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The life of the party: Milan as seen by Tea Hacic-Vlahovic

Interview with one of the voices symbol of the Milanese nights on the occasion of the release of her book

The life of the party: Milan as seen by Tea Hacic-Vlahovic  Interview with one of the voices symbol of the Milanese nights on the occasion of the release of her book

There's no univocal definition or a single adjective that can exhaustively describe the volcanic experience of being Tea Hacic-Vlahovic. Tea Hacic-Vlahovic is (and has been) many things, from a transgressive soul of the Milanese nights, a reassuring and ultra ironic voice that told the everyday life of foreigners living in Italy, author of the magazine Stai Zitta, and again founder and voice of the podcast Troie Radicali, stand-up comedian and actor, with the dozens of characters that populate her Instagram profile. A character beyond any definition, now the author of the novel L'anima della festa, published by Fandango Libri, which among pigeons in Piazza Duomo and unforgettable parties, retraces the adventures - but also the most difficult moments - of Tea Hacic-Vlahovic. 

nss magazine reached out to Tea Hacic-Vlahovic to ask her what lies behind her eclectic and fascinating public figure. 

#0 First things first, how's Winkle doing? 

She’s busy studying philosophy and shitting everywhere.

#1 How has Milan's clubbing scene changed since you arrived in the city until today? 

Social media made clubbing too easy. It's easy to find what's happening, to get into whatever's happening (dm the DJ, duh), and when you're at what's happening, let everyone know you're there by posting a pic and going home! It sucks. Clubbing should be a mission. A good party, when you find one, is a treasure. You must respect parties. You gotta PARTY at parties, not take selfies. Nightlife used to be more... secret and hardcore. But I've got a lot of hope for the next wave, what the queer kids will do post-Covid. 

#2 What does the Milan night scene have or used to have that other cities don't? What are the differences with the Los Angeles scene? 

Milan is "old school" so you often find yourself stranded on the street in the middle of the night without public transportation or an open bar, much less one that accepts credit cards... the lack of convenience makes everything more dangerous and PUNK. (The way we imagine NYC was in the seventies). LA and NYC don't have as much to discover now. They're too modern for true adventure. Everything's already been done, you just gotta pop it into the microwave. 

#3 Can you make your own personal ranking of the best clubs in Milan, from discos to bars? 

PLASTIC: The original location is obviously my favourite but the new one will do. Honestly, if the Plastic People said, "this toilet is the new Plastic," I'd go there, too.
QLAB: For messy drag performances, trashy outfits and bathroom crowd up to no good.
LOVE BAR: Gay parties, "art" parties, bullshit parties. 
RED BAR: The drinks are cheap and the mood is psychotic.
Any “Tabacchi” Bar: The one in Col Di Lana n.1 has seen me drink countless 3 euro whiskeys over countless evenings (usually in tears). 
Gattullo: Have a brioche and espresso while Sciure and Signori give you bad looks. Everyone will hate you there, except for the pigeons peering from outside, waiting for your crumbs. (Drop some into your pocket while standing at the bar). They also offer an extensive aperitivo spread but it's too much food for my taste. 
PRAVDA: I strongly recommend their strong cocktails but I can’t go there anymore. Pravda brings up traumatic memories. Many places in Milan gave me PTSD. Luckily most of those bars, where I had my heart broken or broke my heels, are now vegan cafes. 
NABAR: The Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti caffetteria/bar. I spent more time there than in the classroom.
I’m a sucker for the Duomo, even if I've never been inside. The "tourist trap" bars nearby, where a cappuccino costs 5 euros, are fabulous. They've always got great toilets.
Principe di Savoia: A spritz costs a ton but you can split yours with a Troia Radicale. There you can spot local criminals and their sugar babies, dressed glamour-grotesque. 
The Frecciarossa di Trenitalia: Prosecco and potato chips are perfect to enjoy while returning to Milan from some city that wishes it were Milan. 

#4 What you miss the most about Milan and what you miss the least.

I miss going out for a "quick aperitivo" and coming home the next day, life destroyed, spirit broken, wearing clothes I don't know the origins of. I don't miss waiting for Taxis that never arrive. Whenever I call for a Taxi -02-6969- I imagine the woman on the line sitting in some office in hell. Laughing in flames as I wait uselessly for nobody at three am. (Milanese know exactly what I mean and who I speak of).

#5 After the pandemic do you think that we'll go back to clubbing in the same places and in the same way or that will change as well? 

I imagine that parties will be immensely important. Respected. Girls will wear WINGS to make themselves larger. Everyone will take up SPACE. It will be similar to the CLUB KIDS movement, post-AIDS outbreak in NYC. "Don't touch me, but look at me, look at me!!" 

#6 A scene you've witnessed in the fashion world that you will never forget? 

I've done so much dumb shit and said so many wrong things to "important" people that it's truly difficult choosing one scene... Dolce & Gabbana invited me to their house in Milan. For their annual Christmas party. They invited me because they were used to me. I'd been organizing their fashion parties, "cocktail waitressing" at those same parties (for an extra 90 bucks) and writing for their (now defunct) magazine, SWIDE. I was backstage at their shows all the time! I was a Dolce Girl, without ever owning any Dolce. Being invited to that party was a BIG DEAL. It wasn't a fashion week party or some press-release affair. This was for friends & family. ìSo obviously, I wore my best: Zara skirt, Top Shop shoes and American Apparel leotard. I got smashed before arriving, with my friend Filip. We each had a liter of Tavernello and some whiskey, from Col di Lana n.1. 

The house was a baroque dream, as you can imagine. Every surface was draped in some rich fabric and gold. On the carpets stood wealthy, sophisticated guests. Music blasted but nobody moved. I went up to my boss and asked, "Why isn’t anyone dancing?" She shrugged, and I began dancing violently. Behind me, a waiter approached, holding a silver tray heavy with glasses of champagne. While dancing I smacked him and he lost his balance. His fall produced a golden shower. Everything was drenched: the carpets, the sofas, the boss answered, "that’s why nobody dances". 

The next day, some gossip magazine published an article describing the night and focusing on my blunder. When I read it, through blurred vision and a pounding head, I felt embarrassed... then I spotted my purse, overflowing with loot. D&G perfume, blush, lipstick, tons of stuff I couldn’t afford! It dawned on me: I had stolen all the D&G makeup samples from the bathroom, where I had vomited. I wasn't embarrassed anymore. But I was never invited again. 

#7 Are you already thinking about your next book?

The second book is already written. A CIGARETTE LIT BACKWARDS. It’s a teenage punk rock drama set in North Carolina. It was picked up by Giancarlo DiTrapano, the genius behind New York Tyrant. He was set to publish it next year, but he tragically passed away last week. He already edited the manuscript, which means it's perfect. I'm devastated I cannot work with him. But it's dedicated to him now. Hopefully, a worthy publisher can take care of it from here. 

#8 The right outfit for a Troia Radicale. 

Troie Radicali dress however they want. But my favourite outfit, which makes me feel the most Radicale, is a $10 stripper dress from Chinatown paired with Miu Miu heels. 

L'anima della festa is published by Fandango Libri and is available online and in all bookstores.