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Milan Fashion Week SS17: what to see and do

The epicentre of cool, style and sophistication, Milan Fashion Week (this edition: Milano Moda Donna) represents the best of Italy’s fashion scene.


With names so iconic that they send chills down the spine. Taking place between 21 and 27 September, there’s still time to make the trip and if you do, here’s what you need to know.

Milan Fashion Week schedule

With dozens of events taking place across the week, the official schedule makes for an exciting read. If you just want the highlights, the biggest names are scheduled as follows:

  • Wednesday 21: Gucci, Cavalli
  • Thursday 22: Fendi, Prada, Moschino
  • Friday 23: Armani, Versace
  • Saturday 24: Jil Sander, Cividini
  • Sunday 25: Marni, Ferragamo, Missoni
  • Monday 26: Vanotti, Assegnato.

It’s always a vibrant event, packed with presentations and catwalk shows; attended by fashion industry royalty and the international elite. See up-coming trends and start planning next year’s wardrobe.

Related: Milan Fashion Week FW16 review

What to do in Milan

As a dynamic, fashion hub, it would be wrong not to spend a few hours in-between shows to do a little shopping yourself.
Just as Paris has the Triangle D’Or, Milan has the Quadrilatero d’Oro – the place to head for high-end, designer shopping: there’s nowhere better to go for fashion, jewellery and watches. Not so much for souvenirs. Around the corner is the recognisable Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a beautiful glass-domed arcade which houses many boutiques. It’s as much fun to people-watch as it is to shop; luckily, there are lots of cafes and restaurants enabling you to be discreetly nosy.

Related: Quadrilatero d’Oro, Milan: a guide

milan shopping

For some high-culture entertainment, don’t miss a night at the opera. Milan’s famous Teatro alla Scala in Via Filodrammatici is one of the world’s premier opera houses. On the bill during Fashion Week are Mozart’s Magic Flute, The Coronation of Poppea by Claudio Monteverdi and German baritone, Christian Gerhaher in concert, singing works by Dvořák. Also, dancing Rudolf Nureyev’s choreography, the Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company are performing Don Quixote.

Related: 10 things you need to know about Milan

If you’ve time to spare, take a trip to the glorious Lake Como – the playground of the rich and famous. It’s only two hours away – why not hire a Ferrari California or a Maserati Quattroporte and drive yourself to the heavenly lakeside towns of Bellagio, Como, Lecco, Menaggio, Tremezzo and Varenna? Eat, sail, walk, drift and just absorb the atmosphere. It’s too gorgeous not to visit.

Related: Discover more to see and do in Milan

Where and what to eat in Milan

Food and eating in Italy is more than ritual, it is religious. There are rules around mealtimes – what you should eat and when, how not to show yourself up as a tourist, and even how to drink coffee. As eating is such a grande affare, there’s no shortage of places to go.

Rated by Vogue as one of the best restaurants in Milan, and one that entertains the fashion world during MFWSS17, is Ceresio 7. Located at the top of design duo, Dsquared2’s headquarters, it comprises a restaurant/bar and two pools – perfect for a spot of sunbathing in the summer. Chef Elio Sironi’s menu is founded on ‘simplicity, genuineness and respect of the client’. Expect to rub shoulders with fashion journalists, prominent local families and designers.

Ceresio 7, Milan

Frequented by Giorgio Armani, and praised by Vogue Italia editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani as a place in which she could eat every day, Giacomo Ristorante is a Tuscan-influenced seafood restaurant which combines the freshest catch with seasonal ingredients. The home-made desserts and pastries are deserving of a separate entry, quite frankly. Don’t be misled by the low-profile décor, it was created by famous designer, Renzo Mongiardino.

Giacomo Ristorante, Milan

If you’re looking for a restaurant which oozes elegance, then Bice is it. Traditional and refined, with its distinguishing red tartan carpet, it serves incredible homemade pasta, Milanese dishes and classical desserts. When food is this good, who needs gastro molecular cuisine? Reportedly, Cara Delevingne, Kate Moss and Anna Wintour have all been spotted dining here.

Related: Milan: a guide to food and drink

Bice restaurant, Milan

See and be seen: where to go out

There’s arguably nowhere better to party than Milan during Fashion Week; there’s a buzz and excitement about the city – especially if you’re out in the right places (many of which appear to be in hotels, for reference).

Il Bar at the Bulgari HotelIl Bar at the Bulgari Hotel is where the beautiful people go for that Milanese tradition, il aperitivo. Chat, drink cocktails and enjoy small dishes in this fabulous setting (which apparently boasts the local ‘jet set’) between 6:30pm and 9pm.

Il Bar at Bulgari Hotel, Milan

On the first floor of the Townhouse Galleria Hotel, located inside the previously mentioned Vittorio Emanuele II, is a new hotspot: Ottagono Lounge & Oyster Bar. Open until 1am, it’s the perfect Fashion Week after-party venue: classy and luxurious, yet cosy. It may not be the place to rave until the sun comes up, but its elegant décor, cool cocktails and delicious dishes are sure to attract an exclusive crowd.

Related: The most beautiful al-fresco bars in Milan

ottagono lounges

It’s perhaps no surprise to learn that several nightclubs and bars in Milan have been envisioned by fashion designers, of which the eponymous Cavalli Club is just one. Ever popular with fashionistas, Roberto Cavalli owns the eclectically-designed club and its adjoining restaurant. For glamour, award-winning cocktails and some amazing events (celebrating Formula 1, international DJs, etc.), it’s the number one choice of many locals. It’s also often crammed with the designer’s friends, from rock legends to heiresses, via supermodels - perfect if you’re after some star-studded mingling.

Related: Milan nightlife: a guide

Where to stay during Milan Fashion Week

It’s natural that Italy’s fashion capital should be in possession of some of the world’s finest hotels – where else do the designers, models and influential journalists stay? And what could be more fitting than staying in the Armani Milan Hotel?

Fusing sophisticated design with elegant comfort, you’d expect nothing less than a stunning room – after all, each element has been designed by Giorgio Armani himself. The Signature Suites, for example, are two huge duplexes which feature a sweeping circular staircase, cinema or gym, while the Milano Suite offers incredible views of the Duomo from its own private terrace. Why not build on that good night’s sleep by enjoying a nourishing few hours at the exquisite spa?

Armani Milan Hotel

If you’d prefer a smaller, more discreet but no less opulent hotel, try the Spadari al Duomo for size. Ideally situated for the Galleria and Quadrilatero d’Oro, this hotel displays some fabulous pieces of art and appeals to creative types. With just forty rooms, book the Suite if you can, with its baby blue leather furnishings and spiral staircase.

Related: Read our review of Milan’s top hotels.