POSTCARD FROM MILAN
A SAMPLING OF THE LATEST IN NEW STORES, EATERIES AND HOT ITEMS AROUND MILAN.
Looking for a skunk fur skirt? A little sculpted silk? Ter et Bantine’s first-ever Milan store is the place to go for quirky fashions and accessories designed by the Bologna-born Manuela Gherardi. The 1,944-square-foot space, across the street from Jil Sander, mixes wenge, glass and steel with lashings of white. There are plans to sell clothes and household objects by emerging talents, but for now, the treats include see-through, skunk fur skirts hand-sewn onto tulle or long pleated skirts in sculpted bronze silk. Ter et Bantine is on Via Verri at the corner of Via Bigli; tel. 0039.02.76394515; closed Monday morning.
Hermes: Home Away From Home
The biggest Hermes store outside Paris opened its doors in June and sells everything from saddles to silky shawls in its newly expanded 4,320-square-foot space. The elegant decor by architect Rena Dumas — the wife of Hermes owner Jean-Louis Dumas-Hermes — features French cherrywood and glass showcases, subtle spotlighting and a curvy staircase in pale marble with brushed nickel rails. Hot Hermes items include leather key pendants by Martin Margiela, cashmere stoles with deep pockets and collars for well-dressed pooches in red, black or brown calf. The shop is at Via Sant’ Andrea 21; tel. 0039.02.76003495; closed Monday morning.
Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner and Princess Caroline of Monaco are just a few of the celebrities stepping out in Hogan shoes this fall. Demand for Diego Della Valle’s hip Hogan footwear forced the company to open a temporary boutique in Via della Spiga at the end of August, while the 1,404-square-foot flagship is scheduled to open on Via Montenapoleone in December. Like the current boutique, the new store will take inspiration from a gym, mixing cream walls, maple wood and steel. Sporty footwear this season includes ponyskin ankle-boots in bright red, orange and green; knee-high leather boots with brogue detailing on the seams, and tennis shoes in ecru or orange ponyskin and suede. It’s at Via della Spiga 22; tel. 0039.02.784130; closed Monday morning.
The first-ever Antonini jewelry store will open in October, just down the road from La Scala. Walls covered in Tuscan leather, floors laid with Venetian mosaic and green Prato marble are among the props dreamed up by the store’s architects, Paolo Castagna, a theater and opera director, and Gianni Ravelli, a scenery designer.
“Like our jewelry, the store combines traditional materials with modern style,” said Carlo Giulio Antonini, whose glistening pieces, designed with brother Sergio, should suit the passing divas and opera-goers. Look out for chokers in aquamarine, pale green or rose beryl; triangular white gold rings with a giant Tahitian pearl, or simple, double-banded white-gold necklaces studded with tiny diamonds. The shop is at Via Manzoni 18; tel. 0039.02.76000016; closed Monday morning.
Dolce & Gabbana: Land Barons
Via Dolce & Gabbana is the fashion crowd’s latest name for the swank Via della Spiga — and for good reason. A second, 2,084-square-foot boutique at number 26 has just opened hot on the heels of the 8,370-square-foot unit at number 2, which was unveiled in June. The first store stocks Dolce & Gabbana’s women’s collection and accessories, while the second carries the men’s black and white label collections. Both outlets — designed by architect David Chipperfield — share a minimalist decor dotted with potted palms, antique baroque thrones or zebra-skin rugs. The hottest item at the men’s store is a medieval hood made from military felt and trimmed with wolf fur, while the must-have pieces at the women’s boutique — short jackets in yellow, blue, green or pink mink — are flying off shelves. Via della Spiga 2; tel. 0039.02.76001155. Via della Spiga 26; tel. 0039.02.799950. Closed Monday morning.
Who’s the Boss?
