Milan Fashion Map: Fondazione Prada


If you want to enjoy the timeless collections of Prada, admire beautiful dresses and suits it is better for you to stand in front of one of the boutiques at Vittorio Emanuele Gallery.. because here you will not find them. This is not a place devoted to the achievements of the Prada brand, contrarily it is a place that uses these achievements in order to present interesting creators of the contemporary art. Fondazione Prada is part of a specific type of brand promotion, where without showing their products, it is yet another kind of advertisement for the duo Prada-Bertelli. Some might say that all collections, especially the accessories such as handbags, shoes, and belts, from which it all began, are the works of art themselves. However, Prada, moving to another level in 1995, creates a foundation focused on art: the controversial, electrifying, strange. Art, which in no way goes hand in hand with the famous Saffiano bag. Here, in a place created by great designers and strategists of fashion industry the art and the fashion is separated by a fine line.

Fondazione Prada guided by their instincts selects artists interesting, unusual and daring, popular around the world. Not so long ago, their choice was our compatriot Goshka Macuga who by her exhibition astonished Muccia Prada herself last winter. However, during my visit, there were available three exhibitions by other artists: William N. Copley, Bette Saar and Edward Kienholtz, each distinct, depicting different subjects. These art presentations may not be easily understood and perhaps because of that can be undervalued. Certainly, many tourists are attracted by the popular brand name. After all, Italian galleries such as Florentine or Milanes are so rarely identified with contemporary art, hence there is no wonder this place, situated outside the center of the Milan, can pleasantly surprise some, others neatly disappoint. It is important to check the current exhibitions before deciding to visit it. There’s a reason I used the word “controversial” earlier.

(Discount tickets cost 8€, the normal 10€. It is not required to book in advance, however, tickets are available online. Closed on Tuesdays. You can get there by M3 (Loddi) but there is still a 15-minute walk, bus line 65 pulls almost in front of the buildings of the Foundation.)

Far from heaven, but close to fall (2002)


Let’s get real. Fall. It is not always sunny and gold. More often along with colorful leaves, it brings the promise of early winter and icy November evenings. This is the time of a year when you skip on your friends with some lame excuses and get cozy under the warm blanket. What to see? For Christmas films, it is still too early, and the ones set in summer would only cause unnecessary annoyance. There are a few titles that effectively can fight the autumn blues, one of them is “Far from Heaven”.

Like many American productions, this is a remake of black-and-white film ”All that Heaven allows” from 1955. It tells the story of Cathy, a role model for women in the fifties, full-time wife, and mother who serves her freshly baked apple pie with a forced yet spotless smile. In return, her successful husband gives her a kiss on the cheek like you give to your little daughter. This is a portrait of a woman who, like her black servant, sweeps under the rug all the disappointments and humiliations. A woman, who seems to have everything while being on top of a small-town society. However, her marital problems carefully masked during the evening dinners and cocktail parties, will soon come to light when Cathy catches her husband Frank cheating on her with another man. Lonely, she seeks for understanding, which she finds on her own property. Between her and her black gardener establishes a bond of understanding, a need for acceptance and attention.

Production in subtle but firm way paints the colorful background of the story, but it is not a reference to beautifully presented colors of the fall here. The mid-fifties is a time of awakening of capitalist America, the belief in the American Dream, racial segregation, Rosa Parks’ arrest and the rigid social conventions. In such realities the struggles of the main characters must remain within the four walls, the public is still too stupid to distinguish homosexuality from the disease or racism from tolerance, although they have just defeated Nazism, they see themselves as a master race in relation to blacks.

In its classic melodrama framework, without excessive pathos though, the film tries to focus on two threads that properly developed, could provide the plot for two different movies. However, the director Todd Haynes consistently leads both by what hundred-minute session leaves us with a slight saturation deficit. Hollywood still hasn’t used the theme of unfulfilled husband, a man with a whole range of emotions and weaknesses. Unfortunately, it prefers to replicate the template and present the silhouette of a powerful ”Eisenhower” guy, who has numerous affairs in the city, while his naive wife in a suburban home is waiting at the set table.

