~By Susanne Taylor
What do you get when you combine Russian Love with Italian Fashion?
Answer: A trip of a lifetime that combines the beauty of the Italian, Russian and American cultures.
Last month I had the amazing experience of traveling to Lake Como, Italy, for the wedding of inPhorm’s first tennis pro and dear friend, aka Russian daughter, Alla Kudryavtseva. The bonus to the journey was spending the last days of the trip in Milan during Fashion Week or as they say in Milano, Moda Donna. Please enjoy this glimpse into Alla’s wedding combined with my recap of the 2019 spring fashion trends.
Let me start by saying that Lake Como is probably the most romantic spot I have ever visited. I am not at all surprised that Alla and her American husband, (a man I adore) Dan, chose such a beautiful spot.
And though Lake Como is well known for its celebrity visitors (Jennifer Aniston was wrapping a film on the lake, and George Clooney’s home was walking distance from the Laglio Villa the wedding and its three days of festivities were held) and famous residents, it is the everyday person that truly adds to the beauty and magic of the area. The small town of Laglio can be found in the Lombardy region of Italy and is on the western shore of the south-western branch of Lake Como, a fifteen-minute commute to the town of Como.
What struck me most about the Italian people was their natural beauty, energy, and positivity. Maybe this is what comes from a country that is older. I saw no obesity, a lot of longevity, and a people that seemed to really enjoy their life be it at their jobs or their free time.
I love the quote below from George Clooney and from what I observed must agree.
“I think people in Italy live their lives better than we do. It’s an older country, and they’ve learned to celebrate dinner and lunch, whereas we sort of eat as quickly as we can to get through it.” – George Clooney
Alla was a beautiful bride as were her bevy of Russian tennis pro attendants. Alla’s gown was amazing and perfectly in trend.
It was also wonderful to again unite with Alla’s parents, Alexander and Galena. Each time I am with them I am reminded how unimportant speaking the same language is…though it would have been helpful to follow some of the many toasts…the language of love is the same worldwide. A reminder that people are the same no matter where they are from.
After three picture perfect days on Lake Como, it was off to Milan. The already bustling city was alive with the energy of Fashion Week. The runway shows are as much art exhibit as they are a fashion show to me. Nonetheless, they forecast the trends and we can all look forward to spring 2019 as it looks to be magical.
Colors and patterns shown were bold. And while you will find plenty of soothing colors next spring/summer, the neon brights stood out. Looks were tailored, hem lengths varied but favored full length, animal prints still with us, and practicality overcomes fashion with pockets upon pockets. The trench abounds, prints are happy, and tulle is the Italian fabric of choice, much like its people, being fun, festive and, of course, transparent.
My own observation is that America is influencing the rest of the world when it comes to active fashion. To be honest, if you would have told me the runway would be influenced by American fashion back when I started my career, I would have thought you had lost your mind. But this is the case in performance apparel and exactly why I think inPhorm is being so well received internationally.
On the streets of Milan today, you would occasionally see the legging but most often it was the palazzo pant, full length and cropped. Skirts were in a distant second to the wide leg pant. The track pant was prevalent day and night. And I am here to tell you that the sneaker is alive and well. It is impossible to NOT see a sneaker and it was worn with all types of attire for both the male and female.
As Milan has and is working hard to reduce its city’s pollution, it was a pleasant surprise to learn the same is the case of Italian fashion. I was unfamiliar with the Green Carpet Fashion Awards. Apparently, they were founded last year. This year’s Awards were said to “reflect the commitment of luxury fashion houses to sustainability, as they work to embrace rapid change while preserving the heritage and authenticity of small-scale producers.” The GCFA theme this year was the “Handprint of Fashion.”
inPhorm takes very seriously its “handprint” and has since its founding been an eco-conscious brand. So, it is with great delight that I publish the winners of the 2018 GCFA.
The Visionary Award: Suzy Menkes
The Handprint Award: Antonio Giacomo Lampasi, Lionella Maria Morano, Giacomo Puzzello and Crispino Maria from Monterosso
The Art of Craftmanship: The Cobblers of Ferragamo
Technology and Innovation: Frumat leather
The Wellness Award: Elle Macpherson
Supply Chain Innovation: Sourcemap
Eco-Stewardship Award: The Woolmark farmers
The CNMI in recognition for Community and Social Justice: Diego Della Valle and Renzo Rosso
The Franca Sozzani GCC Award for the best emerging designer: Gilberto Calzolari
Sustainable Producer: Bonotto
The GCFA Leaders Award: Sinéad Burke
The CNMI in recognition for sustainability: Donatella Versace
The Changemaker Award: Cameron Russell
Suffice it to say that this writer highly recommends that you, at some point in your life, attend a Russian wedding and even if fashion is not your thing, a trip to Italy should never be missed.
“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” – Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer.