Experiencing Milan Fashion Week
Alison, Spring 2024, Florence
April 15, 2024

Milan feels vastly different to Florence with more open areas and less narrow streets! It almost feels like you aren’t in Italy anymore.

When I found out that Milan Fashion Week for Spring 2024 was coinciding with my Spring Break, I knew I had to go. At the time, only one designer was on the calendar, but I didn’t want to waste time and booked everything to see the smaller show.

Arriving in Milan was overwhelming. I struggled to get my taxi app to work and was heckled outside the station to buy things from vendors. However, I managed to get a taxi to the Meliá Milano Hotel where I was staying and the fashion show was being held. They were still setting up when I arrived. After checking in, I spent my few hours relaxing from the early morning train ride and getting ready.

The front row view of the Catwalk showcasing Samina Mughal’s recent collections.

Now, when I bought my ticket to the show, I bought an experiential VIP ticket for a slightly higher price to be able to see and do more while at the fashion show. As I checked in, I was given a wrist band and a ticket for dinner in the hotel restaurant. Only to be confused as they start telling me where hair and make-up are located and when the red carpet walk was occurring. Funnily enough, my ticket was upgraded from VIP to Celebrity. I am not sure if this was a mistake or a happy accident, but I decided to roll with it!

I went back to hair and make-up, and after waiting for a while, got my hair done by a professional. I forwent make-up at the time since I still needed to eat dinner before the show. Dinner consisted of Primo, Secondo, and Dolce; A simple risotto, a sesame seed crusted salmon with green curry, and of course tiramisu. The food was delicious and while I ate, I talked to some of the other attendees. We talked about where we were from and many of us were studying abroad. Then I got the chance to briefly talk to the designer herself, Samina Mughal, before the show started.

Dinner and Dessert at Meliá Milano Hotel’s MaMi Restaurant

Since I had a Celebrity ticket, I was able to sit in the front row for the entire show. Three different collections were showcased and between each one, there was a musical performance. The collections focused on sustainability in textiles, cultural blending, and then the designer’s signature gemstone collection with emeralds. After the show wrapped up, there was an after party in which drinks were served. I was able to talk once again with Mughal briefly before I decided to turn in for the night.

The diligent crew and photographers beginning to pack up the equipment after the show’s conclusion.

The next morning, I was able to have breakfast at the hotel before needing to check out. When I was booking my train back weeks before, I made a small error. As I hadn’t experienced the Italian train systems, I unexpectedly found myself with an extra day after the show to explore Milan. So after checking out, I asked for another taxi which took me to my second hotel that was much closer to the train station. This was necessary as my train was at 5AM and I would need to walk.

Just outside Milano Centrale Railway Station!

After leaving my luggage at the new hotel, I decided to wander around Milan. I went into many stores and outlets, grabbing lunch and taking in the sights. I was able to check in and then grab dinner at this amazing restaurant, Pianeta Luna, by the train station which was tucked away in an alleyway. And afterwards, I of course had to treat myself to some gelato. Since I had an extremely early train ride back to Florence, I turned in around 8PM to try and get some sleep.

Walking through Milan so early was a bit eerie but also fun. No one was out and so the city was quiet. The same was for the train station. It was almost completely empty with the exception of a few other early morning travelers. While I was thrilled to have been in Milan during Fashion Week, I was ready to be home in Florence.

I think if anyone is in Italy and has a passion for anything fashion related, going to even a small fashion show is a bucket list item and is completely doable!

Before 5AM, the Milano Centrale station is much emptier and quiet. Much more like a ghost town at this hour!

Written by: Alison, Spring 2024 Florence student, from Winthrop University

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