It all began with that fateful phone call at almost 1 a.m. I answered it, thinking it was an emergency call from someone I knew overseas. Turned out it was someone from Dolce & Gabbana in Milan on the other line. Initially I thought it must have been a mistake, someone calling me from Dolce & Gabbana? And then I was asked if I was Ingrid of The Bag Hag Diaries blog, to which I said yes.
Then came the offer: “We were wondering if you would be interested in participating in our upcoming event in Milan during Fashion Week. We have chosen you to be one of the six international bloggers to dress up the windows of the Dolce & Gabbana flagship store in Via Spiga.”
I couldn’t believe it. It was a dream offer.
When I arrived in Milan for fashion week, I was toured around the Dolce & Gabbana showroom as well as the flagship store on Via della Spiga 26—a massive treasure trove of a store with an equally unbelievably large off-limits-to-the-public basement full of clothes and accessories. This was where it was all going to happen, and it was going to be a major event, one that would be attended by the likes of Vogue Nippon’s editor-at-large Anna dello Russo and of course, the designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana themselves.
There were to be six blogger dress-me-up events in six cities, but Milan was the first. I was in excellent company. Also part of this dress-me-up event was an old friend from last year’s LuisaViaRoma party, Denni Elias, and our country’s own fashion blogger and arguably the most famous of them all, Bryanboy.
Other bloggers included Kristin Knox of The Clothes Whisperer, Kelly Framel of The Glamourai, and Susanna Lau of Style Bubble. We were each tasked to interpret the Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2011-2012 collection based on own our styles and tastes.
On Feb. 27 at 6:30 p.m. and with the exception of Susanna and Kelly who had worked on their windows the day before (they had to leave Milan on the day of the event), the remaining four bloggers, myself included, roamed around the store with photographers as well as our corresponding stylists/visual experts and picked out clothes for our mannequins. Meanwhile guests milled about, danced to the music, and watched us do our work.
By 8 p.m. we were all done, and I was quite amazed at how each window managed to produce a different theme. My clothes were centered around the idea of what a woman would wear to a summer vacation in the French or Italian Riviera. I worked with brights, strong floral jackets, white trousers and shorts, and a nice contrast of leopard prints which included a leopard Miss Sicily bag, the house’s signature bag.
I also scattered a few bags from the chair to the floor as added visual to the clothes. We were asked to sign our windows and since I was known as “the bag hag,” I decided to make it a little fun and wrote out, “Hmmm… What bag to carry?”
It was a surreal experience, one worth writing home about. Apart from having been invited to both the D&G and the Dolce & Gabbana shows, the Dress-Me-Up Blogger event was the undisputed highlight of my first Milan Fashion Week. This was a blogger’s dream and I could not thank the wonderful people of Dolce & Gabbana enough for the monumental experience!