, the pristine showroom with it’s pale green carpeting and sparsely placed mannequins was a thrill to see—it was like the church of Miucia. It’s entirely possible I was moved by my love of the brand and not everyone would have that reaction. In any case— to me it felt sacred.
Prada loves dichotomy and her red monster sole oxfords are a sharp conrast to the 3D rose satin bag from the same runway collection. This strong statement shoe is bound to influence.
The White Milano trade show was packed with emerging fashion brands from all over the globe. There were 5 venues filled with fashion on Via Tortona and I browsed every one. Many fashion focused brands also had shoes. Esseniel is a trend driven collection out of Antwerp. My eye went directly to the black floral sneakers and the glitter western boots.
The directional Portuguese brand used bits of yarns and ribbon to make a hairy kind of oxford shoe for those who want to make a statement on their feet and arty types.
The message from Milano? Fall 19 is a good season to reinvest in boots. Athletic shoes and oxfords are still big as are sensible heels. Brands are also sticking to what they know best instead of trying to fit into a trend. It’s a good time to stay true to who you are.