Amy Larocca's Milan Fashion Week Dispatch

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Larocca's favorite look from Gucci

New York's fashion director, Amy Larocca, is keeping a diary of her travels during Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks. Welcome to her first dispatch.

Wednesday, February 22

9 a.m.: Arrive in Milan. The three girls next to me at baggage claim are all carrying the same massive Bottega Veneta woven shoulder bag. 

3 p.m.: In the car on the way to Gucci, I am thinking about how great Italians look in general when a girl crosses the street in front of us, wearing a perfectly lovely outfit — pea coat, black stovepipe trousers, ankle boots...and the ugliest bag I have ever seen anywhere in the world, real or virtual. It is leather, seemingly flesh-covered, and resembles Hannibal Lecter terrible mask with the mouth grate. Ponder if this one bag is enough to rethink my entire opinion of Italians.  

3:20 p.m.: Gucci! It's lovely. Great hair on the models. I write things in my notebook like, "Romantic! Goth? Almost." My favorite look is a long, pleated skirt worn with a tucked-in black silk blouse. I also wonder if anyone will be able to pull off the tulle-and-jeweled gowns at the Oscars.

4 p.m.: I have wanted to meet Brunello Cucinelli since reading Rebecca Mead's profile of him in the The New Yorker a few years ago. All that soft, oatmeal-colored cashmere, all those morning hikes in Perugia, all that benevolence! So it turns out that he's epically charming. He'll speak in Italian, Spanish, or French — not English — and keeps an elegant translator nearby at all times. He was showing his collection at his showroom here which is, of course, lovely and serene and full of light and leaves. And the clothes were so nice! They were, one would imagine, what the most elegant people in the world wear on the weekend (what's a weekend, they might even ask.). There were pretty shearing jackets and a great sweater dress with feathers peeking out from its hem. And Sir Cucinelli didn't even seem alarmed when I told him I'd like to come work at his mill. 

 6 p.m.: End the day with Vionnet's store opening. Mrs. Marzotto looks splendid, lounging on a couch in a caftan with a fan in hand, while her son, chairman Matteo Marzotto, gives interview after interview after interview. Two incredible-looking identical twins are there and, oh, guess what? They're the new identical twin designers for the label, Barbara and Lucia Croce, and the collection looks crisp and glamorous.