Opera Chic: Five new fab Milan destinations
Over the past few months, Milan’s been booming with a new cache of stylish destinations that would keep even the most jaded fashionista placated. New stores and hotels have popped up everywhere, with another wave of highly-anticipated openings coming this spring. And although Milan’s in no way recession-proof (we can’t ignore those florescent “affittasi” signs hanging ominously in many of the smaller boutiques), the city’s been steadily pushing through the credit crunch with a dizzying selection of gorgeous things to distract us from our woes. Here, Opera Chic‘s tour of Milan’s latest fashion and style destinations.
Maison Moschino: Corso Como, the small stretch of closed-to-traffic cobblestone street that boasts Milan’s trendiest clubs (Hollywood, Tocqueville) and stores (Eral 55, Boule de neige, Carla Sozzani’s 10 Corso Como) welcomes its newest neighbor, Moschino’s fashion hotel, which just opened in the middle of Fashion Week last Friday. The first hotel in Milan designed by a fashion label, Maison Moschino offers sixty-five rooms (starting at 250 euros) in 16 assorted, modern styles. There’s also an in-house restaurant, Clandestinò — if you can’t get a reservation at Corso Como’s Cucina Le Langhe! Viale Monte Grappa 12.
Marc by Marc Jacobs: Marc Jacobs is about to open his first Milan store, in the trendy Brera/Corso Garibaldi neighborhood. Still boarded-up, OC walks by the store in Piazza del Carmine on her way downtown and recalls the half-dozen former shops (a bakery, a stationery store, an antique book store) that were previously in the location, a sprawling 16th century building that buttresses the Santa Maria del Carmine church (which incidentally holds a seasonal antique store where you can buy the most amazing furniture and personal effects in their cloisters). The new space, designed by Stephan Jaklitsch architects, will feature retail space in addition to a bar and cafe, two features that all the cool kids in the city have been adding to their architectural blueprints. Piazza del Carmine 6.
Abercrombie & Fitch: For two years, Milanese stared at the ugly scaffolding on A&F’s shuttered facade, waiting patiently for the store to open. Four months ago, the mega-shop finally opened, and barely a day goes by when there isn’t a long line wrapping around Corso Matteotti for a meet & greet with their modelesque co-ed sales staff (see above) stationed every 10 feet, swaying in A&F miniskirts, tank tops and flip flops, snapping, “Hi what’s up how you doing” in endearingly run-on English. The soaring, muraled interiors of the four-floor palazzo, designed in 1939 by Italian architect Gio Ponti, are just as entrancing. If the cloying scent of their “Fierce” fragrance doesn’t get you high, the experience will. Corso Matteotti 12.
Dsquared2: Wonder Twin powers, activate! Form of an awesome Milan boutique! The Canadian twins, Dean and Dan Caten, inspired by their Canadian roots, created a sleek yet earthy store, a dichotomy that totally works. A facade of matchstick wooden slats, the interior looks like a sexy cottage full of wooden stumps and deer antler lamps. There’s also a separate bar in black leather that serves Mumm champagne if you’re into liquid lunches. Via Verri 4.
Stella McCartney: A week and a few days old, Stella McCartney’s first Milan store shares space in Milan’s prime fashion district, just a few paces down from Valentino’s iconic Via Monte Napoleone store. Injecting youth into her old-school neighbors’ boutiques, McCartney’s women’s collection is inside a historic, neoclassic palazzo. Two gorgeous floors of sumptuous inlaid wood parquet, detailed plaster, and sculpture make it almost impossible to focus on the clothes. Via Santo Spirito 3.