Book review: The Fashion Lover’s Guide to Milan by Rachael Martin


Milan is the fashion capital of Europe and has one of the world’s most unique luxury fashion districts. The leaders of some of the most exclusive fashion houses are still living and working there today. It is the Italian city whose skyline has changed more than any and whose fashion industry has extended to encompass the worlds of design, restaurants, bars, exhibition spaces, hotels and more. Whether you are looking for designer labels within the city’s luxury fashion district, prefer to browse the city’s boutiques or pick up some quality vintage from local markets, this is the guide that will tell you where to go. Split into geographical sections along with relevant maps, cultural highlights and suggestions of where to eat and drink, it places Milan as the city of fashion within the context of world fashion history and  brings the stories of its people to life.

My Review

Milan is the undisputed ‘city of chic.’ Its twice-yearly ‘fashion weeks’ set
worldwide trends and iconic fashion styles. Many of the world’s greatest
designers were born here like Giorgio Armani, still the king of world fashion,
Dolce and Gabbana, the most famous couple in the Italian fashion world. 
Other designers started their careers here like Gianni Versace. The bags of Muccio
Prada have become part of the Milanese landscape. Yet, just as Milan made
Italian fashion famous, fashion helped make Milan the city we see today.
Rachel’s book is so much more than a travel guide. She includes well-researched
historical information which gives the background to how Milan became
synonymous with fashion. Even as early as the 1500’s, the city had a reputation
for producing luxury goods and changed its name from Mediolanum to Milan,
inspired by the English word ‘milliner’ meaning ‘fine wares’.

Rachel brings to life, stories about people who influenced the fashion world
like ‘Biki,’ the granddaughter of Puccini and is remembered as the designer who
dressed Maria Callas and created a diva. The book highlights the fact that
Milan is also about culture and the arts. La Scala opera house had a close
relationship with fashion and celebrities. Milan is home to many important and
diverse museums, including those featuring photography and ceramics. You will
find information about many of these museums and listings of Websites and
opening times in the book. Also, another great feature is the Foodie Guide in
each section. From bars to pasticcerias, from osterias to drogherias, Rachel
shares her knowledge of the best places to have a negroni aperitivo, a specialty
coffee and artisanal baked goods, orecchiette, burrata or just a takeaway


This is an ‘everything you need to know about Milan’ guide and more. Rachel Martin is YOUR personal travel guide. She has lived and worked in Milan since the 1990s. Her in-depth knowledge of the city’s tourist and less well-trodden areas of vintage markets and quirky boutiques is priceless. She shines a torch on Milan’s past to uncover its secrets in elegant palazzo’s, Parisian style bistros, intimate trattorias where aristocrats, socialites and fashionistas frequented. She takes you to places where you can experience the magic, the quintessential Milanese style of luxury and elegance, marvel at the spectacular architecture of il Duomo, soak up the culture of opera, arts and enjoy its unique local cuisine. There is something for everyone here. Her guidebook packs a punch of authenticity, tips, advice and first-hand information.  Her passion and love of Milan clearly shows and she wants to share it with you!  In the words of the song made famous by Madonna, “Vogue’

Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it
Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it

Rachel’s top tip on how to enjoy her city – ‘Don’t forget your sunglasses. Who cares if it’s cloudy…This is Milan!’


A group of yellow stars

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Rachael Martin is a British writer who has lived just north of Milan for over twenty years. She writes about travel, culture, the arts and food in Italy for online and print publications. She has a special interest in the city of Milan, its fashion history and in the stories of the women involved.


 Published by White Owl (31 Mar. 2021) Available in paperback from Amazon












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