Saturday, 10 November 2007

Aunty Viv

I had the good fortune to stay for a few days in Milan this week judging global creative and more importantly getting a chance to meet people that I may one day need to call upon for help. I stayed at the nhow hotel which is as pretentious as it's name (I heard a few Milanese pronouncing it with the 'h' which just cracked me up). The hotel was tres chic but as I pointed out to the production people on the flight back to London, the pillows weren't up to standard, which is more important than any smoked glass shower action like the Park Hotel in New Delhi I talked about here.

In the post industrial reception I noticed the art they were displaying reminded me heavily of Russell's jump posts so I thought I'd share them with you here. They look more like they could be sinking than floating...and on smack too for that matter.

Or is she floating in water?

To me it almost looks like the point on a parabolic curve when motion is static, or the point during a trampoline jump when up turns to down.

We didn't get much of a chance to look around Milan but I did sneak out and stock up on some quality Salami & Cheese at the supermarket but not on any cake action.

Mmm they're waiting for me in the fridge at home.

The cake shop was closed at night but the view from the window looked fab. There is something very civilised about shops with cakes in the windows. Like a scene from The Unconsoled, in one of those hard to determine middle European cities that Kazuo Ishiguro depicts so well.

We were however spoiled with a little trip to a brilliant traditional Milanese trattoria that even now I can remember all the courses because the food was so simple and fab. It's called Bagutta and is a favourite haunt for the artistic community in Milan. Not the tossers in fashion or advertising but proper creatives. The ones who paint and write for love not money. They produce a book each year which as we left the restaurant I noticed one year was titled 'Basso Profondo" which is something that Tom Doctoroff talks about in his rather excellent book "Billions - Marketing to the new Chinese Consumer". More on that later.

And the next day we were even treated to my first game of football since I watched Frankfurt Eintracht play in 1992. As you might know from this post, I'm a footy expert every four years but nothing could prepare me for the feel of the San Siro stadium with Inter Milan playing CSKA Moscow. I thought I'd take a quick video at ground level only to hear someone berating me to get out of the way in Italian.

The Moscow fans who chanted louder than the home team were on the right of this shot and the hard core Milan fans were in the far corner on the left. They let off a couple of flares after they went down 2 goals in the first 15 minutes as it was starting to look like Moscow were going to win but in the end the score was a very exciting 4-2 to Milan. The lady on my left poking her tongue out at the Camera is Roberta who organised all the events and was very friendly and charming while showing us the best Milan has to offer. (Outside of a Prada shop of course)

So Milan? Lovely people, lots of cheek kisses and genuine warmth with great conversation (Thanks Pietro) and a top quality slice of one of the great civilisations to emerge and conquer the British Isles although quite why anyone would want to swap temperate Italy with chilly Blighty is quite beyond me, and just before I end you might want to check out a great blog from one of my former University lecturers who has started blogging bits and pieces worth checking out. Don't concern yourselves with his spelling, as Robert De Niet who I talked about over here, is heavily dyslexic. But his style and taste are invariably impeccable. As indeed were the Vivienne Westwood sofas gracing the nhow hotel reception in honour of Aunty Viv's retrospective that is on in Milan right now.


  1. So weird! I was cleaning my closet today and I unearthed a long-forgotten about Vivienne Westwood handbag - is Aunty Viv her official nickname, or did you just make that up?

    PS - Milan sounds nice, but those floating pictures are creeeeepy.

  2. Whoops. Just remembered this Amber. Aunty Viv is what the Brit fashionistas call her :)