No one knows the rules of chic as well as Milan’s supreme matriarchs, the sciure, the elite women who keep their house, their wardrobe, and their entire life in immaculate, high-style order. We interviewed the city’s coolest sciure for their rules on high heels in the mountains, Prada presents, and the importance of the panettone.


A queen among Milan’s storied fashion journalists, she also happens to be the most sophisticated vegan in town. Don’t expect a Birkenstocks vegan: this lady goes for strictly cashmere when serving her seitan, and knows how to make her unusual Christmas feel rigorously Milanese with the proper amount of panettone, whether all-veg or old-school.

To celebrate New Year’s, I make lots of beans for my friends. You need to serve grapes or lentils for good luck in the new year.

Holidays are spent in my adorable little pied-à-terre in Saint Tropez where four dear friends come for Christmas to eat a fabulous vegan lunch and dinner with me.

Health food for Christmas: my friends and I prepare vegan dishes and fresh fruit juices together, with vegetables and herbs from Provence.

Four panettoni get me from Christmas to New Year’s– vegan ones from Natura Sì– Milan’s organic food store, and traditional ones from Pasticceria Cova.

Panettone for breakfast: my husband and I eat it with dark chocolate.

Panettone has to come from Milan, but the rest of the food comes from Botanic, a beautiful organic shop in Saint Tropez.

Keep a table simple: mine is all in red and white, with my English red and white plates that have been in the family for generations, a white lace tablecloth and the fine silver cutlery.

In the mountains, simple is supreme. I used to dress up more but now it’s all about cashmere trousers and big sweaters, and lots of the color blue.


  • Guacamole
  • Hummus
  • Seitan paté
  • Crêpes filled with beet greens and vegetable cheese with béchamel sauce
  • Semolina gnocchi with pumpkin mushroom sauce
  • Roasted seitan with spring onions and blue berries
  • Vegan panettone

    -Laura Rysman