11 posts tagged "10 Corso Como"
To me, the most telling event of Milan fashion week did not take place on a runway. It happened on the corner of Via Montenapoleone and Via Pietro Verri, and the news was relayed by a simple printed sheet of paper in the window of a shuttered store. G. Lorenzi has closed, it announced. “Permanently.”
Why should that matter? If you weren’t familiar with Lorenzi, how can I begin to tell you what it did? Well, here’s what it did. Lorenzi sold nail clippers. Lorenzi sold hairbrushes. It sold knives. It sold shoehorns. It sold shaving kits. It sold corkscrews. Downstairs in the basement, it even sold items of less quotidian usefulness, cigar cutters and the like.
But, trust me, this was not your everyday array of nail clippers. Lorenzi offered everything from the most basic stainless-steel model to the most exquisite horn-handled variety. Every item in the store was either made by Italian artisans or sourced carefully from around the world and then often given a unique finish in an Italian workshop. And it was all displayed in a way that was both straightforward and reverent under the watchful eye of a stern whited-bearded patriarch and a team of sales assistants who combined the humility of lab technicians with the seriousness of art curators. Look, I know the world has bigger concerns, but at a certain level, it’s high art to take the most mundane of tasks—my nails need cutting, I could use a shave—and elevate it into the most refined of pleasures.
Located on a prime corner of Via Montenapoleone, Milan’s Madison Avenue, Lorenzi seemed as much a part of the city’s fabric as the Duomo. Carla Sozzani, the proprietor of 10 Corso Como, the forward-thinking Milanese concept store, remembers the ritual of going to Lorenzi to buy Christmas gifts. The line would extend around the corner from the tiny shop, and she would see and chat with everyone she knew in Milan as they waited their turn. A little Internet sleuthing sent me to a Lorenzi in the Brera neighborhood that claims affiliation with the original, but it did not have the same charm, selection, or staff. It did not seem like the kind of place that would inspire queues.
I’m surprised that Milan’s textile tycoons, who have given millions of their own money to restore the nation’s monuments, haven’t stepped in. At a time when there is so much soul-searching going on about the country’s place in the fashion firmament and all the talk is of “Made in Italy” and the unique heritage encapsulated in that phrase, why let a place that represents the pinnacle of local craftsmanship disappear from the main drag? Why not follow the example of the Wertheimers, the owners of Chanel, who have saved specialized Parisian houses like Lesage from oblivion? Perhaps it’s not too late. Even if the economics of that particular spot no longer make sense, it seems the tradition should be preserved in some form.
In any event, the space that Lorenzi occupied for so long will not go unused. In due course it will begin a new chapter in its existence—it’s reportedly been leased to the Swatch group.
Today in Milan, a panel of judges including Style.com’s Tim Blanks, Franca Sozzani, Angelica Cheung, Frida Giannini, Colin McDowell, and Alexa Chung selected the winner of the coveted International Woolmark Prize. Competitors included the States’ Joseph Altuzarra (who will be sending us a diary chronicling his experience), the U.K.’s Sibling, Asia’s Ffixxed, Australia’s Christopher Esber, and Rahul Mishra, who represented India and the Middle East. So which talent won the judges’ affections? That would be Mishra. Having shown a lineup focused on embroidery, the designer will take home $100,000 AU in prize money, and his Woolmark collection will be stocked in such retailers as Saks Fifth Avenue, 10 Corso Como, Harvey Nichols, and Joyce.
In September, just before Milan fashion week, 10 Corso Como’s Galleria Carla Sozzani will pay tribute to Tony Viramontes, one of the most revered fashion illustrators of the seventies and eighties. Hailing from Los Angeles, Viramontes worked with everyone from Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, and the House of Dior to Donna Summer, Duran Duran, Janet Jackson, and Paloma Picasso. His high-impact drawings—a product of what the artist, who died of AIDS in 1988, once described as “a state of creative anxiety and insecurity”—stood out for their sassy, sensual punch, and his images’ vivid palettes, moody shading, and extreme expressions seamlessly captured the glamour of the era. Titled “Tony Viramontes: Bold, Beautiful, and Damned,” the exhibition will run from September 6 to November 3, 2013.
“Life should always be fun and quirky,” says Hong Kong-based sunglasses designer René Chu. Her line of acetate frames, aptly dubbed Revé by René (a play on the French word for “dream”), is joie de vivre realized. With an unconventional, playful appeal, her unisex prototypes took months to master, and boast removable, magnetic cat ears (on Make Me Meow, above) and screw-on talons (on Beautiful Monster).
A former model and graduate of Los Angeles’ Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Chu has amassed an impressive group of stockists, including Colette in Paris and 10 Corso Como in Seoul. Her wares begin at $320.
“You’ll be surprised how effective putting a set of ears on someone can be in transforming them into a completely different character,” Chu tells us. These transformative qualities were inspired both by the laid-back lifestyle of Los Angeles and the modern dynamism of her second home, Hong Kong.
At the moment, Chu is working on perfecting a pair of oversize aviators and finalizing some particularly fantastical sunnies, which will feature a detachable unicorn horn. Sounds like the stuff that fashion rêves are made of.
New York-based designer Jen Kao was selected by Vogue Italia‘s Franca Sozzani and the buyers at TheCorner.com for the Vogue Talents Corner installation in Milan. While in Italy, Kao took full advantage of the situation to do a little traveling and more than a little shopping. She shares some of her snaps and memories, below.
“We arrived in Milan for the Vogue Talents Exhibition curated by Vogue Italia and TheCorner.com. After spending the first day setting up, we headed back to Palazzo Morando to meet Franca Sozzani and pose for pictures with the other designers. A dream list of guests passed through to the check out the collection, including, but not limited to, Anna Dello Russo, Margherita Missoni and Giovanna Battaglia (above), Anne Christensen, Donatella Versace, Suzy Menkes, Linda Fargo, Sally Singer, Dan and Dean of Dsquared², and Roberto Cavalli.”
“Checked in for some meetings at my booth, and then made the most necessary pit stop—at Prada! How can you choose from all the fascinating shades of caterpillar fox stoles, especially when they were made available to the public just as I walked in! I also wasn’t able to make my way out without a pair of blue and white swirly shades and black espadrille platform wingtips. That evening, we hosted a dinner for some friends at Da Giacomo (below). The food was more than something to write home about, the conversation even better, and the atmosphere better still—there’s always something to see. Case in point? Up in the right corner, paintings of personified carrots in tuxedos. And over there to the left, the most amazing vintage, printed ponyhair coat. Continue Reading “Jen Kao’s Italian Diary” »