Ana & Bettina are the furthest thing from classic Milanese sciure but they happen to be the coolest ladies in Milan. Dutch born Bettina Oldenburg is Collection Director at Bottega Veneta and Spanish born Ana Gimeno is a freelance stylist who has worked for the likes of Brunello Cucinelli, Dries Van Noten.
For a deeper dive on who these special mystery women really are go HERE! After over 20 years in fashion between the two of them they know more about great looking fashion than god. We give you the skinny about this with their very own fashion rules.
The ankle can be a canvas for fantastic creativity if you pair multi-colored printed socks with clash-colored sandals, fur-trimmed mules or men’s loafers. “Bettina wears them every day, even when it’s a 100 degrees out,” says Anna. “I like the colorful ergonomic designs,” Bettina adds. “Wherever we travel we buy Nike socks. They do amazing ones. American Apparel too.”
Ana never ever wears dresses and wouldn’t be caught dead in a skirt. “Sometimes I’ll wear a kaftan on vacation,” she says. She much prefers the slouchy look of low-waisted, carrot-shaped trousers (preferably Japanese) that she rolls up past the ankle and pairs with socks & slides. “She never wears her pants high – no way!” Bettina observes. “They’re always cropped. It’s cooler.”
Big Bermuda shorts are Bettina’s answer to everyday dressing for work or play. “I wear only shorts because they’re like skirts but they’re cooler. I always do an oversized one – I don’t want them fitted to the body. Dries does them best. I usually take them from the men’s department.”
“I’ve never worn a high heel in my life,” says Ana, while standing on the heel of her green Gucci loafers to make a home-made mule. “Right now, I’m loving Gucci’s horse bit – in the clog, mule and loafer versions. I have a lot of them.” “I don’t wear high heels either,” adds Bettina. “Just flatforms, usually Marni and Prada.”
“I’ve always mixed a lot of print and pattern,” says Bettina, who effortlessly pairs her orange woven Bottega Veneta bag with upholstery printed shorts, a swirling Walter Van Beirendonck shawl, a Comme des Garçons trench, turquoise Nike socks, rust criss-cross Marni flatforms AND LadoubleJ’s vintage Aperol print shirt. “Yes, this is how I normally dress,” she smiles. Bettina’s colorful flair has rubbed off on Ana: “For many years I was dressing very soberly. Then I met Bettina who was crazy about color and print and she brought me more joy to dressing and color into my life.”
“I never wear makeup and I’m crazy for vintage sunglasses,” says Ana. “I only wear vintage ones. The most important part is the tinted glass because you don’t find these colors anymore.”
Bettina showers herself in Prada’s leather flower appliques. “I put them everywhere, hanging from belts, bags, or skirts to add that little touch.” Ana, meanwhile jingles with charms, men’s signet rings from the 19th century, and a vintage Hermes lock watch. “I always wear crest rings, they are my passion,” she says, “I like wearing many together.”
“For me one of the most important things in fashion are proportions and the mix if new and old” Ana explains. “The proportions at Vetements and Balenciaga now have the touch of something new. It’s important to add things that seem like they don’t go together. Everyone knows a vintage Chanel jacket, so I find it fun to use it in an absurd way- like with my Vetements long sleeved shirt.”
“We bring everything to be pressed at the dry cleaners,” Ana says. “It’s better to use the press machine instead of an iron. It’s much more brutal and becomes much more mechanical. Prada was the first to do this. Now Gucci does it. We ask for pieghe sbagliate! I love this! With all of the lines of the press like a grid on your jacket or pants.
“For many years I was buying Prada uomo and wore a lot of Prada Uomo,” says Ana. “Now I started to also buy Gucci, the men’s collection is perfect for me – it’s very difficult to find just this right attitude – Cool but modern and bene.
“When I first moved to Milan, I went to a tailor to do a jacket su misura,” Ana recalls. “When he finished, he told me never to return because my jacket was all wrong: It wouldn’t close properly, the sleeves were too short, and he was scandalized. In the end he told me not to tell anyone that he made the jacket. We now have a Chinese tailor in via Bergamo who does everything without opening his mouth. He’s fantastic.