Milan’s location in the prosperous Po Valley of Italy made it an important centre of trade in the Middle Ages. The Second World War and Nazi occupation brought in some hardships, but post war it made the best of the economic boom and established itself as the most important financial city of Italy and a leading global city.
Summers are hot and sultry and winters cold and rainy. The pleasant temperatures during springtime and autumn make it the best time to visit Milan. An occasional gale-force windstorm in spring is the only element that can upset a tourist’s day out.
The title of ‘global fashion capital’ plus the many museums, monuments and landmarks that make up the city’s skyline, manage to attract about two million visitors to Milan annually. The Milan Fashion Week which is one of the Big-4 international fashion weeks and the Milan Furniture Fair, largest of its kind, are the two largest events on the packed Milan social calendar.
Straight Off The Ramp
The building opened as a neoclassical railway station in 1840. More than a century and a half later, the platforms and the station master’s room have made way for 65 rooms of Maison Moschino, a luxury boutique hotel.
Moschino’s eccentricity and innovativeness on the ramp carries on into the hotel as well. With his first step into the hotel, the visitor is enveloped in a surreal world where every corner brings a new delight to the senses. Moschino’s signature lamp-shade dresses serving as, well lampshades, life-like sheep and light fittings resembling tufts of clouds occupy the lobby.
Unique themes dictate the design of the rooms with every detail etched out as per the theme. Alice’s room uses a giant cup as a coffee table overhung by an extra-large bulb as a lamp. In the Forest room, tree-like structures stand at four corners of the bed while an owl lampshade looks on in all seriousness. In some rooms a ball-gown on a hangar acts as the head post of the bed while in the Ivy rooms a sculpted creeper takes over the walls. In the ‘Life is a Bed of Roses’ themed room all the soft furnishings are given the appearance of piles of rose petals while in the rooms themed The Ribbon, they look like heaps of ribbons.
Maison Moschino proves to be a hospitality extension of the fashion brand, adopting its personality and everything that it stands for. Here, the relationship between fashion and architecture is rooted deep.
One – Stop Shop
Art, music, design, fashion, food and culture all blend together at this concept store, 10 Corso Como. In 1990 it opened in a converted garage as a gallery to showcase art, design and photography and in the last two decades it has added a bookshop, a fashion and design store, a cafe and a boutique hotel. Often likened to a museum for contemporary objects, 10 Corso Como is designed to encourage the visitor to slow down, enjoy the exhibits amidst the retail spaces and make shopping an experience rather than a task.
View From A Top
The result of six centuries of toil, Duomo di Milano or Milan Cathedral is the fifth largest cathedral in the world occupying an area spanning 17000m². Many monuments and important art pieces occupy the interior of the cathedral.
But, its most striking feature is the Madonnina, a polychrome statue of the Virgin Mary placed atop the 108.5 metre high spire of the Cathedral. The influence of different architectural styles from across the ages lends it a unique appearance.
As Good As Home
A mish-mash of different tables, chairs, bookshelves and cabinets take up most of the Pave Bakery. The retro-style décor and vintage furniture create an ambience that has more the semblance of a friend’s living room rather than a café. Strategically-placed reading lights coax patrons to linger for one more cuppa as they start the next chapter of their book. Stencilled drawers on the tables, decorative wrapping paper for their chocolates and quirky accessories are the small touches that work in a big way.
Text By Himali Kothari