Lufthansa Highlights Milan: "Lunch with Logo"
Catwalk Milan: Armani, Gucci and Versace – all the big names have outlets close to the cathedral and are easiest to get to on foot. But now the designers are looking beyond fashion and branching into frothy cappuccino and sparkling spritz (Italy’s popular evening cocktail of white wine, water and Aperol) in their desire to satisfy their pampered customers’ every need and whim
Alessandro would make a fantastic model. He’s tall and slim with a cool hairstyle, high cheekbones and eyes that would melt any heart. But instead of strutting his stuff on the catwalk, he stands behind the gleaming black counter of Dolce & Gabbana’s Martini Bar. The bar is in the Milan-based fashion empire’s signature eccentric style: black walls, leather sofas, blood-red napkins and a red-gold dragon crawling here and there across the mosaic floor. Victoria and David Beckham, Naomi Campbell and Boy George count among the bar’s favored guests.
The Martini Bar is connected by a courtyard to the Dolce & Gabbana menswear store on Corso Venezia. It opened in early 2003 at the same time as a traditional-style men’s barber shop. “We responded to our customers’ wishes,” says Stefano Gabbana. “They want to shop, but also value a good haircut and enjoy a drink in a classy bar.”
Dolce & Gabbana are neither the first nor the only fashion designers to have joined the haute cuisine scene in Milan. Gucci runs a cafe in the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuel, and just around the corner at Trussardi alla Scala, the kitchen is in the capable hands of ambitious master chef Andrea Berton, who already has two coveted Michelin stars.
Step inside the palazzo beside Milan’s famous La Scala opera house and you enter a bright, airy cafe with tall windows, a cool designer interior and a glass-fronted terrace that’s open to the public in summer. The waiters sport ice-blue shirts and dark-gray, pinstripe pants. The wine list boasts 40 different Champagnes and several rare vintages. At the restaurant with its stucco ceilings, parquet floors and leather armchairs in a lush tomato red one floor up, the menu offers dishes of Italian origin prepared with purist simplicity, for example, a velvety risotto with calf’s sweetbreads fried an appetizing golden.
The Giorgio Armani empire is less than a five-minute walk away. Women’s and men’s fashions can be found here alongside furniture, books, perfumes, flowers and candy. Two restaurants and a cafe also form part of the multi-level shopping palace. “I wanted to create another space that would mirror my sense of beauty and style,” says the Milanese fashion tsar, “to me, it’s not just about fashion and clothes, it’s about lifestyle.” And very soon, Armani fans will also be able to stay the night. Still obscured by scaffolding at the moment, the world’s first Armani Hotel is scheduled to open next year.
(Author: Patricia Engelhorn)
pictures: getty images (2); PR