August 28 2014

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In Milan, Celebrating Who’s On Next


Francesca Versace—yes, of those Versaces—writes in from her jaunts around Milan fashion week.

Milan may be an ancient and tradition-bound city, but like everywhere else, it’s got an eye out for Who’s On Next. That’s just what was being celebrated at a cocktail party at the magnificent Palazzo Morando yesterday, where the sixth winner of the emerging-designer prize was announced.

Last year’s winner, Marco de Vincenzo, told me that even after winning, the path to success is still long. But that shouldn’t dampen the spirits of this year’s winner, Erkan Çoruh (pictured, with Harper’s Bazaar‘s Sophia Neophitou). It’s hard to imagine anything dampening footwear designer Jerome C. Rousseau’s—he smiles at me and tells me about the twin inspirations for his modern, colorful shoes: Keith Haring and Grace Jones.

Elsewhere, I spot the milliner Justin Smith of J Smith Esq, and Zara Gorman, whose Perspex and leather hats are architecturally inspired. And then there’s my friend Mirco Giovannini, whose dress I’m wearing tonight. Everywhere, the up-and-coming are being celebrated. “Viva i young,” the Moschillo family shouts. My aunt Donatella is a bit more pragmatic. “Bravi,” she told me, “but they still have to sweat.” “Let’s see who survives,” Diego Della Valle added gravely.

But tonight is about congratulations, not predictions of doom. Here’s hoping the spotlight on Milanese design will shine again on Milan as the fashion capital of the world. There’s no place like it—no place like home.

Designer Update