The film deals with quite an interesting topic, and in spite of his genre, it presents the emotions in a very frugal way, not declining the strength of the viewers’ reaction, nonetheless. Sometimes a whisper or just one look is louder than screaming and or sea of tears and this film proves it. It chokes emotions in its own throat, as its characters are forced to do, too.








CATHY: That was the day I stopped believing in the wild ardor of things. Perhaps in love, as well. That kind of love. The love in books and films. The love that tells us to abandon our lives and plans, all for one brief touch of Venus. So often we fail at that kind of love. The world just seems too fragile a place for it. And of every other kind, life remains full. Perhaps it’s just we who are too fragile.

Milan Fashion Map: Libreria dello specttacolo


One of my favorite places in Milan is Bar Magenta – in the city center, but slightly off the beaten track, which is not visited by a swarm of tourists, yet it is always live, especially during the famous aperitivo and happy hours. Ironically, only recently I have discovered that just around the corner is a bookstore, completely dedicated to the cinema, theater, and opera! Yes, that bookstores do exist, they have a soul and you will feel here great, raiding among the numerous shelves. This fantastic place made this whole area even more attractive to me.
Even before you come inside, you’re eyes are caught by richly exposed shop window with biographies of great stars, old publishing, numerous theatrical handbooks. Inside is even better – posters, lots of magazines about cinema, yearbooks, monthly issued magazines and even more books, also boxes with scenarios of operas and plays, screenplays and music sheets!
Normally, while setting points on a Milan Fashion Map I intently focus only on places I am describing, and my outfits presenting only with images. This time I decided to add a few words; Milanese fashion is not so diverse and extravagant as it might seem, but maybe more about some other time. Although the convenience of city life should oblige you to run in the flat, comfortable shoes, I faithfully stick to my taste and I often choose high heels. Yes, you can always compromise, take a bit bigger bag and take them with you. I still remember when I was in New York, that almost every girl, during her lunchtime, whether in dress or elegant suit was wearing sneakers, changing them later on under her desk at work for a more appropriate pair of heels. I, however, prefer heels, especially to skirts with such demanding cut as tulip one, or delicate ballet flats. In this version, my cute bows went to the back, because I match my shoes with fancy socks that can be found in the latest collection of Calzedonia. If you prefer more economical /”do it yourself” solution, you can always sew a bow made from satin ribbons on cotton socks. I know that for many people the set “high heels + socks” is still a risky choice, but hey! We are in Milan!

Milan Fashion Week #MFW part 2


During MadMood Milan Fashion Week there was also a presentation of the collection of Caresta bags, the Romanian brand specialized in leather goods and accessories. Caresta products feature simple yet elegant design, bags are classical an very practical, I would take them with me to work but also on a night out, exactly how the models on the catwalk had presented. Their elegant look with simple, long jacket, pencil, lace skirt, and high heels… kind of an office uniform ..but how sexy it gets after dark.

Milan Fashion Week #MFW part 1


When the sound of the Milan Fashion Week slowly fades away, and the eyes of all fashion enthusiasts were aimed at Paris, it’s time for my relation from this event. Obviously, as a little “rookie” in the blogosphere, my Fashion Week was not revolved around runways of such collections as Prada or Armani, however, I had the pleasure to take part in several shows and very sapid contest for young designers…And sapid is an accurate word here. But more of this later.

Fashion as “a constant” which is always in flux, its variability expresses the demand and the perception of consumers. Treated as a form of art is constantly subjective. It is my belief, that fashion doesn’t have to be outrageous, extravagant and shocking, this kind of emotions I prefer while sitting in the theater, nevertheless it must delight, give a sense of aesthetics and presents original beauty. It should be female when it is for a woman; male when dedicated to a man, rarely the other way around … The fashion show of Serbian designer Marija Sabic precisely depicts the essence of femininity it was gentle, sensual and elegant. Definitely “anti-unisex”. The wow effect which is not forced, a natural unconstrained chic. The entire collection, ranging from modest and elegant jumpsuits to sensual yet richly decorated evening, appeals to me. However, a few things stuck in my mind exceptionally and there is one dress I’d like to see again.. only this time hanging in my closet!

