On a recent research trip to Milan, Alice got to check out some of the best vintage stores in Italy's most sartorially significant city
I was told I had to visit Cavalli E Nastri during my recent research trip to Milan. I make sure to go to Italy’s most stylish city every year because it's the home of craftsmanship and the Italian’s have such a unique, bold take on print which is so inspiring.
When I arrived, I was immediately welcomed by Giulia and Fabrizio. I described a few things that I was looking for, and off they both went, returning a few minutes later with exactly what I wanted.
Cavalli E Nastri is unlike any vintage shop I have ever been in. It shuns the over-stuffed nature of a lot of vintage stores and instead has a well-considered and curated collection of stunning pieces. From hand-embroidered skirts from the 1920s to contemporary pieces formerly owned by the Italy’s top models.
I spent probably the two best hours of my life rifling through rails of dreamy pieces, with Giulia and Fabrizio by my side to talk me through where the pieces came from.
As if that wasn’t wonderful enough, they recommended that I visit their sister store, for more vintage wonders. They called ahead to let their colleagues know that I was on the way. None of the aloofness of usual designer boutiques; as soon as I walked in the door I was met with open arms.
And then, something marvellous happened. I was asked if I wanted to see the archive. Cue heavenly angels singing. There’s nothing as inspiring as being surrounded by decades worth of the world’s most glorious garments.
Amongst the treasures I found to inspire the new collection, I had to pick up a few gems for myself. I’m only human. I walked out with a Lanvin dress custom-made for a model that had just come in that morning and a port-coloured, velvet Gucci clutch from the 1920s. They’re pieces that will never lose their allure, and that’s what I look to have in my wardrobes and all our collections.
If you happen to be heading to Milan, then I highly recommend taking the time to visit Cavalli E Nastri. In fact, I would even go so far as to say it’s worth going to Milan just to go there!