Anyone who is anyone will know that February is fashion month. Yes, it’s the start of the monthly carousel that is the prêt-à-porter shows that hit sartorial capitals New York, London, Milan and Paris to tell us folks what we will be wearing next winter. They are gruelling, I am told. Relentless. The travelling, the deadlines, the parties, the five-star hotels, the goody bags… hmmm!
If you detect a note of sarcasm in my voice, you would be right. For I am a fashion widow, married perhaps to the world’s most unlikely fashion editor. The story of my straight, Australian, slightly paunchy (he eats carbs; unheard of among this most stylish of crews) husband’s journey into the fashion world has been covered by British Vogue.
When the doorbell rings with the most glorious floral arrangements, my heart no longer skips a beat, as it’s inevitably for my husband, with thanks from Donatella, Giorgio or Andrea. It is he who stashes the glossiest of boutique bags under the bed to avoid my jealous mutterings. I will never forget the moment when he sat on the sofa with a box of Jimmy Choos. I sighed and all his irritating idiosyncrasies were momentarily forgiven. ‘Sorry, darling, I’m testing out their new menswear line,’ he said, slipping them on.
His tales from the front row are not all glam, though. There was the time he went out with Dolce & Gabbana and split his trousers on the dance floor. When in Venice for the same dynamic duo’s lavish masquerade ball, my reassuringly chaotic man realised he had failed to plan a suitably exotic fancy-dress outfit (some editors had spent six weeks having theirs specially made), so he legged it over the Rialto and turned up at their party, delivered via gondola, of course, in a 25-euro hot-dog outfit. I understand it was one of the many tweeted images of the night!
I may rib him but there is one thing I really couldn’t cope with: can you imagine the pressure of deciding what to wear on the front row? Eek! According to my other half, everyone feels the same way, hence the ubiquitous uniform of premium denim among the slickest of hipsters at the shows. Sorted!
Always with its finger on the fashion pulse, Mandarin Oriental has properties in the fashionista’s favourite cities – with Milan opening in a few months! (Ssh… you didn’t hear it from me.) And for our Monthly Insider this February, we have fashion writer Vishaka Robinson’s take on the hottest places to hang out during New York Fashion Week. In MO News, you will read about Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London’s luxury Chloé package, complete with a fashion-themed afternoon tea. And word on the street is that Paul Smith Junior has collaborated with Mandarin Oriental, Paris to create some fabulous pyjamas for the mini-mode fans in your family.
Zoë Manzi, Editor, MO magazine, The Condé Nast Publications
Main photograph: Sartorially splendid people from the four Fashion Week capitals – American socialite Olivia Palermo; Sarah Harris, fashion features director of British Vogue; Giovanna Battaglia, fashion editor of Italy’s L’Uomo Vogue; Emmanuelle Alt, editor-in-chief of French Vogue.
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