Your Guide To The Fashion Capitals: Milan, New York & Paris

18 Nov 2015

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"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening," said acclaimed fashion designer and style icon Coco Chanel.

What better way to stay true to Chanel's words than to plan "the way we live" by contacting your travel agent and booking a trip overseas to the fashion capitals of the world?

Fashion-Week-Hopping Worldwide

New York, Milan and Paris become the site of the world's best sartorial sophistication during their respective fashion weeks each year.

Held one week after the other in September, Fashion Week in each city is a large domino chain where global industry leaders and key figures fly from one destination to the next, ticking off each runway as they go.

Each centre is buzzing with activity during these few days. Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in an exclusive interview: "Everything evolves. It's the law of motion. New York Fashion Week is no exception, [it] is bigger than just the 60 shows at Lincoln Center. In total, there are almost 350 shows."

These hundreds of shows create a spectacle with ample glitz and glamour in the Big Apple, the streets crowd with numerous fashion bloggers taking photographs and flooding their websites with live updates, while celebrities line the front-row seats at high-fashion shows.

The European equivalents are just as entertaining, so it is well worth booking your cruise or flights to these destinations during the Fashion Week dates. The precise dates change every year, but typically all of the events take place in September.

This is why it can be ideal for fashion aficionados and travel enthusiasts to combine their two loves and embark on a truly global jet-setting mission, attending each Fashion Week like the magazine editors and supermodels do! Now that would make for a spectacular European adventure and holiday in the USA.

Even if you are unable to procure the hard-to-get tickets to a runway show, the electric ambiance on the streets around the catwalk centres is well worth the visit.

However, these culturally spectacular cities are just as fabulous to visit other times of the year, too. Here is your guide on the best things to do in each city throughout the year.


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Milan

Ciao, Milano! This Italian city is steeped in history, with the incredible must-see Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano). The first thing you notice is how well dressed the Milanese people are.

You are likely to hear the sounds of Italian leather boots with a stiletto heel clanking against the cobble stones even in winter months, or the swish of a woollen cape fluttering by as people stroll briskly past you, stopping momentarily to peek inside one of the many boutiques lining the streets.

Be sure to purchase leather goods during your holiday in Europe, as the materials are among the best in the world.

Of course, you can't leave Milan without stopping to see Leonardo da Vinci's famous 'Last Supper' fresco painting at the Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Conserved in a temperature-controlled room called the Refectory, seeing this momentous artwork in person will be a bucket-list moment.

New York

As the site of Breakfast at Tiffany 's and the setting for fictional characters, such as Carrie Bradshaw, who breathe fashion like oxygen, New York is bursting with fashion finds. Bradshaw, played famously by Sarah Jessica Parker, has a well-known quote: "I like my money right where I can see it ... hanging in my closet."

For those of you who feel the same way, New York won't disappoint. In addition to the luxury brand flagships such as Prada, Gucci and Chanel, there are a myriad of high-end designer department stores including Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.

There's also bohemian finds for every budget, with Soho and Brooklyn boasting incredible vintage shops with rare, beautiful clothing and unique jewellery from yesteryear. No matter which end of the spectrum you support, your USA tour won't be complete without a jaunt through the city that never sleeps.

Don't leave without visiting the Empire State Building. If you want another city skyline view that is perhaps less cliche, hop aboard the free Staten Island Ferry from Manhattan towards the island.

Not only do you pass right past the Statue of Liberty, you also look back at the entire Manhattan silhouette with Brooklyn Bridge and skyscrapers reaching for the sky. Few things in life are free, and this jaw-dropping view is perhaps one of the best complementary travel moments on the planet.

Paris

Tres chic Paris is synonymous with good taste and fashion. France is a great country to explore as part of your Europe tour, and Paris is the top choice for where to spend several days.

Walking along the River Seine, spending multiple hours in the Louvre museum browsing centuries of art in one place, indulging in a few Parisian purchases.

Embrace your penchant for all things iconic and rent a bicycle with a basket, popping in some baguettes for good measure, and ride along the Champs-Elysees boulevard.

Your basket will be a great spot for storing shopping, as you're likely to find accessories galore in Paris - scarves, shoes, berets and more.

See the city lights ignite by going up the Eiffel Tower in the evening hours, watching the reflection in the Seine waters for a mesmerising view that will linger in your memories for a lifetime.

Go off the beaten path and see Musee de l'Orangerie, the site of Claude Monet's stunning, spellbinding water lily paintings that curve with the walls.

Immersed in the colours of cobalt blue, khaki green and the occasional pop of pastel pink, you'll be drinking in the joys of being surrounded by world-class art with the added perks of knowing your suitcase is filled to the brim with fashion-forward clothing to take back home after your holiday!