Milan Fashion Week | Five Days Leading Up to a Show: Day 3

Julia von Boehm, Ermanno Scervino, Gabriella Maiani

Julia von Boehm, Ermanno Scervino, Gabriella Maiani

words by JULIA VON BOEHM • edited by DIANDRA BARSALOU MITCHELL fashion week

A look into the 5 days leading up to a Milan Fashion Week Show with Ermanno Scervino. Day three we dive even deeper into the story that will be told on the runway.


Today I dragged myself out of bed half an hour later than I should have. Regardless, it turned out to be a very productive and busy day with a crazy amount of final decisions being made on everything from button details to runway soundtrack. I arrived at the atelier to review the boards we had prepared the night before with a plan of the show's backbone and order, which is crucial especially since we have already changed this three times, and it really is time to dial things in. Ermanno arrived with a vision that was slightly different, which I loved and was open to, and he was of course right.


We worked on new garments that arrived throughout the day and exacted whatever we could, as today was our last opportunity to request new fabrics or different shapes that have not yet been ordered. It is so important that we had prepared the overarching story last night. Now we know for example, which prints go into the show and which ones will be edited out but perhaps used in commercial production. I believe in editing these things down and focusing in on the heart of an idea to tell a clear, succinct story that shows the best cuts in the best colors and prints, so that each group is attention grabbing and as fresh as the next one. Most important in any fashion show, is the first impression the audience feels. Within this impression, the DNA of a designer and brand has to be visible in the first look but also stand apart from previous seasons. This identity should be told within the first five outfits with a new and fresh vision in fabric, masculine and feminine balance, new textiles, print, accessories pairings, and so on.

We also got into the music today, which is always one of the most enjoyable parts. True fashion DJs are the most fun to work with, in that they are able to infuse a collection with emotion and transport the show through the mix. The music is such an integral part of each story within a show that I take a personal interest in the soundtrack because it needs a recipe; a nice amount of emotion, balanced with rhythm, variation in tone, and tracks that make sense together with the clothes. Every show recipe has different ingredients. Sometimes a song will mesh with a look precisely because they are so completely different. For example, when I have a strong leather look, something like Fly Me To the Moon can help find an emotional center in the juxtaposition. I would never put punk with a punk moment as that would be too expected. We have been working so deeply on the themes, characters and feelings behind the collection that we also have a strong opinion and intuition as to what music should bring the models down the runway and help the audience access another layer in the experience.

In the midst of our work today, I was also dressing two clients from afar. Nicole in preparation for her attendance at Prada's show in Milan, and another VIP client that we are excited to be working with.

Tomorrow, we will begin casting the runway models and getting more into the music.

Signing off from Florence at 12:40am... JVB xx