Waterloo Bridge (1940)


Running and kissing in the rain, contemplating by the window, love at first sight, in short, all those clichés…. Have you ever wonder where did it come from? Probably you roll your eyes while seeing all of it, repetitively, all over again, thinking “Isn’t there any better idea?” Well, there is not. At least I guess. In order to better understand the mechanisms working in this film, remember that what to us is obvious, once was incredibly new and even scandalous due to social standards and morals. I would like to present an absolute classic, romantic masterpiece, the reason of sobbing in the dark corners of the cinema. No, it’s not Titanic but Waterloo Bridge, an American production from 1940. 

The polish translation of the movie title is “The Goodbye Waltz”, which already brings to mind something nostalgic, ephemeral. These associations are most certainly suitable and will be present during the whole session. How much I adore movies like this one, so pure, so faithful to its genre!!

The story, which has melted my heart down, is about a young ballerina and the soldier, who after first meeting at London’s Waterloo Bridge fell in love in just one day. The historical background of the First World War, the beautiful classical music, the black and white colors all these factors together create the perfect melodramatic tone.

Over the last eighty years, they said everything about Vivian Leigh’s beauty and talent. So let me just add, how amazing was she in this movie! She created a character built and developed so wonderfully, it’s dynamic and moving. Her eyes could play more than other actresses can express through the monologue. This movie is nothing but a harbinger of her acting abilities, which two years later she confirmed in “Gone with the Wind”.

Even though the movie is more than 75 years old, and some conventions faded into oblivion together with the period of war, we can’t help but give the characters an enormous empathy. With indescribable pleasure, I observed the main character surrounded by her dancer-friends who gossip, dream and fall in love just like we do now.








Roy: The wonderful thing about living is that this sort of thing can happen. In the shadow of a death raid, I can meet you and feel more intensely alive……than walking around in peacetime, taking my life for granted.

Myra: It’s a high price to pay for it.

Roy: I don’t think so.

Myra: I do.

Milan Fashion Map: Via Giardini


It’s been a while time since I said my first Ciao! in Milan. Although summer has not said its last word yet, fall is approaching inexorably, and you can see it, not by colorful leaves, but by first models appearing on Milanese streets, heralding upcoming madness of Milan Fashion Week.

You feel that you starting to belong to the city, when slowly, slowly, or as an Italian would say piano, piano you are able to create your little routines, you already have your favorite places, and you can help the confused tourists where to go, or even argue with some hand gestures in Italian!

They say that’s no better place to fall in love than Paris, no better place to try delicious dumplings than Poland or no better carnival as it is in Rio! Well… I think that there is no better place to buy and read “Vogue” than Milan! Hence my next little spot on my Milan Fashion Map! It’s a charming newsstand on Via Giardini, near Montenapoleone metro station, next to the Armani Café and a famous monument dedicated to the former president, Sandro Pertini, which looks more like a mini version of those red stairs, that are in Times Square, New York City.

A place very Vogue, very Milan.

Love And other Disasters: what are romantic comedies for? (2006)


What if Holly Golightly lived in London, and instead of having a ginger nameless cat on her lap she would have the latest edition of Vogue in her hand?

Well, she would look like Brittany Murphy, not Audrey Hepburn, but love for the classic charm would remain. Although the first one, more contemporary to us, runs through English streets in light ballet flats and white male shirt, the latter one ”rocks that Givenchy dress” on Fifth Avenue, both still embody elegance, so wonderful in its simplicity! Excellent simplicity! This expression reflects both heroine’s style and the film itself.

,, Love and Other Disasters“ is a light, pleasant romantic comedy, with rain, London, and beautiful outfits, and the story plot, here again, I repeat: simple and a bit predictable, but then again so charming and humorous, you can let it get away because isn’t a happy ending he domain of the genre? Isn’t that a happy ending the reason why we choose such films in a first place? Let us not be hypocrites and admit the fact. Even superhero films have a storyline so clear (the struggle between good and evil) and even more obvious ending (good wins). So before we judge, let us remember for what type of viewer it was created in the first place; the one who’s looking for entertainment, with a clear moral that can be easily caught throughout the film. What’s wrong with that someone from the screen will tell us simply that love or friendship is important? Nowadays even such banal can be easily forgotten and the 90-minute session may remind us what we have been missing.

