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The Streets of Milan...

A Blog Post by Ivan Muller

Milan is the design and fashion capital of the world...

Whilst in Stresa, about an hour or so by train from Milan, one of the shop owners we had befriended told us that she never goes to Milan as its too commercial and ugly. She owned a luxury goods shop with her family selling mostly handbags and I always thought of her as a typically refined Italian lady. We were told by her shop assistants that in Milan the 'designer' handbags are never made from leather but mostly from canvas and other lightweight materials and only the trimmings are 'real' leather. (Later we discovered the all leather handbags we bought from this particular shop was all plastic and they hardly lasted more than a year...I suppose it did really only cater for the tourist trade but somehow we felt a bit 'cheated' and let down that our genuine leather 'Italian made' handbags turned out to be 'genuine plastic' probably from China....)

Anyway we had booked three days in Milan and arrived there on a Sunday afternoon. Our hotel was in the Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi, in a pedestrian zone filled with little shops and restaurants. From there its a straight walk to the fantastical Duomo. Next to the Duomo is the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the worlds first covered shopping centres. A short walk from there is the also famous Via Montenapoleone, where the really expensive designer stores are...

It seemed somehow quite ironic that the ultimate place of religeous worship, the Cathedral of Milan, or the Duomo, was surrounded by the ultimate consumer places of worship...and perhaps you the reader will know the names better than I, but one name comes up immediately and that is Louis Vuitton...

The reason I remember this brand so well is that when in Paris a few years ago my family dragged me to the flagship store there and all I remember was that it was incredibly crowded and the cheapest item was a key ring at a price that I could never afford...

Here in Milan I saw the brand everywhere...hanging from the shoulders of, so it seemed, of every woman I walked past, young and old all had the familiar brown patterned bag. I even saw pink ones... What amazed me that it was actually quite a common sight...everyone had one...and I had always thought that it was quite exclusive...and pricey...but here the bags were hanging from the shoulders of teenagers...all very strange to me...

The other thing I remember of Milan were all the impossibly tall and slender beautiful woman...many of them were wizzing past me on bicycles wearing the highest heel shoes I had ever seen...!

I actually enjoyed my three days in Milan quite a bit. The shopping is much too expensive for my purse but I was fascinated by all the commerce, and all the exclusive shops that I felt much too intimidated by to even walk in and have a peek...I suppose they are designed that way to keep the riff raff like myself out...we can only peek through the windows and stare at the merchandice displayed inside and if we somehow entertained the idea of going inside the price tags that were boldly displayed alongside would be enough of a discouragement...

I enjoyed just looking and photographing the people. These worshipers of high fashion are truly quite fascinating. Always beautifully dressed and groomed walking on the highest of heels against a backdrop of cobblestone streets, neon, crowds, scooters all busy busy doing what they do best, shopping.

Here are some images of what I had experienced and hopefully captured with my camera.

Regarding the images, some are just included for illustration purposes. Take the first image below, here I used a longer focal length and because of that, imo it doesnt 'fit in' with the look of the other images because they all have the wide angle look more commonly associated with 'street' type images. also the image of the woman shoppers having their 'trophy' photograph taken by a friend...the whole look of the image just doesnt 'work' for me but I included it here because it almost best illustrates the power of the 'brand'.

As usual with my colour images I increased the micro contrast and de-saturated the colour...but I did also increased the saturation of certain elements of the image. Although I have been making colour images since 2004 when I started using digital I am still trying to find a 'look'. I intensely dislike the over saturated colour images that are quite popular with the 'amateur' photographers and often de-saturate my images quite severely...

The last three images are in B&W because two of them just didn't work for me in colour.

This post has a total of 20images, which I think by far is the most images I have posted on any of my blog posts! I hope you enjoy this gallery...

regards, Ivan

The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
The Streets of Milan...
Created: Sat, 15/09/2012 - 17:51

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