Lucie Loves... Cars // A fashion forward 24-hours in Milan: Fiat 500 Collezione Fall launch in collaboration with Italian Vogue and a tour of Milan's fashion district
Sorry guys! I’m a little late to the party sharing these photos from my trip to Milan with Fiat UK, for the launch of their new Fiat 500 Collezione Fall edition motor. But it was too crazy a trip not to deserve a mention. Hopefully what you read next will paint a nice little picture of the launch event for you.
The end of 2018 for me was quite hectic. The worlds of love, life and work were a bit of a muddle and I found myself juggling a lot – probs too much now I come to think about it. I got the travel bug in a big way and found myself saying yes to lots of lovely blog opportunities and press trips – probably to escape the chaos at home; invitations that I am always eternally grateful to receive.
It was just the week before, over dinner at an Italian restaurant in North Somerset, at the Fiat 500x Bristol launch, that I mentioned to the Fiat UK team of my intentions to do a trip to Italy this year. Flash forward a few days and I found myself on a flight to Milan with a cohort of other UK bloggers, all invited to celebrate the launch of a new car from the Fiat family.
This time it was the Fiat 500x’s little brother – the Fiat 500 Collezione Autumn/Winter edition, specially designed with a little sartorial help from the L’Uomo Vogue team and decked out in a lush burgundy and dark grey colour palette.
On the trip with me this time around was a blogger friend of mine who I hadn’t (until this trip) ever had the pleasure of meeting in person, Man For Himself, Robin James. I’d also taken with me a couple of dresses that I’d recently been gifted by AQ/AQ - with the very intention of looking red carpet ready for this trip!
Now, you know it’s a classy affair when Robin accepts an invite. His highly entertaining and often acerbic tongue, cuts through a lot of the crap this industry of ours often serves up – and instead focuses on creating very useful, consumable Men’s Style & Grooming content. He often works with many of my favourite luxury brands too. Think: Tom Ford, Haig Club (and other tasty spirits,) Aveda UK, etc. I swear you could fall for this chap alone based on his perfume collection. But anyway, I digress…
We met up at the airport and headed to Wagamama for breakfast and good old fashioned offline chinwag (these are always the best!) It was refreshing to see that he was exactly as I’d expected – impeccably turned out, fragrant and very direct. So, I was very much looking forward to seeing how he would take Milan in his stride.
Also on the trip was a lovely lass called Bec Loades of Menswear Style. I’d never met Bec before and was a fan immediately. Again, another delightful no bull shit professional working in the world of FASH-UN. Bloody refreshing!
Over the next 24-hour hours we mingled with the other Bloggers & Instagramers (Luxuria Lifestyle), Car Journos (Auto Italia Magazine, Petrol Ped, The Gentleman Racer and The Lady Racer), Budding Actors (Yes, that’s you, Thomas Ancora), Hot Italian Men (These shall remain nameless…) and Fiat Team members, to get a true taste of what this Fiat 500 Collezione was all about.
Our itinerary looked like this…
Land in Milan and check in at NH Collection Milan President Hotel
Have a spot of food (deep-fried pizza) and a stroll around Milan and a good gawp at the famous Duomo di Milano, whilst navigating our way through hoards of visiting Football Italia away fans…
After finding a cheap bar, away from the tourist areas, I had a couple of beers with Robin and Bec, before we headed back to get changed at the hotel and dolled up for our night out at the Fiat 500 Collezione Launch Event.
It was a funny old Press conference. Delivered in Italian, and more similar in vein to a Fashion Week show than a typical car launch. We were given headsets to listen in, as they explained how the Fiat 500 manages to keep up with trends and not go out of fashion, even after many reimaginings and various iterations of its much-loved design.
I’d always seen the Fiat 500, and it’s dinky proportions, as a more feminine car. Maybe because I assumed it was for others like me; I (quite wrongly) assumed other women. Those who were not so great at parking and didn’t want to drive around a ginormous Yummy Mummy SUV… not just yet anyway!
Another peculiarity to this event, in comparison to some of the other car blogger trips I’ve been on previously, was that we wouldn’t actually be driving the car at any point on the trip. Nope! Instead we were to take in the car’s new liveries, and copper finish wheels and have our photos taken with the lovely male models, who were using the car as the centrepiece of their fashion show.
After an untold amount of Champagne & cocktails at the after party, atop La Rinascente, we discussed our thoughts on this Avantgarde Bordeaux beauty… There’s a definite push to target the male audience with this little hatchback. With slick pinstripe interiors, like those you would see on the finest Italian suit and a body-coloured dashboard, this city car is incredibly understated in comparison to its more bulbous and adventurous sibling, the Fiat 500x. There’s a Beats Audio Hi-Fi to play your favourite Spotify hits, and a nippy 1.2 litre 69hp engine to whip around the narrow metropolitan streets.
Friday (the morning after the night before…)
Breakfast. Ok, so I was wayyy too hungover for this and didn’t quite make breakfast. (I think I stole a couple of sweets from reception instead. You know, because I’m an adult and had to line my stomach somehow…)
We then were picked up by our coach driver and taken on a tour of Milan’s famous fashion houses. Our first stop was a walk around Quadrilatero della Moda – Milan’s famous fashion district, which is home to fancy streets like via Borgospesso, via Santo Spirito, via Gesù, via Sant'Andrea, and Via Bagutta.
Our next point of interest was a guided tour of the Milan Fashion Museum. Which was a chance to glimpse at the changing face of Italian fashion throughout history, with many famous pieces on display having been worn by movie stars, socialites, dignitaries, or celebrities over the last few decades.
Once of the most enjoyable parts of the tour was a trip to the Rossana Orlandi showroom – a multi-storied Aladdin’s cave of Labyrinthian proportions. This is certainly a space that I would recommend that any art, fashion or interior design lover to add to their list, when visiting Milan. It’s truly stunning and incredibly ‘out there’, in terms of creative concepts and crafts. If you had an unlimited amount of money to furnish your home – this is the place for you!
Stomachs rumbling and our FASH-UN hangovers getting increasingly worse, it was time to stop for a classic Italian lunch at a treat of a place called Corso Como. It’s amazing what a glass of good white wine can do to take the edge of a raging hangover! But please drink responsibly, guys and gals! You only get one liver after all…
And so ends another whistle-stop tour of Milan. Would you believe it - this was my fourth trip to the city and again for just 24-hours! I swear 2019 MUST be the year that I explore more of that glorious country and its cuisine!
Ciao for now! x
The new Fiat 500 Collezione will be available to order from 13 October with prices starting from £14,060 OTR. For more information on the new Fiat 500 Collezione please visit www.fiat.co.uk or to locate your nearest Fiat retailer visit www.fiat.co.uk/retailers.
Want more? Give Petrol Ped’s vlog a watch and get a feel for our 24-hours in Milan with Fiat.
Photography © Lucie Kerley (Photos of me taken by Robin James - Man For Himself)
This is not a sponsored post. The trip expenses were paid for by the Fiat team but all views are my own.