Gloves: in my opinion there are very few things that make an elegant outfit such as long gloves do. Recently we have seen literally a flood of long gloves on the runaways, but I’m proud to say that I have ever been fond of them (for instance, i got married in a very very essential and sleek wedding dress and the white long kidskin gloves I wore made the whole work). I frankly prefer them in soft kidskin, but of course black satin gloves are the perfect counterpoint to an evening gown, provided that it is nothing too flamboyant. It goes without saying that they don’t necessarily go with evening gown only, they can match any kind of outfit on condition that your sleeves are short enough for them to show out instead of making an unsightly bundle underneath. As a general rule gloves (particularly the long ones) are to be tried on. In Milan you can find many glove retailers. De Bernardi, at no. 6 Via Pattari or 23 Corso Venezia (http://www.debernardisrl.it/) also makes custom tailored gloves, but does not sell online. Then you have Sermoneta at Via della Spiga 46 that offers a very broad selection and sells also online (http://www.sermonetagloves.com/shop/). But also at no. 15 Corso Magenta you can find a good choice at Andrea Sacchi’s shop. As far as online retailers, further to Sermoneta, Bottega Fiorentina (http://www.bottegafiorentina.it/) sells good quality stuff and Guanti Simeone (http://www.guantisimeone.com/) sells online at very reasonable prices and Gloveshop (http://gloveshop.it/it/shop/glovestouch) sells and delivers worldwide leather gloves that work with your touch devices and – on top of that – grants a 22% discount in case of sales from the USA and from outside the EU. It goes without saying that gloves are a wonderful Christmas present for whomever and generally come at very reasonable prices.
Feathers: now, this is tricky. In the olden times feathers used to be quite common in fashion: accessorises, fans, shawls, hats, but even entire pieces of clothing were made of feathers. They can definitely make alone the most choreographic outfit or add a touch of panache to an already elegant one. Indeed, feathers are a returning trend and you can expect to see a great deal of feathery dresses next year. I’ve been searching for days some stylist or accessory brand making good feather stuff at reasonable prices, but with little or no success. Truth is that probably the only way to have something done the right way is to either buy those presented by great griffes or have it made by a skilled artisan (milliners are usually very good at working feathers) or seamstress on commission. Bear in mind that it requires a great mastery to make any feather work that lasts in good conditions (and that mastery doesn’t come for nothing) and that – when it comes to feathers – from stunning to ridiculous or even cheap it is a very thin line. So – when in doubt – go for the best or just give up. Probably the best thing to do is to go for some vintage pieces. You can find some interesting items on shopstyle the only problem being that their prices are in GBP (http://www.shopstyle.co.uk/browse?fts=feather+hats) so it’s probably better to return to the usual Milan vintage shops. There’s Vintage Delirium by Franco Jaccassi at no. 3 Via Sacchi, http://vintagedeliriumfj.com/chapeau/), Cavalli e Nastri at no.3 and 12 Via Gian Giacomo Mora and no. 2 Via Brera (http://www.cavallienastri.com/)