STAR POWER: Summer just can’t bring itself to say arrivederci to Milano, where the weather has been sunny and balmy all week, leaving showgoers wondering why they’re rushing between runways instead of heading to the seaside.
Nights have been warm and starlit, too, creating the ideal backdrop for cocktail parties hosted by Net-a-porter president Alison Loehnis and Bulgari, which feted a handbag collaboration with Nicholas Kirkwood.
“It’s sadly not my home — I wish it were,” said Loehnis, referring to the historic — and spectacular — private villa near Corso Magenta, where she hosted a party for Net’s fashion brands and members of the industry, including Yoox Net-a-porter chief executive officer Federico Marchetti.
A private home belonging to the Radice Fossati family, the villa boasts a 13th-century facade and courtyard, and 18th-century interiors that were filled with ancestral oil paintings mounted on mile-high walls.
“We’re an Anglo-Italian family now, an international family. We thought it was the perfect time of year, and we wanted something cozy,” she said as she greeted guests including Diego Della Valle, Antonio Berardi, Laudomia Pucci, Gianvito Rossi, Marco Bizzarri, Marco de Vincenzo and Alessandro dell’Acqua, in the lush and sprawling garden.
Kirkwood, fresh from a South African summer safari, pointed to the sharp studs on his new version of the brand’s signature Serpenti bag. “They’re faceted like diamonds,” he said. Kirkwood also changed the bag’s proportions and tweaked a number of details, including the size and weight of the chain, which he made heavier and longer for “a London attitude.”
Bulgari would like to see more of him. “We have to think what else we can do together,” said Mireia Lopez Montoya, managing director of Bulgari’s leather goods and accessories business unit. She added that she’s planning a series of collaborations called “Through the Eyes of…” that will see the Serpenti collection reinterpreted by designers, artists and young creatives.
Among the guests at the Bulgari Hotel was Ellen von Unwerth, who said she was in town to see some shows, including Prada and Ermanno Scervino. “I’ve also started casting now for my new film. It’s a major feature film — I’d done only smaller films in the past,” said von Unwerth, who noted she wasn’t ready to reveal the name or more details of the project.