I got back from Italy, blinked and asked myself "Um, was that real?"

When you spend ten days in a shoe factory checking samples it ain't Fellini and it's not even Passolini. It's just sort of "what?" But I was faintly tickled by the hot pink satin the artisans used to make up the samples (hello next summer) and am always amazed by the nuance of heel and vamp that make a good design a great shoe. The way a heel is sculpted. The way a strap is finished, provide the integrity of fine footwear. This collection is my most adventurous yet so it needed a lot of careful attention in both the planning and the execution. My challenge is to design "forever shoes". Because, yes, we all wear sneakers and jellies for scampering around sand dunes in Palm Beach and Venice Beach but a power shoe can never be mass-produced. It has to have the magic sealed within every stitch. I come to Italy and basically I hover.

It's a bit like cooking pasta. I have Italian friends who say that if you turn your back on the pot, or worse, walk away from the pot...well, the spaghetti tastes unloved. Bland even. And that is the same for design. Involvement at every point of creation makes a shoe a complete entity and I come home tired but satisfied that the collection is comfortable, beautiful and above all complete. OK, al dente.

And that means no sight seeing other than a quick scrag fight at ZARA Milan over a questionable leather and lace mini-dress and a one day trip to Florence. Where it rained. Just like the traffic scene at the start of Fellini's ROMA. Perfect and sad and fleeting.