The Milan Book

POD_MilanBook_MelbLaunch After almost five years in the making, my 'bestie', Robyn Lea has launched her sumptuous, stylish and all together fabulous behind the scenes book on Milan. It's a pastiche of part diary, part discovery of hidden gems in this magnificent city and mostly drool worthy photos that make me want to book a flight back there right now.

Launching into a hugely adventurous project just as the GFC hit meant there were plenty of high hurdles to jump along the way to put this book on the shelves (if it was an Olympic event she would take Gold for passion and persistence). I have watched her push on to complete the project whilst juggling her photography work, family (the youngest bambini being only 6 months old when she commenced the project) and uprooting the family from Melbourne to move to New York two years ago (I get tired just thinking about everything that she has had to contend with).  For me personally, I played a supporting role that included 3 trips to Milan to assist with production and plenty of 'ground support' here in Melbourne (I had a slight misdemeanour with the law a few years ago and found myself reliant on the trusty old treddlie for transport for a 3 month period ... I recall a very fast peddle to the post office with a print copy of the first draft tightly sealed in an express envelope to get it to a potential publisher and meet the postie's pick up deadline with about 2 minutes to spare ... her car was missing in action that particular day ... funny when you look back, but definitely not funny at the time!).

Robyn's stunning photographs and words have been woven together, turned into pages, bound and covered by ERD, a leading design studio, in Melbourne. The commitment of studio founder, Emilio Roccioletti, and the skills of Rossana Di Risso and Gabby Tedesco have been instrumental in bringing this project to fruition (Rosanna, Robyn and Leo at Berkelouw Books on Thursday - bottom picture above). "Love their work" pretty much sums up how I feel about them partnering with Robyn on this project.

Having already launched in Milan, London and New York, this week it's Melbourne's turn. You can purchase copies from Minimax (Robyn will be there signing books from 6pm to 8pm this Tuesday 20th August) or the city's most stylish store of archival and cutting edge fashion, Madame Virtue 5 Crossley Street Melbourne (Robyn pictured above signing copies at their little soiree last Saturday), Berkelouw Books in Australia, Barney's in New York, La Rinacente in Milan and Indigo Books in Canada. It is also available on Amazon (search The Milan Book by Robyn Lea).  and

No guesses what I'm giving for gifts this Christmas ... and the silly season will be here before we know it.  The book will make a stunning and treasured gift  for Christmas, a special birthday or anniversary (and a great corporate or VIP client gift now that I think about it!)


Australian residents can order a copy directly from ERD in Melbourne, who will package it up very nicely and pop it in the post for you.  The Milan Book RRP $95.00 + postage as follows: $15 for Melbourne & Victoria; $20 for Sydney & NSW, ACT & Adelaide & SA; $25 for Brisbane and SE Queensland; $30 for Northern QLD, NT, Perth and WA.  Email, with the subject title MILAN BOOK ORDER and the lovely crew there will sort it out for you, pronto!

They will also supply to fashionistas and style setters in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and all other fabulous Asian cities. Email ERD for  postage details or if you are interested in being a stockist in Asia (I am sure it would fly off the shelves at Lane Crawford and Joyce!)

European and USA orders can be ordered directly through Robyn Lea Photography.  Email the gorgeous Marina for details on postage etc.

The Milan Book MIlan

Light show

The entry foyer to Zara's flagship in Milan is quite sombre and somehow feels a little 'intimidating' (twice as intimidating when you factor the big burly security guard with an 'eagle eye' for a blogger's camera into the equation!).  Some form of dramatic sculptural piece and seasonal fashion showcase is a feature of the minimalist marble entry. Duccio Grassi are the architects behind this rather sensational installation.  They are also the architects behind the superb flagship in Rome (below). via Duccio Grassi

Zara Fashion MIlan Rome

Take a seat

Matali Crasset's Double Side Chair has a double function, with one easy movement it can be transformed into a small desk, that can hold your laptop, lunch or an object of loveliness (if that took your fancy). The chair will be launched at the Salone in Milan next week. Via Shoebox Dwelling.

Design MIlan

25 December 2010

Thank you to all POD readers from around the globe for their feedback and encouragement since launching earlier this year. I thought I'd share a couple of my favourite Duomo pictures with you this Christmas.


Panda to my sense of fun

Italian jewellery brand Dodo teamed up with designer Paolo Navone to create a panda-themed shop to celebrate their 15th anniversary. A counter made from 9000 blocks of black and white Lego, wallpaper of a panda practising t’ai chi (hilarious) and enormous light bulbs featuring a smiling face (the thing that caught my eye as I walked by).  Dodo chose the Panda theme to celebrate their association with WWF Italia, to whom they donate a % of sales on a regular basis. This is a pop up Panda open until the end of the year.

DoDo Fashion MIlan

Got a lemon? Make lemonade

I'm guessing this shop front is no more than 1.6m wide. Really it's just a set of stairs to a basement. But let's not focus on that.  We'll pop in some mirror, a few flat screens, lots of lights, dark paint to celebrate the depth, half a dozen mannequins and all of a sudden there's a lot going on and it looks like you're in business.  Naturally the target demographic is happy to schlep down the stairs to discover more (wish I'd snapped a pic a bit further back from the doorway ... but have you seen the crowds you have to dodge in Europe to get a single pic without a person in it?!  I'm telling you this blogging gig is not easy at times).  You can find this little doorway to denim on the Corso Vittorio Emmanuelle in Milan.

Design Fashion MIlan

One hundred and eighty six

Pasticceria Marchesi was established in 1824.  To put that in perspective just 54 years earlier Captain Cook charted the east coast of Australia. I don't know if the display cases are original but I assume they are - such beautiful detail that stands the test of time (in fact I'm assuming most things about this place have been there for 186 years - this is sustainable design at its very best - naturally the "5 year lease and refit clause" scenario doesn't apply here!). Marchesi is an elegant Milanese location with a bustling counter where the beautiful people dash in for their morning cappucci ... and the pastries are as fresh as a daisy.

Marchesi Food MIlan

Colour within the lines

Imagine if I was filthy rich and had a chauffeur ... I'd miss seeing this stuff!  (Actually if I was filthy rich I'd snoop & scribe permanently... anybody want to sponsor me?!).   But back to reality and my subway sojourns... the yellow line was in Tokyo, the green line in Milan.  I love no-brainer, colour-coded clues when I find myself in foreign places trying to fast-track figuring the transit system.

Design MIlan Tokyo

Milanese style behind the stoves

I can't mention my Milan travels without thanking these two totally charming and generous chefs.  On location for The Milan Book by Robyn Lea (the v. talented girl behind the camera) I had the rare privilege of a tour through the kitchens of Carlo Cracco (Cracco) and Elio Sironi (Bulgari Hotel).  The 5 course degustation lunch we were treated to in both locations was way beyond our expectations and my idea something close to heaven.
Food MIlan

Wine with floral notes

I spied this little ledge of loveliness at Rossana Orlandi's tiny Milanese cafe.  Stem glassware designed to hold single stems.  Clever.