At 3.30 am last Thursday the wake up alarm screamed in my ear. Normally, this would result in a fight with the snooze button but not this time, as this wake up call was for a day in Milan for fashion week. Dressed to ensure style and comfort, team Semple rushed out our doors to head to the airport for our early morning flight. Coffee at the ready, and passport control completed, we excitedly boarded the plane eagerly anticipating to see what Milan had in store for us.

Upon arrival at Milano Centrale, Italy’s second largest station in terms of traffic volumes, we were pleasantly surprised at how beautiful, grand and stylish the station was. Designer shops were fitted in amongst the big stone carved walls which hark back to the early 1900’s. The overwhelming size captured the history of the place, combining character with luxury, reminding us all of Grand Central station in New York.

Our next stop was to the heart of the city, the Duomo di Milano. Translated as the Cathedral church of Milan, this monumental building is quintessentially Italian and overwhelmingly stunning. It is Milan’s main tourist attraction, given away by the flocks of people who gather outside. After a fair few rounds of photos in front of the Duomo, it was time to taste one of Italy’s best commodities – coffee.

Italy is the home of luxurious coffee houses; coffee is the national breakfast and many of our beloved beverages that are a vital part of our morning ritual originate here, so finding a café to cater for our needs was not going to be a problem. Strolling around the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, an arcade of prestigious, high end fashion shops built within an octagonal space and beautiful glass dome, there was only one café for us fashionista’s – The Gucci café. Located just beside the shop itself, the Gucci café offers a range of delights and treats, all to chose from within a leather Gucci embossed menu.

Midday struck and it was time to find the best shopping routes and do some style spotting. Milan is the fashion capital of Italy and having just hosted its own fashion week, we were bound to find some treasures. Walking the streets of Milan, we spotted some very stylish women, but it is clear to see that London is the leading fashion city. Many of the shop windows showcased styles that originate in London; panel platforms and tweed blazers were some to name a few.

It is a known fact that shopping is exhausting and that regular intervals must be taken to ensure maximum wardrobe potential is achieved. When it came to lunch, it was a given that we would find a pizzeria and indulge in some native pizza and pasta dishes with a side order of fresh bread to dip in authentic olive oil and vinegar. The food lived up to expectations and was so delicious, we were left yearning for a siesta.

The day was drawing to a close before we knew it so it was time to head to the venue for Milan Fashion Week and immerse ourselves in the fashion atmosphere. Situated in amongst Italian architecture, black flooring and pink carpets lead the way around the venue, giving it an exclusive and luxurious touch. Beauty pop-up stores made the venue interactive and beautiful free fashion magazines, meant queuing for shows was more of a pleasure than a pain.

To the end the day, we left with a sweet taste in our mouths from some delicious, traditionally Italian ice cream. Milan is a city that merges history, modernisation and fashion together and our day was filled with inspiration to take back to the office. Grazie e arrivederci Milano!

By Marni Banks

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