Sunday, February 24, 2013

For the love of Fur


First, some wise words from our dear Coco Chanel to get you all in the mood-
"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different."
"Fashion fades, only style remains the same."

As I told you in my last post, I went down to experience Milan Fashion Week on Friday and Saturday. Since I obviously missed the call from my BFF Michael Kors personally inviting me to his favorite shows, I had to settle for awkwardly stalking the exterior of the venues, camera in hand. Regardless, there was an addictive air of anticipation that kept everyone waiting with bated breath for that moment when a celebrity would step out of one of the 4700 Maseratis that are cruising around the piazza. It was so invigorating, and I don't even follow high-fashion at all. Well, until Friday. 

On Friday, I returned to the Golden Triangle with my D3100 in hand. Versace's show was scheduled for 7:00 and 8:00 pm in Via Gesu, so I decided to scope the area and observe what people were wearing. Via Gesu is also the home for the Four Seasons, so it didn't take long to figure out where a majority of the well-dressed people were coming from.

The exterior view of where the Versace show was held. 

 I didn't stay for long because it was FREEZING. Before I hopped on the tram back to my dorm, I visited the headquarters for Italian Fashion, which is located in this beautiful piazza close to Il Duomo. The timing was right, apparently, because I was able to see REAL SUPER MODELS practicing their strut:

One of them almost tripped in their sky-high heels, so it reassured me that they are at least partly human. 
In other news- If you need me, I'll be in the gym and starving myself all week. 

Fashion Week is very important to the Italian population regardless of the availability of the tickets, as expressed by the massive public screens where a live feed showed the latest designs of the major labels:

On Saturday, a larger group of us went to another part of Milan where Jil Sander's show was being displayed. While waiting outside, I was able to snap these photos of random people on the street that were very willing to pose. Photos were like an avalanche affect. Whenever one person with a fancy camera asked someone to pause for a photo, another flood of people (sometimes including myself) came rushing over to take pictures too, often without knowing who the person or what his/her contribution to the fashion world was. After a while, I couldn't help but start to laugh. We were like little ants attacking dropped crumbs. 
Here are a few of the better ones: 

This one, however, my friends and I did recognize. He is 'The Sartorialist', the writer of a very well known fashion blog. He was kind enough to let some of the girls I was with take pictures with him:

More random pictures that deserve a comment:


       Hey there Philly!                                  

 I was (still am) really obsessed with this jacket. And those SHOES!

One thing is for sure- fur will forever be in style. It was EVERYWHERE, from older women to teenagers.

Ma'am, your child called. She wants her stuffed animal back: 

 But enough fun. Back to the grind tomorrow. JOKES, it's Italy. I only have one class tomorrow due to elections. 

I hope you all had a great, warm weekend with lots of laughs. 


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Prep for Fashion Week

As some of my fashionista friends already know, Fashion Week began yesterday here in Milano. I have yet to venture downtown, but I'd imagine the Fashion District and the area around the Duomo are packed with amazingly-dressed people. To get myself into the high-fashion mindset for this week's activities, I took a trip to the Golden Triangle, three famous streets where all of the famous boutiques are located in Milano. Although I wasn't the only person taking touristy pictures of all of the shops, I felt quite ashamed doing so and tried to hide my camera as much as possible. So here are the spoils: 

Decorations for Valentine's Day. We all know the best way to win over a woman's heart is to shower them with boxes of Versace and Burberry! 

And the award for best display goes to.....

Apparently, owning one of the most profitable high-fashion companies isn't enough for Armani. He also needs to own a hotel and a cafe. 

Who said homeless people aren't smart? This one is conveniently positioned in front of an Aston Martin. Tricky tricky. 

Since I don't have class on Fridays, my only plan for tomorrow is to go downtown and take pictures of people. The biggest shows are invite only, but I'm sure I'll still be able to see some awesome things. Here is a schedule, for those who care a bit about fashion:

Expect some fun pictures soon!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Are you lost in paradise? I am!

Before we begin, here are some random pictures of downtown Milano that I recently shot:

 This past weekend, the Venetian Carnivale made its way to Milano. It's celebrated similarly to Halloween in the States, only less scary and lots of confetti. Here is an adorable little boy and his father making their way to the parade:

 And this is the tightest parking job I have ever seen:

So it just occurred to me that I haven't told you all about my goals or to-do list while I am over here, and since I am currently trying to find something to distract me from reading about the EU budgeting process, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity. 

So, goals. 

