So last night was the eve of Milan Fashion Week and I already had a few parties to attend. What’s wonderful about these few days is that Milanese look for every excuse to celebrate and the launch of a new collection or the unveiling of a newly-renovated boutique is reason enough to bring out the finger-food, invite big spenders, industry VIPs and famous faces.
One invitation that I could not pass up was from Alessandra Ianzato, one of Milan’s hottest PR and events co-ordinators, to attend the opening of the revamped Colombo Via Della Spiga boutique. I had arranged to meet friends there at 7pm but since Giuseppe is a serial late-comer, I met Alessandra at the door and went on to explore the double-story space with a stream of other guests pouring in. No doubt, the transformation inspires “oohs” and “aahs” as the eyes are lead upwards along an impressive floor-to-ceiling display created from panels of oxidized copper. The 130 square meters were cleverly reorganized allowing light to play against the surface of their exceptional leather bags and accessories crafted by hand. A very helpful store assistant pointed out patchwork bags and knapsacks in crocodile skin as well as the ‘Wall Street’ collection, but their iconic ‘Odeon’ models will have bag lovers go weak at the knees next summer when these will be available in a multitude of deliciously vibrant shades. There’s also a jewel bag for every month beautified with gold, diamonds, coral and semi-precious stones.
From the boutique, I made my way to the courtyard to personally compliment the president of the Korean company, Samsung Fashion, which bought the Italian business from Massimo and Fabio Moretti, heirs of Louisa Colombo, the founder who started the brand in 1955. At the centre of the crowd was a tiered display showing the stages involved in creating a single item all the way from conception and sketching the design to the leathers selected, tools used and metal hardware incorporated. The end product is a classic yet striking red bag which just like their other products deserves to be carried on a pedestal for these encompass sophistication, elegance, quality, functionality and durability.