Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Ciao! I am back from Italy and what a great and interesting time it was. First stop, Milano. We arrived in Milan and went immediately to our hotel, which is described in all their literature as “one of the most elegant hotels in Milan”. One would think that with all my marketing experience I would be a bit suspicious about such a statement, but instead I jumped in with both feet. The hotel wasn’t bad, but certainly did not live up to its description. How it got its four stars, I will never know. It was in a very interesting area, next to the main train station in Milan. That meant that in addition to the usual sites one expects to encounter in Milano, we also stumbled across the occasional used syringe. Turn left instead of right out of the main door of the hotel and we had working girls sporting the latest Louis Vuitton handbags. It’s all about the glamour.

And I was making glamour happen all over the city. I left no semi-precious stone unturned in my quest for the newest, the latest and the greatest. I was determined to add a bit more shimmer to the Golden Quad. The Golden Quad is a small section of Milan crammed with the biggest names in fashion. Everybody who is anybody has at least 1 store in the area, but most have several. The big news from the fashion world? Bondage is back. And with the possible exception of Gucci and their handcuffs, nobody does bondage better than Dolce and Gabbana. Or more expensive either, as I was to painfully discover. Anyone who knows me knows I like to shop. In fact, I like to think I take shopping to a whole new level a sort of Dalai Lama of consumerism. Ulco, on the other hand approaches shopping with a sort of “gee, that’s nice” attitude. I normally leave him home when hitting the pavement, but this time he insisted on tagging along, and as we were there to spend quality time together, I said “OK”. In fact, for pure shopping pleasure, nobody does it better than my two friends Christina and Ann. They understand that items such as full length Jean Paul Gaultier reversible mink coats, velvet lined Thierry Mugler jackets, tiger print Cavalli shirts and anything by Dolce and Gabanna are staples, not options. Ulco doesn’t see the difference between a white Fruit of the Loom t-shirt and hand painted crepe silk pajamas from Gucci. I think it’s in his DNA, because I have tried and tried... Which handcuffs are stainless steel and which are platimun? He just can’t tell the difference. Anyway, camera back on Dolce and Gabbana bondage. It was after two hours of power shopping that I finally spotted the mother ship and decided it was time for E.T. not only to phone home, but to drop by and stay a spell. There they were, the newest of the new… Dolce and Gabanna bondage pants. I had to have them. I tried them on, but the smallest size was too big, Not to worry, they could send them to their tailor and have them ready first thing the next morning. I was just about to get them when I saw it. The price tag. I normally don’t let a little thing like a price get in the way of my self-professed fabulousness, but looking at one in excess of 650 US Dollars made me sit and reflect. What better place to sit and reflect? The Martini bar at Dolce and Gabbana. It was there that I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to pass on the pants and take the consolation prize. A shave and a haircut at the Dolce and Gabbana salon. Of course, I left the salon looking so fabulous and hip, that I had no choice but to go shopping for clothes that suited my new image… bondage. A quick trip back to the Armani store was in order. That didn’t produce anything except dinner reservations at Nobu. To make a long story short, I consoled myself with a bit of Cavalli, a few trinkets from Paul Smith (think stripes) and a few other assorted bits and bobs from other assorted and fabulous boutiques, but I find it a bit gauche to name-drop. Dinner at Nobu meant bringing out the big guns… Dolce and Gabbana with Prada. I was out to dinner not to see, but to be seen, and seen I was. Salmon tartar with caviar, Scallops with Wasabi pepper sauce, Experimental sushi… it was fabulous. I don’t know if you have ever been to Nobu, but if not, I highly recommend it. Run down to your local Nobu now and tell them Robb sent ya. See how far that gets you… In case, if you want to try it out without having to hand over a substantial amount of cash, go the bar where they have a buffet with all sorts of fabulous nibbly things to tempt the taste buds.

From the following list, see if you can find the disastrous combination:

A Gucci and Sex
B Prada and Shoes
C Mozzarella and Dental Braces

I learned this lesson the hard way as well… I had so much Mozzarella stuck in the braces, I was leaving trails from Calvin Klein to Versace. I almost had to find a priest to have the darn stuff exorcised off my teeth. I hadn’t even thought about it, and of course the one time I do it, I do not have a toothbrush with me. Anyone who has been to Italy knows that they put Mozzarella and olive oil on anything that doesn’t move and a few things that do.

Well, that about sums up my last few days…. I need to get going as I must get ready for the flight to London in 12 hours…

May the glamour be with you…

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