As many of you might have guessed, I intend to be fluent in Italian by the time I return to the States this summer. For some strange reason, I have always viewed fluency as the ultimate social status. All the cool kids do it, right? Given that all of my classes are conducted in English and my roommate is from California, however, this may be more difficult than I originally intended. But one can hope. And try. 

This is just an overall life goal: I want to learn what it means to be truly present. I feel like one of the best times to understand and adopt this is while I am young, alone, and in a vibrant, historic, beautiful city. 

Most importantly, I want to mature. I have already been blessed with one "fresh start", as I call it, when I started at Penn in a new city where I had no prior connections. While I have dramatically changed since I first set foot in Philadelphia, I know that I have much more to learn and change about myself if I want to be the woman that I aspire and know that I can be. This is now my second chance at a "fresh start", where I have another opportunity to discover my passions and desires in life. I just hope I have enough confidence to accept and encourage whatever I find.

And my to-do list: 

- learn to prepare a meal like a true Italian woman. 
- ride on a vespa through the cobbled streets of an old Italian city. 
- visit a winery. 
- find the best espresso in Milano. at the rate I'm going, it shouldn't take too much longer.
- shop in Versace and look and act like I belong there. 
- visit a Ferrari, Maserati, and Lamborghini dealership. 
- buy a Venetian Carnivale mask. 
- go skiing in Torino. 
- see an Italian opera at La Scala. 
- find an attractive Italian man to marry so I can stay over here for the rest of my life. JOKES. but only about the man and marriage part. I think I could picture myself over here longer than a few months. 
- take a stereotypical picture of myself cheesing in front of the Eiffel Tower. 
- memorize all of the names of the tram stops from my dorm to Bocconi so I will no longer be the lost American blonde. 
- visit the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain in Rome. 
- look at art in Florence like I know about, well, art. 
- learn how to properly say "take away" in Italian without people looking at me like I'm an idiot. 
- buy a jersey and watch an AC Milan game like an Italian hooligan. 
- attend Fashion Week in Milano. 
- take pictures from the roof of Il Duomo. 
- see The Last Supper. 
- be a beach bum on the Mediterranean coast. 

I know this sounds like a lot considering I do have these important things those darn kids call 'classes', but this will probably be the only chance I will have to do a majority of these things before I become an adult. Terrifying, I know. I found some wise words to inspire me, though: 

"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein."
H Jackson Brown

Last thing: before I go, I just want to share one of my favorite songs with you. 
If you don't like it I will no longer acknowledge your existence. More jokes, but I will judge you a little. 
Seriously, it's great. Not a new find, but still fantastic. Enjoy.



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Baby It's Cold Outside

I know that some of you are sick of looking at snow, but just to give you an insight into my last couple of days: 

Please take note of all of the tiny cars. I have yet to see anything remotely close to a F-250 Super Duty. Bucket list?

Classes have officially begun, and I am beginning to know my way around campus. No classes on Fridays, but it certainly comes with a price: 8:45 classes two days a week. I haven't had class that early since Math 104 recitation in DRL my freshman year. Bad memories. 

I hope all of you back in the States are staying warm and dry!!


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Happy Sunday!

I promised you pictures, so you're getting pictures. But first, a bit about my last few days. 

As you know from my last post, I arrived in Milan on Wednesday. On Thursday, I woke up early so I could wander a little around Bocconi and make sure I wouldn't get lost and arrive late to class. It's about a 20 minute tram ride and a couple minutes walk from my dorm to the school. Bocconi is bigger and a lot more modern than I expected, but still lovely. I have had an "Italian Crash Course" for the last few days (4-5 hours each day) where I will practically be re-learning Italian 110-140 in about 2 weeks. This is fine because I'm REALLY rusty. Like REALLY REALLY rusty....

I live in a 2-bedroom apartment/dorm with another student from the States, Elizabeth, who happens to be from Cornell. She arrived on Thursday and we ate our first real Italian pizzas at a nearly cafe, then proceeded to go shopping at the nearby superstore. THEY HAVE A WHOLE AISLE OF PASTA. Not exaggerating. Nothing else could be more stereo-typically Italian. 

On Friday, I finally bought my Italian phone. 

No words. Except I miss my iPhone. 

Today my camera finally saw the light of day when I ventured downtown. Once again: beautiful. But now you can see what I am talking about. Here are my favorites, but there are more on my Photos page. 

My first REAL Italian gelato. Apologies for it being half-eaten, I couldn't help myself. 

Il Duomo. The main attraction in Milano. And here is the beautiful inside:

                                    La Galleria Vittorio Emanuele - The oldest shopping mall in Italy. 

The famous La Scala:

Castello Sforzesco

The view of the park behind the castle 

PS: I finally got to Skype with my family today!