Milan fashion week begins in earnest today, but the continuing financial crisis has put something of a damper on the party scene. That should make this February a perfect time to rediscover favorite old haunts. Expect the editors to beeline for the cozy trattoria La Libera—its Bugsy Malone-styled owner, Italo, has already found his way before the Sartorialist’s lens. For aperitivi, there’s the legendary Bar Jamaica. The clientele—largely from the nearby Brera Art Academy—gives it a suitably bohemian atmosphere, but it’s truly infamous for being the site where the Futurist manifesto was plotted. Fashion’s own futurists may find it an appealing watering hole. Anti-bohemians will flock to Armani’s revamped café (pictured) off Via Manzoni for the food and the model-gorgeous wait staff, or maybe just to get a feel for the new Giorgio Armani Hotel that’s due to open directly above it in early 2011. After hours, the fashion week party at Lotvs’ second floor, La Bouche, will draw crowds, but the real night owls will head to Marcello Burlon’s Pink Is Punk party. Why? The guest DJ, Margherita Missoni.
Of course, editors in their off hours are not only eating, drinking, and partying. There are plenty of art exhibitions—funded by the various fashion houses and retailers—going on for a little culture throughout the week. Louis Vuitton’s installation by Sudarshan Shetty, the Ferragamo-sponsored show on Greta Garbo’s style at the Triennale, Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld’s exhibition of Richard Hambleton paintings (courtesy of Armani), and 10 Corso Como’s display of Tim Walker photos will all be on display. They’ll all, of course, be attended by parties to celebrate them—this is fashion week, after all.