The mighty pillars of the fashion industry Paris, France, London, England and Milan, Italy, essentially dictate the newest trends that will define the global markets.
With the onset of the autumn fashion weeks, WTM gives you a taste of what to expect when travelling to these capitals of style.
Since time immemorial, Paris has been synonymous with high fashion. Having produced some of the finest designers in the world such as Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Hermès, the city’s natives are seemingly imbued with an impeccable sense of style.
Here, you will find effortlessly elegant boutiques decorating the streets, making it a fantastic destination to indulge in some serious shopping.
Visit the golden triangle – a shopping district dedicated to high-end brands, between Avenue Marceau, the Champs-Elysees and the Avenue Montaigne.
For wallet-friendly bargains, head to Le Marais, a hip neighbourhood swarming with vintage boutiques and second-hand steals. Combine that with trendy restaurants and cute little cafés for the perfect evening out.
The City of Light is famous for its fine quality scents and you can discover how to make your very own ‘eau de cologne’ at one of the many perfume-crafting workshops.
For a break between sprees, peruse the sky-lit arcades of the Paris Passages, or take in the impressive gothic architecture of the elegant Sainte-Chapelle. To learn more about the history of fashion through the centuries, the Musée Galliera is a must-visit attraction.
The cosmopolitan capital is rife with chic trends at every corner, with a plethora of fashion styles owing to its multi-ethnic population.London Fashion Week has been graced by the likes of Burberry, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. The September event showcased what we will all be wearing in 2017 but this month is just the right time to catch the latest catwalk trends displayed in stores. To see a fabulous permanent collection with well-preserved pieces from Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Cristóbal Balenciaga and many other designers, head to the Victoria and Albert Museum. When it comes to luxury department stores, London spoils for choice. Harrods at Knightsbridge or Selfridges at Oxford Street are classic examples. Visit the historical finesse that is the Tower of London and let the crown jewels on display fill you with awe. For easy-on-the-pocket bargains, the indie boutiques in Soho and Dalston take the cake. Aspiring fashion designers can attend a workshop or exhibition in one of the many fashion colleges, generally open to the public.
Italy is perhaps best known for two things: food and fashion. In Milan, fashion is not just about attire, it is a way of life. The city charms with its historical sites, striking galleries, funky bars and opulent selection of boutiques. Firmly notched in the upper echelon of global fashion capitals, Milan has been the starting point for so many fantastic designers who still base their operations there such as Armani, Versace, Gucci and Prada.
No trip to Milan would be complete without a visit to the fashion quarter, or quadrilateral, as it is called, comprising the streets of Via Monte Napoleone, Via Manzoni, Via della Spiga and Corso Venezia. Here you will find Callegaro serving its famous raspberry tarts or the nearby Mozzarella Bar with its delicious dishes. The botanical garden of Cascina Rosa is steeped in the colours of plants unique to the region, a true paradise for nature lovers.
And, though the fashion side of Milan may require deep pockets, there are plenty of activities and sights to visit free of charge. Marvel at the splendour of the neo-Gothic cathedral of Piazza del Duomo or visit the Museo Archaeologico for ancient Milanese and Greek artifacts. A good option to stay in is the Galileo Hotel located in the city centre.