Every AM flight on the Wednesday after London, before Milan kicks off is the fashion flight, filled with editors, stylists, writers and buyers. The ritual the same for all as soon as they land in Italy: drop off bag at the hotel and head straight to the Gucci show, a buzzing, mirrored enclave with champagne pouring and shoes sinking into thick, expensive carpet – a 70s architectural playboy fantasy.
The invite this season was white – and so was the carpet – so most in the room pre-empted a nautical, optimal summer collection. Bam! Realign expectations: the music started pumping and out came Anja in a total hot pink tailored look, then Kasia, then Daria, then Karmen, then Kati; huge ruffles flourishing them and pulsating to the beat as they stomped the catwalk.
"Aristocratic purism" was creative director Frida Giannini's explanation, inspired by Richard Avedon and Gian Paolo Barbieri's photographs of their female icons. What that resulted in was minimal meets exotic in absolute hues and Japanese wallpaper pattern, with occasional, elaborate jewellery.
In London, a lot of the younger designers living east create work informed by their lifestyle. In Milan, you're reminded that fashion is a lifestyle on a whole other (glamorous) echelon, with brands creating phone number-price tag dresses to be swept off a rail and changed into on a private jet. That's another aristocratic purism.