It's easy to assume that the 'big four' have always held sway, but Milan only really gained international recognition in the 1970s and 1980s thanks to the crop of new designers from that era. Currently Milan is facing criticism for its lack of new talent and its slowness in harnessing the digital age of bloggers and social media.
It is here in Milan, far north in the Bel Paese [Italy, the "beautiful country"], that a cultural pragmatism has attracted those of a more refined musical streak. And it is at Biko, a club not far from the throng of the city centre, that Trio Valore has convened to play to a Milanese crowd intent on devouring live music as would they their mammas' pasta e fagioli. It's a crowd of stylists who want to dance, and they do.
Italy's political situation has been on the radar for quite some time now, and the recent announcement of Silvio Berlusconi's return to politics has not allowed the country to leave the spot light. On a recent trip back to my hometown, Milan, a couple of adverts by the clothing line Piazza Italia caught my eye.
This was the first Milan Fashion Week since the passing of Anna Piaggi, the flamboyant and brilliant Vogue Italia editor who had been a significant presence at the shows (and hitting up the party scene with then-partner-in-crime Karl Lagerfeld) long before the writers, bloggers, models and celebrities in attendance this time around were even born.
Anyone who takes the slightest interest in contemporary menswear will confirm that bespoke tailoring and the appreciation of historical designs and techniques stand at levels of fascination for designers and male consumers that had not been seen for decades. The recently opened "Tommy Nutter: Rebel on the Row" exhibition at London's Fashion and Textile Museum is a timely and meaningful event.