I have been very fortunate in my life. I have feasted on Greek prawns in Santorini and looked soulfully at my dining partner, even though I speak not one word of his beautiful language. I have lunched in cafes on the Left Bank and listened to the lovely cadence of the elegant French spoken there. I can pack for my clients in an hour and have them appropriately chic and ready for any situation in any country. But,.........Milan. It's more than a city. It's more than ITALIAN. It's cosmopolitan in a truly cosmopolitan way. In Milan, Chanel blends well with Peter Pilotto for Target. A black pencil skirt, black T and black Louboutins look as mod and "today" as Versace's AW 2015 collection. So when somebody needs me to pack them for Milan, I know EXACTLY where to start. I just don't know how to pronounce it!
In my dream trip to Milan, the first thing I want with me is an empty suitcase. Ferragamo, Dolce and Gabbana and Bulgari (did you HEAR that Italian accent? Nope, neither did I!) are just as expensive there as in the States, but in every piazza, all alleyways and each side street there are boutiques with magnificent cashmere and leather goods, awesome gold and stone work and shoes, Shoes, SHOES! (not that I have a shoe "thing", you understand, I just believe that women only need two things in life........shoes and cashmere. )
The second thing necessary for my perfect romantic trip to Milan is George Clooney. No, not the married, madly-in-love-with-his-wife George Clooney, ladies! I want the one from Ocean's Eleven who is longing for Julia Roberts...........only I'm Julia Roberts in this scenario! This George Clooney speaks perfect Italian, adores me and can order tiramisu while making it sound as if he wants to nibble it off my body. (Oh, wait a minute, he does that anyway!). And the third, fourth and fifth items on my dream list are Cara Delavingne's body, a ten-year-old's metabolism and the ability to speak beautiful Italian!
Unfortunately I can't have three out of five of my list of dream goals. George, Cara's body and a ten-year-old's metabolism are all taken. Their substitutes, however, are available and ready to create my dream Milanese experience. My husband, who is the most romantic of all men ( except George Clooney) is ready and willing to carry both the empty suitcase and the one I packed at home. The one I packed contains the necessary attire to make me feel as sexy as supermodel Cara - and the look in my husband's eyes does the rest. He LOVES the narrow-leg men's cut trousers with the the silver patent leather brogues .......... and the fall season in Milan means white button down shirts and bright boatneck cashmere sweaters or pastel cardigans with a blanket poncho coat. Evenings call for those white Oxford shirts with black pencil skirts and those sky high black Louboutins, or the bright colored cashmere boat necks paired with midi-length skirts and chunky heeled boots. Accessories? Wear a pair of diamond studs,a pair of inky false lashes, a thick biker-link gold choker and a classic Ferragamo cross-body. Everything else is why you left home with an empty suitcase! Hopefully, shopping in Italian won't require more than pointing and indicating one, two or three items. Oh wait! How do you say "medium" in Italian?
The ten-year-old's metabolism is a wish that I can't fulfill, but I'll take the ten pounds I gain during that one romantic evening - and I'll enjoy every calorie. The mozzarella burratta with tomato, basil and aged balsamic vinegar is called "caprese" elsewhere, but in Milan it's called "heaven". Follow that with wild mushroom risotto topped with shaved Parmesan? Oh, yeah! The perfect entree is, of course, osso bucco Milanese with a fine bottle of Barolo and I'd have to complete this low fat, low calorie meal with that tiramisu that George........I mean..........my husband, had sexy plans for. A glass of Limoncello? Why not?
And that leaves dream list number five. I have the clothes and the empty suitcase just waiting to be filled with buttery leather and cashmere the weight of a cloud. I have a beautiful man who adores me and therefore adores my purchases. We have a romantic dinner in the most cosmopolitan of cosmopolitan cities. I can make some of this happen by pointing, nodding and looking hopeful. But "Prego" and "Grazie" only go so far! Now, if only there was a program that could help me say "Yes, I'd LOVE one in EVERY color!"