An Italian city that’s always in vogue
As Milan gears up for fashion week, Trisha Andres looks beyond the catwalk to its effortlessly chic modern art galleries
Milan, unlike Instagram-ready Rome and Florence, is not a Great Beauty. But what it lacks in symmetry, Roman ruins, medieval castles and cobblestoned streets, it makes up for in sophistication, style and wit. My first visit was to cover Fashion Week in 2008; I had a free day to explore, away from the madness of the Missoni and Giorgio Armani shows, and I chose to visit a number of contemporary galleries. At Spazio Rossana Orlandi in Via Matteo Bandello, I came face-to-face with the owner and design doyenne Rossana Orlandi. At 5ft 3in and aged 71, she sashayed down the gallery’s courtyard, as if she were a 6ft runway model, in an all-black ensemble. With her saucer-sized white vintage sunglasses, red lips and snow-white hair pulled neatly into a bun, she personified Milan: stylish and witty, with a secret beauty within. The same could be said of many of the city’s best galleries, listed in my selection of 10 on the right. Some are hidden, while others – such as Pinacoteca di Brera and La Triennale di Milano – are better-known but, like the city itself, are still full of surprises.
Clockwise from right: Museo del Novecento; Osservatorio Fondazione Prada; fashion designer Giorgio Armani; Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II; and models at Milan Fashion Week