Shoes and Champagne

The champagne and prosecco are flowing in Milan, and that is just fine by me. Every event has a phalanx of waiters passing trays of champagne, and the fashion folks grab at it as if it were the only thing keeping them upright as the evening wears on.

I spent the greater part of the afternoon on deadline and only emerged around 2:30 in order to get to the Emporio Armani show. I was scheduled for the 3 p.m. show, but there was an earlier one at 2:15. I hopped into the car where I sat in traffic for approximately 20 minutes, moving only about five blocks or so. Finally, the car managed to nudge ahead and I arrived at the Emporio show at about 3:15. The doorway to the Armani theater was suspiciously calm. Where were the impatient throngs? When the guard told me the show had already started, I gasped in disbelief. A show starting a mere 15 minutes late? But no, it turns out the 2:15 show had only just started. I dashed inside thinking I could stand in the doorway and catch the models sashaying along, but I had a bad angle, so I stuck around to watch the show properly from a seat. I can't say the show got better with repetition; so few do. But I got a very good look at all those sweet little debutante cocktail dresses.

It then took about an hour in traffic to get to the Gucci show, where I missed the cocktail hour but settled comfortably into my seat. I know you're probably thinking I spend a vast amount of time thinking about my next glass of champagne, which I do, but mostly it's because fashion shows are supposed to be glamorous and I'm just looking to get my fill of the swell-egance.

I popped into the Bally party, which was celebrating the fact that the company has dug into its substantial archives to create a group of special edition shoes that are recreations of original footwear from decades ago. The company has also created a line of shoes inspired by the archives. The "inspired by" shoes will be available in the States. I was particularly fond of a pair of cherry-red velvet shoes with gold piping.

The special edition shoes are going to be priced somewhere around $495 to $600 or so, but they will only be available in the Milan flagship. So anyone in the States who wants them will also have to factor in a plane ticket to Milan. If you fly coach you can probably get the shoes for somewhere around $1,200.

By Robin Givhan |  February 21, 2007; 6:07 PM ET Milan
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