For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with all things interior related and fantasised about decorating my dream home. I mean, hasn’t everyone? While my overall aesthetic tastes have changed from year to year, sometimes even from day to day, the inclusion of multiple Smeg appliances in my fantasy kitchen has been a constant. As has the ideally-ever-growing roster of Dolce & Gabbana delights in my imaginary walk in wardrobe, which would obviously be Kardashian level extravagant and roughly the same size as my current apartment… Nothing too ambitious then, definitely no need to reevaluate my current life trajectory, start stockpiling lottery tickets or try to marry a ninety year old billionaire… Joking obvs, or at least I really hope so. But I do definitely need to begin saving asap so I can make my first foray towards achieving those #lifegoals because Dolce & Gabbana and Smeg have given me the perfect way to start making them happen with their “Sicily is My Love” collaboration.
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be whisked off to Milan by Dolce & Gabbana and Smeg for the unveiling of their second “Made In Italy” collection. Said unveiling obviously took place in the form of a spectacular soiree held during the city’s legendary annual design week, Salon Del Mobile. Only Dolce & Gabbana would launch a kitchen appliance collection with an OTT party involving an entire Sicilian market place plus fully functional pasta kitchen being installed in the Milan Metropole and God I love them for it. As for the appliances themselves, they are all exquisitely hand painted perfection and exactly what you’d expect Dolce & Gabbana homeware to be… But let’s go back a step, because I was bloody lucky to make it to Milano at all…
As luck – or rather, lack thereof – would have it, the main shoot for a major project I’ve been working on this year (all will be revealed very soon!) was scheduled for the morning of the same day as the Dolce & Gabbana x Smeg launch party. In London that is, and wrapping a mere two hours before my flight to Milan. Naturally I ended up leaving the shoot half an hour later than planned and given that I had to drop all the samples at my flat en route to the airport, it seemed inevitable that I was going to miss my flight. This resulted in my having a not-so-minor meltdown that was of course shared with my driver who was understandably concerned by the fact I was hyperventilating while high speed stress eating edamame beans. He seemed like a kind, comforting kind of fellow who I was more than happy to unload my woes on and be consoled by. I definitely did not, however, expect him to go all out Fast and Furious and get me to the airport (via my flat and through central London lunch break traffic i.e. standstill hell) within 30 minutes of terrifying, exhilarating, high speed pedal-to-the-metal-ing I’ve ever experienced. The man was about 105 years old and did not seem the type to floor it through central London dodging taxis like an impeccably tailored ninja! But, as the saying goes, never judge a driver by his advanced age, expensive Mercedes and Saville Row suit… or something like that. But while I may have wobbled out of the car shaking from head to toe and grateful to be alive, I was at Heathrow with time to have a cigarette, have a glass of wine and buy savoury snacks all of which were obviously consumed before I even boarded the plane. So no complaints there! Things got rather less leisurely upon arrival in Milan. Because I’d taken a later flight than everyone else, I had to go straight from the airport to the party. Obviously, I was not dressed to impress and still sporting the shoot makeup I definitely should have spent my time at Heathrow removing instead of sipping Pinot Grigio in Wetherspoons. So, through a combination of bad Spanish and hand gestures I eventually explained to my determindely non English speaking taxi driver that I wanted to go to a Sheraton Hotel near (ish) to the party venue. My hand gesture assisted Spanglish did not, however, to convey my request for him to wait while I did world’s quickest outfit change/attempt to look presentable in their toilets. As a result, I arrived at the Dolce & Gabbana x Smeg “Sicily is My Love” launch sweaty and flustered after dragging an overstuffed suitcase that definitely should not have been allowed as hand luggage along cobbled streets for 20 very long minutes… Glam AF, am I right?!
Rocking up to a fabulous event with wheely bag in tow (plus potential post flight/stress induced sweat patch panic… yup, more glamour) is never ideal but all anxiety vanished the second I entered arrived at the venue to be welcomed with open arms and an assortment of aperitivo options from one of the two entrance bars… Italian’s really do “do it better”, especially when it comes to food, wine and festivities. Speaking of food and festivities, as I mentioned earlier in this post, Dolce & Gabbana and Smeg had transformed the Metropole into a full on Sicilian market with gloriously colour popping stalls laden with an abundance of culinary delights and packed with beautiful, beautifully dressed people. Despite having been doing what I do for so many years even thinking about it makes me feel ancient, I still get a little nervous at times, particularly when it comes to turning up late and alone at an event in another country with no clue whether I’ll know anyone there. That happens more often that you’d expect and I always feel the same anxiety despite the fact I always run into people I know and have an absolute ball. Unsurprisingly, the Dolce & Gabbana x Smeg launch was no exception and within minutes I was chatting with old friends and prancing around the party in my lethally high platforms with a massive smile on my suddenly not-so-fatigued face. There’s nothing like a hearty dose of fabulousness to make you forget quite how many hours you’ve been awake! Admittedly, exhaustion did kick in a couple of hours later but by that point we were en route to a multiple course feast which was every bit as delicious as one would expect when in Italy. For once in my life I bailed on post dinner drinks and karaoke in favour of heading to my bed, which was insanely comfortable in a way that only hotels seem to be able to achieve.