Kelsey Zimmerer Experiences Milan Fashion Week

By Kelsey Zimmerer
Photos: Kelsey Zimmerer

photo (4)As cliché as it is, the phrase “when in Rome” ran through my head as I clicked the “finish” button on the TrenItalia website, confirming the purchase of a train ticket to Milan for the day. During Milan Fashion Week.

Granted I am not in Rome, but studying abroad in Florence is close enough, right? So since I could not picture another time in my life when I would have the chance to go to one of the biggest fashion events of the year, in one of the fashion capitals of the world, I jumped at the chance. Since designer shows are photo (5)extremely exclusive, I didn’t have the slightest idea of what I would actually do at Milan Fashion Week–I just knew I was going.

My expectation was to sit in a café and hopefully watch fashionable people walk by as I drank a cappuccino. What actually happened was a sensory overload of incredible style, my fashion-world icons and nonstop photo-ops.

I arrived at the Roberto Cavalli show an hour before its 12:30 p.m. start time. The black tent covering the runway was set up behind the Arco della Pace in Piazza Sempione, a sunny and open space perfect for seeing all of the fashion elites who would be attending the show. Photographers were already roaming the cobblestone, getting ready for the main event. Within five minutes, one asked if she could take my picture. I think my heart actually skipped a beat. Someone wanted to take my picture at Milan Fashion Week?  I thought it couldn’t get better.
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Soon private drivers started rolling up, and letting out the most well dressed people I have ever seen. Celine, Chanel, Prada, Moschino, Proenza Schouler and Fendi were everywhere. Midi skirts, jewel embellishments, lazer cut heels and metallics galore. Picture a literal fashion heaven.

I realized Someone (yes, with a capital S) was arriving when the hoards of photographers started sprinting in one direction, so I ran along with them.  I had followed the crowd to find myself just three feet from Ellie Goulding–and I immediately knew I was doing something right.
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The same frenzy led me to one of my favorite Italian bloggers, Chiara Feragni (The Blonde Salad); editor at large and creative consultant for Vogue Japan, Anna dello Russo; and several famous European actors and singers that I had never heard of. photoIn a rare moment, I called “Eva!” to one of my career role models, Eva Chen, editor-in-chief of Lucky Magazine, and she threw up a peace sign for my camera. My legs were shaking I was so excited.

In an industry as exclusive as the world of designer fashion, it was unbelievable to be there in the center of it all, surrounded by the labels and the people that set the trends–so unbelievable, that I had used up all of the battery in my camera taking a ridiculous amount of photos in just those two hours. It was time for me to retire from my role of amateur fashion photographer and grab some lunch. But, the day was not totally over until both Chiara and Eva had liked and commented on my Instagrams of them later that night.

True fashion satisfaction.

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