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In the Mood for Milan at GINZA SIX

Shiho Amano


I’m a fad-follower at heart, plus I work as an editor, so when I hear about a new store, I can’t help but go see it. As an adult, my fad-following tendencies have faded somewhat, but when I heard two years ago about the opening of GINZA SIX, I of course went to check it out, even though I was only home from London temporarily.

I’m now back living in Japan. I stop in whenever something brings me to Ginza. If I have a little time between meetings, I’m there. If I need to use the powder room, I’m there. GINZA SIX is incredibly user-friendly!

MSGM opened recently on the third floor, so, today, that’s where I am.

Headed by creative director Massimo Giorgetti, MSGM debuted ten years ago. High fashion in Italy is associated with many long-standing maisons, so the brand made a striking impact when it first arrived on the scene at Milan Fashion Week. The long-awaited emergence of such a young, talented designer was greeted with much fanfare.

Just like the brand’s stores in Italy, the interior features silver and yellow throughout. On display are the punchy items Giorgetti is known for—I can’t stop looking, can’t stop browsing. You guessed it: I love window shopping.

Oh my goodness, this hoodie (51,000 yen; all prices listed before tax) is irresistible! I see laser beams shooting from the cat’s eyes! Laser beams! I love the whimsy—it’s happy and fun.

It’s not just that MSGM clothes have unique designs. When worn, they create beautiful silhouettes, a calculated effect. This trench coat with MA-1 sleeves (136,000 yen) has just the right volume. Plus, it’s brimming with personality, so it’s guaranteed to lift your style quotient.

Actually, the brand’s bags are my true target—because people aren’t likely to have one! I’m joking here, although this is an important consideration for a contrarian like me. The bags are playful, but they’re also the real deal. This bag, with the M-shaped flap (100,000 yen)—the catchy color and cable charm couldn’t be more perfect.

What’s great about the GINZA SIX store is that it carries not just women’s, but men’s and kids’ lines. A lot of the men’s clothes are effectively unisex in design, if you choose the right size, and the kids clothes make great gifts. There’s a full lineup, so you can enjoy the MSGM world end-to-end.

Time to take a breather. I head to Café Cova Milano, also on the third floor. This famous Milan café was founded in 1817, and its elegant air is straight from the homeland.

My first trip to Milan was when I was in college. I felt too intimidated at the time to go in and sit down at this café. My first overseas trip as an editor was also to Milan. My assignment was in Via Monte Napoleone, taking snapshots of fashionable Milanese, and Café Cova was where all the stylish ladies and gentlemen would go. I was so excited to step into this elegant café on the corner—looking at this old photo brings back memories.

The café is probably better known for its coffee and sweets, but someone recommended the restaurant fare to me, which is served all day, so I went right away for an early lunch. There’s a pasta menu, and there’s a sandwich menu. The most popular item on the menu is the large salad. The flavors are the same as the flagship in Milan. So is the general style—the salads are all named after famous musicians. This salad, the Vivaldi (2,200 yen), is beautifully presented. The original olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing is highly aromatic; it makes my mouth happy.

My table with a window overlooking Azuma street is open and pleasant; I could spend hours here…if they’d let me. And you don’t have to come at lunchtime. Light meal items are served all day. As someone who operates at her own pace—que sera sera—nothing could be better. It’s such a luxury to be able to come at any time and enjoy this delicious food and great service.

After eating, I order the Café Gourmand set (2,000 yen): my favorite coffee (the café’s signature Café Viennois topped with whipped cream), a praline, pastry, and cookies included. You can choose one of the mini-pastries from the showcase. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so the small sizes are just right for me.

Other things on the menu look good as well, so I jot them down in my notebook. Coffee served in the café’s original cup straight from the pot (1,200 yen) is two full cups’ worth, and so completely satisfying. You can also buy assorted chocolates and the café’s balsamic vinegar, both of which would make great gifts or souvenirs. The sun is still high in the sky, so I skipped the aperitivo, but the reasonable drink combos start at 2,000 yen. Next time, I promise myself I’m coming at sundown to enjoy an aperitivo like a true Milanese!

N°21 is also on the third floor and also hails from Italy. Time for more window shopping! Designer Alessandro dell’Acqua’s forte is sensual femininity. From MSGM to N°21—quite a broad range of tastes; diversity, I’m constantly thinking, is one of the appeals of Italian brands.

Truly, dresses with delicate lace are N°21’s specialty. I really want to try one on. I do, but I don’t look good in them. But I’m always confident I’ll find something I like, no matter where I am—like this cardigan with a large anchor motif (89,000 yen).

I also love this striped mohair knit (65,000 yen). I especially like the see-through quality that emerges from the coarse knit. Even paired roughly with denim, it adds a nice touch of femininity to the look.

This costume jewelry with a star motif (23,000 yen), which was displayed in the window, is also sparkly and cute. I hadn’t looked too closely at N°21’s jewelry before, but I will now.

This big-sized, blanket-like coat (258,000 yen) is one piece I’d want to bring home with me, if I could. The navy and red high-contrast colors are great; the lightness is great; and the shape! Oh, this hurts! I don’t want to take it off.

This long, dotted skirt worn by the mannequin paired with that coarse knit—I can’t stopping dreaming when I’m at N°21. I’m window shopping. I’m window shopping. I recite this as a counterspell, and somehow overcome the temptation, but the effects, if any, are modest.

It’s dangerous the closer I get, but I still go all the way to GINZA SIX. It’s a place where I can take a long trip in my mind, even if I only have a little time. I was in the mood for Milan this time—next time, who knows? Just thinking about it is an inspiration. Wandering is something I’ll never give up.

Text: Shiho Amano Photos: Michika Mochizuki Edit: Yuka Okada (edit81)


Shiho Amano

Editor. Born in 1973. Raised in Kanagawa Prefecture. Graduated from college and joined Fujingaho (now Hearst Fujingaho Co., Ltd.). After working at the "Vingtaine" editorial department, go to the "ELLE Japon" editorial department. Moved to the U.K. in 2013 and began freelance career. Returned to Japan in 2018 and now edits primarily for women’s fashion magazines.


2020.06.04 Up