Milan Fashion Week Through My Lens
Anna Dello Russo, Negin Mirsalehi & me among guests at Gucci
Chriselle Lim & Carine Roitfeld at Alberta Ferretti
Danielle Bernstein and Instagram personalities, Lena & Lisa, among guests at Fendi
Supermodel, Joan Smalls, at Roberto Cavalli
Caro Duar, Linda Tol, Carine Roitfeld, Chriselle Lim, Paola Alberdi of Blank Itinerary, me, Nina Garcia of Project Runway, Leonie Hanne of Ohhcouture, and Xenia Van Der Woodsen of Xeniaoverdose among guests at Ferragamo
Linda Tol and Chriselle Lim among guests at Missoni
Imagine seeing one of your idols in person. This individual could be an actor, athlete, musician, public figure- whomever. You're standing among the crowd, and suddenly, you see them, the industry icon you've looked up to as long as you can remember. Your heart races, hands shake, and instinctively, you reach for your phone to snap a blurry photo to perpetuate this awe-inspiring moment. These were my feelings exactly as I crossed paths with Carine Roitfeld, former long-time editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, for the first time. What started out as a seemingly serendipitous celebrity encounter, turned into the adult equivalent of meeting princesses at Disney World, and through gloomy weather, blurry shots, and bad directions, I regret none of it.
Admittedly, I approached Milan Fashion Week with low expectations. At a minimum, I figured I'd see a blogger or two from a distance and shoot a street style lookbook to showcase my own outfits. I never imagined I'd be up close and personal with influencers I have followed for years over social media, editorial content, blogs, and documentaries. Some of the most memorable names include current and former Vogue editors Anna Wintour, Anna Dello Russo, and Carine Roitfeld and super influencers Olivia Palermo, Chriselle Lim, Danielle Bernstein, Negin Mirsalehi, Paola Alberdi, and Caro Duar- women I aspire to and admire in many ways.
Though I enjoy doing my thing in front of the camera, I am just as comfortable, if more comfortable, behind the lens. In my usual photoshoots, I have exponential room for error. If I don't like a particular pose or location, I can do it over. On the other hand, street style photographers have a limited window to "get the shot". Planned photoshoots can feel overly posed or inauthentic. I love that this series embraces elements of movement and surprise present in real life. Most of my photos are imperfect, but their curiosities and quirks make them all the more interesting to look at.
While Milan Fashion Week is a portrait photographer's heaven, I can't go without mentioning the actual fashion! The following are some of my favorite trends I saw during the week.
- Fluorescent florals- ideal for those drawn to feminine vibes with a rocker edge
- Statement shades- Even on the gloomy streets of Milan, fashionistas were eager to rock their chicest shades. Trending styles include cat eye, mini oval-shaped, and oversized round styles.
- Fantastic furs- Furs are having a moment in general, but the inspiration during fashion week was next level. Show attendees donned fur coats with bold hues, unexpected patterns, and luxurious textures. I'll also note the increasing popularity of faux fur. Innovative industry leaders including Diane von Furstenberg, Stella McCartney, and Gucci have embraced the faux route, and the results are animal-friendly and as glamorous as the real deal.
- Two-piece sets & power suiting- The past couple of years have seen enormous advancements in women' s empowerment, and this cultural shift is reflected in the popular styles of the moment. Female fashion influencers are embracing strong silhouettes (shoulder pads and all), and I truly could not fathom the level of #girlboss inspiration outside of the shows.
After several weeks of reflection, I would describe my MFW experience as:
- Ninety-eight percent running from show to show, playing paparazzi, and trying to "get the shot"
- Two percent posing for street style photographers, meeting my fashion icons, getting interviewed by media outlets (Cosmo Hong Kong & FNL for Amazon Prime?), volunteering backstage, and actually attending a fashion show (at the gorgeous Scalone Arengario, no less)
I am so incredibly grateful to my family for making this dream a reality for me. As cheesy as it sounds, Milan Fashion Week was one of the most exciting, exhausting, exhilarating experiences of my life. Shoutout to my dear friend, Pancé for being my partner in crime through it all and being equally starstruck when we saw Anna Wintour for the first time.
In the next couple of weeks, you can expect travel updates in Paris, London, and possibly Ireland. I'm also putting together a video compilation of my time here including sitting front row at the JZ show. Thank you for your love and support!