Click here to keep an eye on Uffe’s Copenhagen Fashion Week whereabouts as he takes over the the SELECTED_OFFICIAL Instagram on Friday, January 30th.

Uffe i Milano

I was recently in Milan for Men’s Fashion Week, and I am currently in Paris where the circus show continues. There were the usual sensational fashion moments on the Milan runways. This new gender extinction trend, which both Gucci, Prada and a long line of other fashion houses cultivated was interesting, if unimaginable for most men. But some things never change in good ol’ Milan. The great coffee, the impossible taxi situation, the status of 10 Corso Como as shopping destination numero uno, and that Hotel Principe de Savoia is hopelessly bathed in too much gold. And the fact that the stores in the shopping district seem to be waging an incredibly heartfelt battle to decorate the most inspiring window displays.Unknown-1

Visual merchandising is a bigger deal here, and the budgets for a complete monthly revamping of shopping windows appear enormous. And the imagination, the irreverence, and the humor and creativity put forth are praiseworthy. Calling these displays anything but little individual art installations in their own right would be an insult, even though their purposes are quite commercial.

By walking through Milan – lifting your eyes from your iPhone, for once – you are met with a melting pot of fashion and avant-gardist interiors, of art and graphics in the city’s exhibition windows. Exhibitions that provoke the senses, stir the aesthetics, and tug at the limits of the possible. Installations that each in their own reflect our contemporary society and offer foresighted visual commentary on where we’re heading.

You should get your analytical apparatus up and running. Some windows are simply beautiful – others take some interpretation. And require that you pause and take a stance. Just like art often does. All you’ve got to do is open your eyes. If nothing else, Milan is one of the world’s top destinations for window-shopping.

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The department store here – La Rinacente – from time to time has some quite extensive exhibitions. This season, all the windowpanes were occupied by a talking Colin Farrell in a simple white T-shirt, talking my ears off about the wonders of the new Dolce & Gabbana Intenso fragrance. Not really that exciting… ’cause that kind of window doesn’t smell of anything. But the Irish actor talked and moved his body, and that, by itself, is a kind of achievement, I guess.

At DSquared and Acne Studios, extremely colour-saturated collages in the windows packed lots of punch and energy. Paul Smith drew my gaze with something as simple as a row of green pot plants. At quirky Moschino, the eye-catcher was an oversize Moschino coke can with a matching, levetating mannequin. Prada almost sucked me through the window with a hardwood tunnel and visually hallucinative effects. At Gucci, I got an involuntary feeling of being dwarfed from the vulgar, imposing super-sized flowers.

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Dolce & Gabanna, who seemed to hold the rental lease for most of the stores in town, did not disappoint. In one of their windows, I was escorted to a realistic, nostalgic Sicilian summer mood, just as cinematic as a scene featuring Sophia Loren as the lead. Bring the diva on set! Further down the street, though, I was met by the abominable snowman (indeed, the beast exists!) carrying a helpless mannequin. But isn’t that a scene taken from some King Kong movie? Never mind. Anyway, I did stop. It worked! And if I’d been a woman, I certainly would have considered one of the polka-dotted dresses. Urghhh… I can only hope that I haven’t been swept away on the gender extinction trend…

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Click here to keep an eye on Uffe’s Copenhagen Fashion Week whereabouts as he takes over the the SELECTED_OFFICIAL Instagram on Friday, January 30th.