The jet lag was real. Being on the other side of the world with a completely different time zone meant no sleep. Honestly, I didn’t care much about sleep since they have siesta in Italy. Everything closes and taxis even take a break. Talk about culture shock. Whenever we did have time to eat or take a breather it coincided with the siesta. Bummer.
I started the day off with a fresh americano and I was ready to hit the streets. I requested an Uber and to my surprise, I got picked up by another well dressed and very handsome Italian driver in a fancy Mercedes SUV. At this point, I was definitely head over heels. What’s not to love about Italy?
We decided to head to Duomo the Milano, Milan’s very famous cathedral and architectural landmark which took almost 600 years to be completed, and Piazza Duomo. We had an appointment to visit one of the vendors later during the day on “Via Gesu,” the Rodeo Drive of Milan, so we had to make the most out of our time. The streets were overflowing with fashionistas and trendy fashion boutiques. Trust me when I tell you fashion is part of the culture in Milan. People live and breathe fashion. Everyone was so nice, fit, happy and not to mention well dressed. After interviewing several individuals I found out why, but we’ll get to that later.
Back to the Duomo of Milano, a huge cathedral right in the middle of fashion square taken straight out of a fairy tale. I was completely in love with what I saw. People sipping on espressos, aperols, and walking around in the crisp daylight enjoying life. You could see numerous famous bloggers taking photos in literally every corner. Well, of course! It was Fashion Week in Milan. Why wouldn’t Ricky Thompson, Ayaxxamiya (the twins) and Brittany Xavier all be making tik toks at the most epic Instagramable site worthy fashion utopia? To be honest, I didn’t even recognize any of the bloggers I saw taking photos all over Italy. Luckily I had Marilyn to fill me in. You would think I follow all of the bloggers, right? Well, I don’t.
For fun, I fed the pigeons kettle corn. They felt like hard little hands on my soft skin. I laughed and smiled as I was so present at that moment, a memorable candid moment that I will always remember.
As we entered Piazza Duomo, I felt like I was walking into heaven. Fashion heaven that is. Everything was golden under the warm sun light, so surreal. It almost looked like a church. An elegant, celestial church that is home to every European designer that has walked on this earth. Louis Vuitton, Prada, Versace, you name it. We walked inside and made our way to “Via Gesu”. Yes, “Gesu” is part of my name which means Jesus in Italian. My name is the feminine version of Jesus. My staff actually calls me “Gesu” as a nickname. Ironically, in Milan, there is a well-recognized street called “Via Gesu” and it is home to the most high-end stores in Milan. Kind of a strange coincidence yet an interesting and precise comparison.
We get there and make it to Marina Forsetti. Now, Marina is a brand that I picked up from my previous blog at the Dallas Market. Do the Italian headbands that sold out in one day ring a bell? Well, here I was at the showroom. The only store where I could see them all in person. We walked in and all-around admiring beautiful headpieces with quite a resemblance to the headbands from the Dolce and Gabanna show. I was amazed by the fashion jewelry, large costume pieces, hairpins, unique and gorgeous one of kind pieces that were on display.
Pulling, picking and trying on piece by piece, I decided to get everything I liked and just take it with me to bring back to the store ASAP. Who knows when I’ll be back?
We hopped into an Uber and off we went to visit another showroom. Gosh, what is it with the handsome Uber drivers and fancy luxury cars? I am not complaining. On the contrary, I am enjoying it. Please, keep them coming! The designer we were visiting we had previously met at Mipel market the day before. Her studio was full of rooms and rooms of beads and wires, gold and silver, among other tools. Boxes on top of boxes and drawers full of beads and glass, some dating all the way back to the 1900s. Others, from several parts around the world. Indeed, it was a collection of time and culture. She was a multi-generational jewelry maker dating back to her grandmother. She said her grandmother was a genius who specialized her skill in artisan and ancient jewelry, which she later continued. She even creates special custom made pieces for other European designers such as Dolce and Gabanna. We looked at everything and to a point, it felt a bit overwhelming. I was just so amazed at how long it takes to construct some of the pieces we admired. Sometimes, it may even take up to several months just to make one piece. The level of detailing is so impeccable that it takes so much time, dedication and energy. Sometimes when we see an item and think it is overpriced or expensive, we don’t often realize the level of work and effort that actually goes into creating each piece. We are so accustomed to everything being fast and easily accessible that we tend to forget that, luckily, there are still things that are made with such love and care that take time to produce. I will never look at one of a kind jewelry the same way again. Think of all the royalty that wore custom-made fabulous jewelry. Imagine how long that took to design and create. I am not a designer, so I began to feel flustered and pressured. I didn’t know what I wanted, less to pick, choose and design. I had anxiety. The jewelry was amazing, but the process of buying custom-made jewelry was nuts. “Marilyn we have to go, Get us a hot uber and we are out.” The thought of it all was just too much. We hopped into our Uber and went straight to dinner.
By this time it was now 7:00pm. Siesta is over and everyone comes out of the woodworks by 8:00 PM. We arrive to the pizzeria at 7:00 PM and it is dead. Crickets, not even a sound. To my luck, even the waiters are gorgeous. I am starting to think it’s a qualification to be Milanese; Must be beautiful to live in Milan. Just kidding, but I’m not. At 8:00 pm a flood of people swarmed the place. I was so intrigued. I ordered the BEST pizza I have ever tasted to this day, Sardinian pizza, that’s where my family is from. Made with artichoke cream, sun-dried tomato, pesto, and fresh parmesan cheese. Mmm bellissimo! The day is finally over. Time to sleep but I can’t sleep. I’m too happy to sleep… Day 3..