From spectator to model on the catwalk in Milan

Designers invite Mantella to be the only Canadian in a parade of fashion influencers at Milan Fashion Week, while supermodels Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner watch.

Unreal Housewife!

In a town where hostesses will often vie for relevance — both in life and Slice’s upcoming reality TV series — Sylvia Mantella just aced the exam: the Toronto socialite was found walking, not just watching, the Dolce & Gabbana catwalk in Milan.

“In my mid-40s, did I ever imagine I’d be there? No, never,” says the glamazon about her fashion hallucination, during which Mantella went where only Canadians like Linda Evangelista have gone before.

In a far-out role reversal, the avant shopper and avid spectator of fashion weeks from Paris to New York found herself parading down a runway while the likes of Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner sat in the front row watching her.

The show, held this past Sunday at Milan Fashion Week, was cast specially by Dolce & Gabbana’s designers as an all-ages parade of influencers, famous offspring, and take-your-pick fashion-plates. Think: a raucous affair including everyone from Princess Diana’s a la mode niece Lady Kitty Spencer, to Pamela Anderson’s son Dylan Jagger Lee, to Italian tastemaker extraordinaire Bianca Brandolini.

And, oh . . . Sylvia Mantella, the only Canadian to walk in the show.

Mantella’s own journey started when she received a message from the designer via What’s App — oh, those Europeans! — asking if she’d be interested in walking.