I’m half-thrilled, half-peeved that the rest of the world has cottoned on to my long-held belief that the best thing about the big fashion shows has always been the audiences.
I’ve spent literally months of my life staring at Anna Wintour’s skinny shins and watching with interest how cleverly she segued her brunette bob around grey into streaked blonde (although I’m not so keen on the current auburn arrangement).
In more recent times my interest shifted to the French Vogue team, first Madame Roitfeld and then the amazing Madame Alt (see earlier post ), so I was thrilled when I discovered the excellent blogs ‘I want to be Roitfeld’ and ‘I want to be an Alt’ (see my blogroll for the links).
But ever since I went to my first Milan show, in 1989, I’ve had another style crush.
Really, I want to be a Sozzani.
Franca Sozzani (right) is the editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia. Her sister Carla (left) owns the chicest shop/gallery/restaurant in Milan, 10 Corso Como.
Although well over the age when women are supposed to cut their hair into ‘flattering’ layered bobs, they both still have very long, blonde, wavy, centre-parted hair. And it looks great.
As you can see here, it has nothing at all to do with Donatella Versace’s long blonde hair. It’s from a different planet entirely.
The secret of the Sozzani beauty is proper fine bones – not just the face, the whole body. And although Franca is now twenty years older than when I first clapped eyes on her in Romeo Gigli raw silk cigarette pants, round neck sweater, flat shoes and antique chandelier earrings, she still looks amazing. Like a Boticelli angel in a Lanvin trench.
Apart from her exquisite little pointy-chinned face, rather like the world’s most glamorous elf, and most particularly those earrings (I would so love to see her collection…), what has always fascinated me about Franca is the quietness of her style.
For someone whose magazine features some of the wildest fashion pictures in the whole Vogue stable, she is European subtlety made woman. As luxe simple as the tagliatelle served with shavings of black truffle in autumn at Alla Collina Pistoeise (my favourite restaurant in Milan).
I even love the way she sits. The very relaxed slumpy bad posture of the properly slim and properly posh, with one pipe cleaner leg twined around the other.
I used to try and copy it, turning myself into a human pretzel as the Prada show started. (Miuccia Prada shows in a very small space, with only three or four rows of benches, and I always found it the primo people watching venue. You’re practically on Anna’s knee there.)
So far she’s not as well known as Anna, Carine, Emmanuelle and Anna dell Russo (more on her another time…) and I secretly hope it stays that way.
All the pictures with beautiful natural light on this post are by The Sartorialist.