Every time I reach for this movie, I feel sorry, we didn’t get to know more on the talent of the actress, which, we must admit, didn’t always have accurate choices for the roles. Nevertheless, Brittany Murphy aka Jacks, creates the most charming, warm character, contemporary Holly, who confronts love with our idea of it.

Sometimes we may get the impression that some scenes or character’s behavior are like taken out of the melodrama. However, I believe this is intentional, and this comedy is nothing but a satire on relationships and people. Fresh and stylish, with humor served in a British way, which with the rest of the movie creates a tasty morsel; exactly what a romantic comedy should be like. Do not look for the hidden meaning where there is not one. In this particular case, look for fashion, and you’ll find one.


Love and other Disasters


Alek Keshishian


Michele Clapton

Favorite Quote

Jacks: I keep hoping that I’ll grow into it. That maybe one day I’ll wake up and I’ll feel…
Peter: What?
Jacks: In love! You know, dizzy and feverish and nausea.
Peter: That’s not love, Jacks. That’s the flu.

Milan Fashion Map: Via della Spiga


Another place on my map, Via della Spiga, is a prettier sister of a very famous and luxurious Via Montenapoleone (the main street leading from Duomo, where one can find numerous boutiques such as Channel, Dior or Valentino). Why prettier? Well, Via Montenapoleone, very popular yet not quite impressive: cars and tourists are everywhere which make leisurely walk almost impossible. On the contrary, Via Della Sprig is più elegante: typical, Italian, quite long and narrow stone alley (luckily heels-friendly). It’s quieter but with equally imposing shop windows like Prada, Dolce&Gabbana or Lanvin. While passing them, we may have the right impression that we almost admire exhibitions of modern art galleries. Boutiques in this area are not favorable to an average pocket, but if you want to feel the trendy and modern atmosphere of the city, you should choose this place, it is not away from the hustle, but it is on out-of-its-way.

Monte Carlo Baby!


It is said, that beginning is the hardest, so when I finish this sentence, the worst will be already behind me. In fact, yes, it didn’t hurt. The idea, to create as popular venture as the blog is, was born at least 2 years ago, however, I didn’t have enough time and courage, and the final kick in the ass came along with my moving to Milan, Italy.

Although I might sound cliche I have to admit: I love fashion, not necessarily trends, I perceive fashion as a form of art, and I can be excited in the same way about Haute Couture Ellie Saab’s dress as for Klimt’s ”The Tree of Life”. I am also passionate about cinematography, the European one, hence Italian. The merger of these two subjects seems to be obvious. According to my maths dialog plus picture plus actor equals film. The actor is a model, not necessarily slim and with basketball player’s hight, but the model of emotions, behavior, and thoughts that he can dress just like a coat, and it’s makes him a professional. Not surprisingly, there are directors who are concerned about the dress in the same way as for an actress who wears it. They create an integral picture with the emotions, and that is the reason that we remember not only particular scenes, but also the costumes, which can, perversely, play better than the actor himself. Yes, play; often in the acting, it is said that the costume plays. Sometimes it has its own life, but he happens to be waiting for a bit of acting-directing magic in order to live… About that magic…

Starting with “Monte Carlo Baby” is not aleatory. For me, it’s the synonym of beginning. It was on the very set of the film, where Mademoiselle Audrey Hepburn, later Hubert de Givenchy’s good friend, won her golden ticket to her timeless fame. Here the eyes of the famous French writer Collete spotted “Bambi Eyes” and hired her to the title role in Broadway adaptation of her book “Gigi”.

I am not surprised if that story doesn’t sound familiar, usually, Audrey name is only associated with “Breakfast at Tifanny’s”. Surely, I will get back to her more than once, her film achievements and devoted work for UNICEF. So far, my only conclusion is…everyone starts somewhere.

She started in Monaco…So did I.