Friday, 24 August 2012

Fashion Capitals: Milan vs. Palma, Majorca

This week I'm taking on judging duties (no, not a la X Factor) for the easyJet Holidays #FashionTravel competition where three lucky bloggers can win tickets to London Fashion Week and three runners-up get an amazing goody bag, and to enter they simply blog about what outfits they'd pack to visit one of two fashionable destinations. So this is how Milan and Palma, Majorca, came to be mashed up in a delicious mix of established style credentials and new edginess.

 What would you pack? 
[Image my own].

The ticket winners get to see a Felicities PR event that features the latest collection by ethical British designer Ada Zanditon, who's been on my radar for some years, and it should be an excellent opportunity to be up close to next season's clothing. Ada's been inspired by the concept of a tigress, which makes me think that the collection is going to be pretty powerful stuff. She's recently been on a holiday to Majorca herself, soaking up its culture and getting a well-deserved rest before the crazy energy of Fashion Week, and I can totally see why the Balearic island appealed.

Palma: Majorca's Capital of Cool

Palma City isn't necessarily on the radar for fashionable holidays, but I think it should be. It has a fascinating past, containing 11th Century Arab Baths and the beautiful La Seu Cathedral amongst its architectural gems, as well as a fairytale castle - the imposing Bellver - that's surrounded by a forest. By the waterside you'll find huge yachts of the rich and famous, so already I'm thinking you could create some pretty cool editorial shoots here that would grace the fashion glossies. As for the shops, designer fans can breeze around Louis Vuitton and the more affluent streets around Avenida Jaime III, or if you're more of a high street person then you'll find recognisable favourites like Zara and H&M within easy reach, as well as El Corte Ingles (a Spanish department store that is definitely worth a look).

What I'd be itching to explore is the selection of vintage and charity shops, including Kling, which is big on designer labels, and Seattle Vintage. I'd also be compelled to head to the outskirts of the city for a visit to the artist Joan Miro's studio, which has been lovingly preserved. I'd then head back into the centre to track down the famous Ginbo bar, selling over 100 types of gin - I'm not a lover of this tipple but I've heard good things about their cocktail menu, so I'd aim to enjoy one of these as the sun went down. One thing I wouldn't do is copy my dad's example; he came to Palma on a business trip and - I kid you not - attempted to get into the VIP section of a club by pretending to be Michael Douglas (who has a home on the island). Somehow, between not looking anything like a film star and being unmistakeably English, this ruse didn't work...

Milan: The Land of the Legends

If, like my dad, you need to recover your sense of cool, a break in Milan might be just the thing. This is where the Italian greats hold court and where one of my favourite magazines, Vogue Italia, is based. Everyone worth knowing in terms of brand names is here, from Armani and Prada to Versace and Valentino, which is why it's one of the big four: the fashion week capitals that dictate our style. If you're one for your history then don't miss a visit to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which is one of the world's oldest shopping centres, a.k.a a valid educational reason to go to a mall. Yes, I feel that Becky Bloomwood of the Shopaholic novels (by Sophie Kinsella) would be pretty chuffed with that.

Bargain hunters will enjoy outlet shopping, which can be found just out of town, at Serravalle, Il Salvagente, or The Place. If you're really skint then don't despair, as there's plenty to do in Milan that doesn't involve spending a fortune, and you can browse amazing bookshops or head to the Brera Gallery to see masterpieces of traditional art from Raphael and Caravaggio. The Cinema Museum is also an important pit-stop for culture lovers, or you could go and be inspired by nature at the Botanical Gardens.

So, which destination would you choose to pack your imaginary suitcase for? Make your decision known with a blog post and let's get talking #FashionTravel - you have until 31/08/2012 to enter for Week 2 of the competition. I'm looking forward to reading your entries.

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