Former Spice Girl Mel G, Formula One champion Mika Hakkinen and the entire Milan soccer squad livened up the inaugural bash of Milan’s first Hugo Boss store on September 9. The 4,536-square-foot store stocks everything for well-dressed men, from suits to silver or steel-colored jackets in reflective nylon, complete with a mobile-phone pocket. Wenge counters, granite floors, pale wood shelves and a 23-foot shop window spanning three floors give the store a classic and contemporary style — just like the clothes. Boss is at Corso Matteotti 11; tel. 0039.02.76394
New Age Gym
Mind — and matter — are the core of the philosophy at Downtown, the new gym that opened in Piazza Cavour over the summer. “We’re one of the first Milanese gyms to offer New Age fitness therapies that consider the spirit as well as the body,” said partner Markanthony D’Annunzio. Dainami — a combination of Hara yoga, Pilates and the Horwarth system — is one of the classes on offer, alongside bodybuilding, aerobics and spinning. A beauty and hydrotherapy center, offering Aqua Chi, Zen meditation in water and Atlantis massage inspired by Aikido and dolphin movements, opens in October, while a golf practice range is set to open in November. Piazza Cavour 2; tel. 0039.02.76011485. Open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to midnight; Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
For a near-alien experience, check out the new Shu bar with its green lighting, 2001 decor, a counter shaped like a spaceship and transparent seats designed by Philippe Starck. The adjoining restaurant mixes present and past, with lamps made from TV and computer circuits, and sculptures of the giant, gold hands of Shu — the ancient Egyptian god who held up the sky. Try the classic Italian dishes, like fish with porcini mushrooms and potatoes, or more outre concoctions, like spicy vegetarian rice. Shu is at Via Molino delle Armi, angolo Via della Chiusa. Tel. 0039.02.58315720; closed Sunday.
Good Evening Vietnam
You won’t find anything like this in Saigon. Milan’s hottest new restaurant, Shambala, serves Vietnamese and ethnic cuisine in an old Italian farmhouse on the city’s outskirts. Calvin Klein and singer Anna Oxa are among those who dine on the wooden terrace that’s encircled by Balinese furniture, tropical plants and the farmhouse’s red brick wall. Inside, orange walls, floormats and Buddha-head candles add to the restaurant’s New Age resonance. Japanese chef Edo Komori, who hails from Sao Paulo, Brazil, recommends po piah sod, a Vietnamese rice-paper sushi with raw carrot, zucchini, tuna and salmon and served with a zingy sweet-and-sour ginger and herb sauce. Advance booking is essential, as this place is as hot as it gets. It’s at Via Ripamonti 337; tel. 0039.02.5520194; closed Sunday.
If you’re a discerning type with a passion for perfect paper, head for Pineider, the 200-year-old Florentine stationer. The company’s new 3,240-square-foot, three-level boutique by architect Gianfranco Giardino is set to open at the end of the month and will sell traditional stationery, leather-handled paper knives, gold-nib pens and anything else needed to set stylish pen to paper. If matrimony is on your mind this year, check out the ultrachic wedding invitations on single sheets of letter paper, embossed with the bride’s initials entwined with her beloved’s. Pineider is at Via Manzoni 20; closed Monday morning. There was no phone number at press time.
Milan’s fashionable “Golden Triangle” shopping area is in ferment, with dozens of new outlets slated to open over the coming months. Here’s a taste of what’s in store:
Cashmere manufacturers Malo will open a 4,439-square-foot flagship at the end of December, stocking men’s and women’s wear, home and fashion accessories. The luxurious decor by architect Claudio Nardi features anthracite leather and pale gray vinyl, purple velvet seats, crystal shelves and a mini-apartment with a white stone fireplace for the home section, complete with a Zen garden. Located at Via della Spiga 7.
The Hilton Vestimenta store will relocate to the corner of Via Montenapoleone and Via Manzoni in January. The outlet’s new decor will reflect the brand’s planned change of image, and the architect remains a closely guarded secret.
Manrico’s new-look boutique, scheduled to reopen at Corso Magenta 11 on Sept. 25, stocks men’s wear, women’s wear and accessories. A new store will open on Via Borgospesso 27 next year.
Versace’s flagship will shift up the street to Via Montenapoleone 11 in early December after its current outlet at number 2 closes. The five-floor store — whose radical redesign has been masterminded by Versace with the architectural studio Spatium — will reportedly feature colored lights on crystal walls, crystal entrance flooring, resin, optic fibers and the obligatory Medusa symbol.
Prada’s bid to dominate the luxury goods market continues with a new 6,847-square-foot, two-story, women’s boutique designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi. The store, on at Via Montenapoleone 8, is scheduled to open next year.
Light, color and mirrors will transform the Missoni flagship at Via Sant’ Andrea 2 — revamped by architect Matteo Thun — into a walk-in kaleidoscope. The first 1,296 square feet will open during show week, with the remaining 1,728 square feet scheduled to open by December. Men’s and women’s signature collections, swimsuits and accessories are the main lines at the store, whose clever interior features fabric ceiling sails, partitions made from back-lit transparencies of Missoni colors, strategically placed mirrors, sandblasted ash-wood furniture and lacquered concrete floors.