As a huge fashion week fan, I’ve managed to tick London, Paris and now Milan off my check-list. NYFW (2016) will be the next city the Bonafide Supernova team aim to be at.
I’ve decided to write a short guide on MFW, if you have any plans to attend a Fashion Week abroad this should hopefully give you an insight of what to expect/do.
1.Give yourself time, if you are applying for show invitations, you need to make sure you plan in advance, and research the correct people to contact. You can use Google Translate and send out a version in English and in either French or Italian dependent on whom you are applying too. You will also need an address, so that’s why you should book early so you know where you are staying and will have access to the mail.
2. Learn some of the language (Don’t just assume they will understand English) even though a lot of foreign people do, it’s better to learn the basics. It’s also much more polite. I had one of my Italian friends teach me some phrases and the correct pronunciation a few months before. I also downloaded the Babbel app. We got lost quite a few times so knowing how to say certain things was key.
3. Book flights and accommodation in advance, the closer it get’s to Fashion Week the more expensive flights are. Hotels are very expensive nearer the time too. I booked everything five months in advance. Make sure you double check the dates of when it starts and ends. It would be a disaster to book on the wrong dates. I love Airbnb and I usually use it every time I travel and it’s great for booking out whole apartments at discounted prices.
4. Arrive early to shows, presentations and even parties. You’ll probably get lost, so you’ll need the extra time to make sure you can find the location and queue. I’d suggest making yourself an itinerary before you leave so you can organise your time and so that you can see clearly when the shows start and end. Ladies: wear flat shoes and bring heels in your bag, if you are using the tubes/walking. If you’ve attended London Fashion Week before you will know that the shows never usually start on time. In Milan they all started on time. So remember it’s better to be safe rather than sorry. Also make sure you are standing in the right queue, sometimes they separate them for buyers, press and photographers.
5. Bring a map with you at all times, If you are travelling to Milan (for the first time), the city is probably a lot smaller than what you think. It was really easy to get around in comparison to London and it was definitely cheaper. A lot of the shows took place near Duomo and Piazza Vetra. By the time the week has finished you’ll be a pro. Just make sure you have a map, in case your phone dies or you don’t have access to Google maps.
6. Bring a plus one, attending after parties alone is not going to be fun. I always bring a photographer friend with me, it makes a working holiday a lot more enjoyable and if there are ever any dilemmas two brains are better than one for figuring out a solution.
7. Wake up early and seize the day! Fashion week will fly by so I can’t stress enough how important it is to utilise your time. Make sure your mobile phone is set to the right time zones, as you wouldn’t want to miss any shows due to it still being on the English time. Drink lots of coffee, and stay alert. Italy is renowned for it’s great coffee. I had a really nice Caffè macchiato at Panino Giusto, it was served with a cube of ice-cream. Panino Giusto is close to a lot of the fashion week venues. I also LOVED the Gucci Cafe it was a great novelty and the coffee was nice too.
8. Talk to people, I honestly couldn’t recommend this enough, fashion week is a key time to make contacts. It’s amazing what sparking up a conversation can lead too, you never know who someone might be.
You can follow my IG @tamaratweetheart and also @bonafidesupernova for more Milan Fashion Week photos.