July 26, 2020
Italy has been busy blocking access to travellers from Serbia, Montenegro, Romania and Bulgaria. Paradoxically, at the same time, is now accepting all travellers from the U.K. with any filters or any restrictions. The UK registered more cases than all Easter European countries taken together.
Italy is also closing a bling eye to the growing number of positive tested airline crews, topped by Hungarian low cost carrier Wizzair. U.S. passport holders originating from pandemic epicentre states are still making their way to European major destinations especially. Several investigations are looking into a smuggling chain which takes Americans to Mexico City where a fake quarantine document is issued, and they are they boarding flights to Amsterdam or Madrid. The ‘passport wash’ package sells for approximately USD 12.000.
Many hotels which have opened do not respect the most basic Covid 19 safety and hygiene measure – including not wearing masks indoors.
Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, Capri, Naples, Sardinia – some of the world’s most treasured destinations, synonymous not only with Dolce Vita but an immense cultural heritage.
From July 4th 2020, I have been personally documenting and experiencing first hand, the immense potential of Italy’s iconic cities and seasonal destination to re-position as the world’s finest luxury destination in the world. While you may take any public transportation in full confidence,
Despite the dramatic early days of the Covid-19 pandemic which posed incredible challenges, no effort or simple gesture has been too small in Italy’s resilience in regaining the trust of all those who call it home. Facts and scientific data shows that Italy is perfectly capable to handle a major crisis even if all eyes are focused at the economy which has always been driven and anchored into politics.
Ermenegildo Zegna celebrated last night its 110 anniversary with a stunning menswear collection highlighting once again that true luxury remains timeless thanks to the innate skills behind craftsmanship.
The Ferragamo family has not only opened most of its stores but also most of its luxury hotels in Rome and Florence, implementing the most strict measures in the Covid-19 pandemic to equally ensure the safety of its employees and customers. The ultra-luxury Portrait Rome, Portrait Firenze is adding a third new hotel, Portrait Milano ready to open Spring 2021.
The Ischia Global Film Festival 2020 edition welcomed back singer Sting for a week which climaxed last night with an open-air concert tribute to Ennio Morricone, Romanian actress and model Madalina Ghenea taking centre stage, cherished in Italy as a goddess of beauty who always associate her with Italy’s Sophia Loren.
Dubai’s Jumeirah Hotels has been instrumental in re-opening of Capri Palace Jumeirah, one of the finest luxury summer resorts in the world which is not only enjoying increased demand from the UHNWI guest who would usually avoid Italy during the packed summer months of July and August.
Kering‘s Gucci which is creatively driven by genius Alessandro Michele has once again proven the stance and calibre of this iconic brand with a collection centred around Rome, while the storied luxury fashion house still maintains its headquarters outside Florence.
Digital fashion “shows” may have become a norm but it’s the videos that capture the elusive quality of authenticity that stay with us. We can all agree, I think, that the days of filming pretty people dancing in front of a camera and calling it a wrap are over. Vogue
Gucci’s Alessandro Michele has first resort show for the brand, held in New York back in 2015, models walked across a West Chelsea street before stepping inside the art gallery venue; it was a public-facing show before that was a thing. Last February, days before the coronavirus crisis broke out near Milan, he staged a show in the round that was spectacular and intimate at once.
In inviting the audience behind the scenes and exposing the backstage goings-on of the hair and makeup crews and model dressers Michele was celebrating the very things that we’re all missing so badly in COVID-19-time: human interaction, collaboration, being part of a receptive audience.
“Fashion is not just what we decide to show,” Michele said on a WhatsApp video call earlier this week. “The idea that a campaign is just a piece of paper? No, there is another show in the show.” The concept for the 12-hour livestream the brand produced for resort, which he’s dubbed “Epilogue,” and staged at the Palazzo Sacchetti in Rome with a natural soundtrack of cicadas,
On the WhatsApp call with Italy , he remembered a time as a young designer when a piece he was making was pulled for a show or a shoot and he didn’t see it again. “It was like someone tried to take from you your son.” Spotlighting his colleagues was “something beautiful,” he said, “they were so happy.”
As for the clothes themselves, Michele called them “a celebration of my point of view, things that I did in the past, pieces that belong to my aesthetic.” That aesthetic is as singular and idiosyncratic as ever, but it contains multitudes. Min Yu Park, a men’s ready-to-wear designer wears a beaded floral jacket, a floral lace dress, and a turquoise necklace that matches her Jackie bag. Alexandra Muller, an embroidery designer, models a long filmy floral-print ruffled dress with clear sequins that pick up the light. David Ring, a celebrities designer, sports an embroidered velvet blazer, a striped tee, logo flares, and sneakers. Alec Soth, the photographer of the Epilogue campaign summed up Michele’s unique gift quite succinctly in the livestream: “putting contradictory elements together to bring new life to something.”
Speaking about the Covid-19 pandemic, Michele said, “It’s a disaster. But it’s not only a disaster. It’s a huge sign of something not going the right way, a moment to be reborn.” A wild pig spotted on the streets of Rome became a lockdown totem for him, its presence there suggesting a much needed realignment. If nature can do it, maybe fashion can, too?. The learnings of lockdown—the importance of his team, the value of feeling—will stick with him, he thinks. “It’s not just a way to close, but to say what we’ve done and put seeds of what will be in the next chapter. Yes, it could also be a beginning.”
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