Everything in my life is connected to a memory - people, places, colours, scents and even logos that flash before my eyes with a mention of a name. Mila Schon was one of the latter. Before I was even aware of her as a person or able to recognise her designs, I spotted the voluptious letters somewhere in a magazine. Perhaps, it was a perfume ad or a runway report - it was so long ago such details simply faded into a childhood-induced cushion of blurred visuals... Nevertheless, I thought I'd mention that first ever impression of Mila Schon because on some level it mattered.
Skipping a few decades in a fashion-unrelated reverie, I eventually found myself with a bunch of old Italian Vogues from the 1970s featuring designs that seemed very chic, modern and curiously wearable regardless of their age. All of them were by Mila Schon, now a person and fashion designer I was eager to learn more about.
The rest was a simple serendipity... Coming across more and more editorials, stumbling upon a book and, finally, standing in front of Schon's designs at V&A. From that moment I knew that my next Fashion Week, whenever it happened, would be dedicated to Mila...
The "Lady of Style" and the "feminine Courreges", she was "the old school" who never quite warmed up towards the idea of ready-to-wear, believed in elegance and "choosing the best", created a famous gown for Marella Agnelli voted the best-dressed guest at Truman Capote black-and-white ball and was the only designer to receive the DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) quality mark to highlight an absolute level of perfection Mila Schon clothes and accessories became famous for.
She disliked talking about herself and tried to avoid interviews whenever possible allowing her work remain in the limelight instead. Loved in both Italy and Russia (otherwise how would I ever learn her name in the first place?), she never received as much coverage in other countries as she deserved - at least, that's how I felt about it when working on my fashion week dedicated to the designer.
I sincerely hope you will like the stories, quotes and photos I will be sharing with you over the next seven days. Even more, I hope you will fall in love with Mila Schon and keep her name in your heart as a beautiful memory of impeccable style.
Today, as a part of a good old tradition, it's time for a 2001 campaign created during the period of changes within the fashion house, yet still lead by the designer herself, which made me believe that she saw and approved each image and every details. Because to me - these are perfect.
Photo source: Kristina Tserikidze in Mila Schon Spring/Summer 2001 campaign