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Work It, Girl: Milan Fashion Week

Work It, Girl: Milan Fashion Week

milan duomoAs Italy’s business and industrial capital, Milan moves with a fast pace. And as someone who grew up in the D.C. area and now lives in Chicago, the only pace I move in is LIGHTENING SPEED. I’d return to my Rome home for a nice vacation, but Milan is the city that works for me!

But this particular weekend, it was the other way around, and I was working for Milan! I packed all my cutest fall dresses for my 2-day trip because this week was a week unlike all others. THIS WAS FALL FASHION WEEK, BABY!

On Saturday morning, our group of six hit the ground running. We started by visiting Il Duomo, the large, magnificent cathedral that serves as Milan’s most recognizable landmark. There were two separate lines for admission: one for worshippers and one for visitors. The prayer line was shorter, so we took that one! I’m so glad that we did, though, because I was able to light a candle and say a prayer for my family, wishing them well while I’m abroad.

After that, we juxtaposed that spiritual experience with a materialistic one, walking next door to La Galleria, Milan’s outdoor shopping mall.

The strip malls where I live are lined with PetSmart and Target. In Milan, they are lined with Prada and Gucci. Looking back, I wish I had gone inside to take a look. At the time, I was too scared. Besides, I probably couldn’t even afford a pair of socks from one of those designer stores!milan galleria

Apart from high fashion, La Galleria had a plethora of amazing bookstores to explore. Since my group consisted of 4 Ricci Scholars, a jazz musician, and a writer (myself), all of us went crazy over these bookstores’ seemingly endless selections. From sheet music to religious books to historical fiction to stationary (yeah that one was me), all of us found something with which to fill our brains (or in my case, with which to unload my brain!).

But the coolest part was seeing Naomi Campbell.

HAHA I fooled you there. Ms. Campbell didn’t physically grace the bookstore with her fabulousness, but there was an old picture of her on the wall doing a book signing there. So I can say that I breathed her air.

For some more affordable fashion, we took a trip to H&M, which was tucked in the far corner of La Galleria, away from Giorgio Armani and his expensive friends. But the cashier at H&M was so pleasantly surprised by my Italian language skills that she gave me a €5 gift card! There’s nothing better than getting paid to go shopping.

To conclude our trip to La Galleria, we indulged in the superstitious Milan tradition of spinning on your heel three times on the private parts of a floor mural of a bull. I couldn’t tell you why people do it, but it’s fun, and hopefully it’s lucky, too!milan castle

On Sunday, we went back downtown for an adventure at Sforza Castle. The interior had been renovated into a museum of sorts, housing many pieces of art and ancient artifacts, including Michelangelo’s final unfinished sculpture of La Pieta Rondanini (Mary crying over Jesus’ body after removing it from the cross) and an Egyptian mummy!

After a long day exploring Sforza Castle, we decided to complete a 3 kilometer long victory lap through Milan and to the train station. On the way there, we spotted a sculpture of a giant sewing machine. How appropriate for one of the world’s fashion capitals! I couldn’t help myself but to ask my friend Brenna to take a picture of me lying under the needle.

In the words of celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe, “I. DIE.”milan sewing machine

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