What it's like to have dinner with Kim Kardashian

An evening in Milan offers a rare glimpse into a life lived in the glare of fame

Kim Kardashian shines in snake skin print at Dolce & Gabbana dinner

Kim Kardashian shines in snake skin print at Dolce & Gabbana dinner
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Disclaimer: I didn't exactly sit down and bond over a sharing platter with Kim Kardashian.

Instead, I was a guest of Italian designer duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who hosted a sumptuous dinner in Milan, where the guest of honour was a certain Ms K.

Held amid the crumbling beauty of the Palazzo Reale, an old palace next to the Duomo, the venue featured large-scale rotating billboards displaying the latest Dolce & Gabbana campaign starring Kardashian. The dinner was a celebration of the campaign and also served as a knees-up for the Italian brand's autumn/winter 2023 fashion show that had taken place hours before during Milan Fashion Week, and where Kardashian was sitting in the front row.

Photographer duo Mert and Marcus shot the glitzy images of Kardashian wearing pieces from the spring/summer collection that she worked on with the fashion house that dominated the elegant old interior. Surrounding the posters were white and gold circular tables with centrepieces of tall branches scattered with white flowers, an elegant set-up for the meal that was about to follow.

Outside in the cold, a sizeable crowd waited to welcome the reality TV star. Such is the lure of her celebrity that when she did arrive (we were alerted to the fact by the shouting outside), she swept in flanked by bodyguards and immediately halted to have her hair and make-up checked by her team — and, remarkably, we all waited, placid as sheep.

In any other scenario, doing this would be considered unspeakably rude to one's hosts and fellow guests. However, such is the strange universe Kardashian inhabits and such is her supernova power, no one questioned it, not even her one of her biggest (before now) detractors. Imagine my surprise, as a knee-jerk loather of all things Kardashian and someone who has never watched a single episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians , when I felt as star-struck as a child by this diminutive woman (and she really is tiny: 5'2" on a good day) and stood rooted to the spot. I probably had my mouth open.

As she was introduced to the waiting guests, she was unfailingly polite and engaged, and stopped for every request for a selfie. Chatty and smiling, she was described to me by those who have spent real time with her as being very sweet, a true professional and someone who takes time to learn everybody's name.

She is also gorgeous in reality. I did expect the familiar taut sheen of Botox, and Kardashian is suspiciously smooth-faced for a woman over 40, but she is also extremely pretty. Not classically beautiful in the way of Monica Bellucci, Audrey Hepburn or Christy Turlington, but — wearing a floor-length, lace-up, snakeskin Dolce & Gabbana dress, her hair dyed a dark chestnut brown with freshly cut curtain bangs — she is still show-stoppingly good-looking.

As she chatted easily with people, the very epitome of charm and grace, I was too shy to go and say hello. Suffering a crisis of confidence, I couldn't think of anything to say after realising “Hello, I hated you, but actually you are fabulous” probably wouldn't do. So I just stood by and breathed in her stardom.

As I watched her float from guest to guest, introduced by an ebullient Dolce — who clearly adores her — it was a unique taste of what life must be like as one of the most famous people on the planet. Case in point: much later that evening, when I began descending the long flight of steps to go home, the crowd waiting at the bottom had not thinned. Not even one bit.

Updated: February 27, 2023, 9:55 AM