Category: Study Abroad

Summer in Italy: vivid colors, shadows and eerie feelings

By , August 20, 2012 3:41 pm

“I love the night because it allows me to see the stars and the moon, and when most people are sleeping I’m seeing everything in a different light.  Vivid colors, shadows and that eerie feeling of not knowing is exciting to me.” – Sam Verkaik, photography student

Street scenes, fashion shoots, cuisine, architecture, outdoor markets and a dance concert were some of the scenic indulgences of FIT photography students studying in Italy this summer.

photo by: Sam Verkaik

“In Florence we visited the marketplace…I decided to go my own way. My first stop was a food market located in an old but updated building. The smell of the fresh produce excited me. I had visions of buying fresh meat  and vegetables and cooking in an Italian kitchen.” – Tiffany Wheeler.

photo by: Tiffany Wheeler

The itinerary for this summer’s International Photographic Study and Practice included  Florence, Milan, Como, Venice and Lugano, Switzerland.

“Venice felt like another world…The colors were vibrant whether it be the colors in the fabric hanging to dry or the reflections in the water, Venice spoke to me.” – Paula Awad

Photo by: Paula Awad

“In contrast to the bustling city of Milan, Lake Como and the towns surrounding it proved to be quite the contrast. Locals and tourists alike enjoy soaking up the weather, the views, and the culture.” –   Kai Germano

Photo by Kai Germano

To view student work go to: FIT Photography in Italy.  “Feel free to comment on images you like. I’m sure the students will appreciate your thoughts,” says Photography Chair Ron Amato, instructor for the Summer in Italy program.

To read about Summer in Italy 2011 visit: My Italian experience

Photos used with departmental permission.

FIT in Milan student work hits the runway

By , July 23, 2012 2:41 pm

Waking up in Milan, you might think, is inspiration enough to create high fashion. But it’s just the start of the day for BFA fashion students studying at FIT in Milan.  In addition to 120 hours of classwork at the Politecnico di Milano, they visited museums, attended trade shows, took side trips and did internships to hone their fashion styling edge. By all accounts, they’ve had a dazzling experience. They recently showed their designs to an adoring public.

Jackii Ramis' Crunch, a sunburst pleated wing texture print dress

“Students work with an industry critic, and create five to seven looks for the catwalk. They’ll leave school with a full collection presentable to the press and  for production,” says Lisa Feuerherm,  Resident Director FIT in Milan.

These designs, from the Sportswear Portfolio class, were created as a “mini collection for the fashion show,” said Davide Volonté,  coordinator and events planner for FIT at Politecnico di Milano.

The fashion show included some superb touches with regards to location, accompaniment and use of sustainable fabrics.  The fashion show took place in a 12th century church Hospitale dei Pellegrini, and was set to music of a jazz quartet and violin duo by students at Conservatorio di Milano.

Mariko McNeill, "Transcience: Aesthetic Journey," metallic leather/ black organza “chakra” dress

“It was an exquisite, historic location, ” says Sass Brown, Acting Assistant Dean of the School of Art & Design.

 Vogue Italia,  in attendance, posted many great looks on their site under “new talents.” The local press took notice, as did cosmetic and beauty companies, which posted or printed photos and write-ups.

Meghan McGuffin's Coyle Twist, hand-knit cable vest with cable cowl over multi-layered tulle circle skirt

Most recently MUUSE paid a visit to the program (Read about Gitte’s post “New Yorkers in Milan). MUUSE, which represents graduate designers internationally from the top fashion design schools, picked up the designs of two Politechnic grads to feature on their website.

Jolie Mittleman's Progression of Innocence, a white leather lab coat with red taffeta cropped trousers

“The students were inspired after one of our field trips and wanted to integrate sustainability  into the show,” said Feuerherm. “The fabrics were donated by textile companies of Cittadellarte Fashion Bio Ethical Sustainable Trend.”

Kellie Lamkin's "Black Tie Optional," a neoprene valve coat with organza underskirt

“The fashion show was the final expression of the student-abroad experience and showcased a very sophisticated European sense of design. It was really a stunning show,” says Brown.

Click here for more about the FIT Fashion Design in Milan study abroad program.

Photos by: Corrado Crisciani, with assistance from his photo styling students


Tara in Paris and Italy

By , July 21, 2011 10:31 am

To preserve and make public her memories of  Paris and Italy this summer, Tara Ricci, 1 of 17 students in Professor Markus’s CL131 class, filled her travel blog with engaging posts and photos taken with a point-and-shoot camera. Tara’s blog, Design Project: France & Italy, records a tour de fashion experience par excellence.

“It was astonishing to see the fine pleat work created by hand and the mastery of the fabric manipulation to create form, silhouette and a woman’s shape,” writes Tara. “Madame Gres would drape the fabric upon a woman’s body to create a garment specifically for her customer.”

A Fashion Design Children’s Wear major,  Tara details  the “stunning and amazing costumes” at the Palazzo Morando, touring Lesage, the embroidery atelier owned by Chanel,  a trip to Lake Como (“a sight to see”) in-between appointments at Ratti and the Silk Museum. A visit to the flea markets in Paris with vintage Valentino, Fendi, Ferragamo, Chanel and Oscar de la Renta — all for an asking price  a little too high. (“I could not have been more proud of myself for putting down a ring that cost seventy-five euro,” she blogged.)

Then on to Versailles, where “everything gold glistened in the light,” a walking tour of Le Marais, and industry appointments at Pierre Cardin museum, Nelly Rodi, Promostyl and Trend Union.

They even managed to learn to make delicious delicacies from each country–macaroons in Paris, and gnocchi and pesto in Florence.

Visit Tara’s blog: Design Project: France & Italy:

Photos by Tara Ricci used w/ permission

“My Italian Experience”

By , July 8, 2011 4:00 pm

“Bringing everything I learned from FIT into this new ‘world’ was challenging and exciting,” writes Alex Lilja of his PH311 International Photographic Study and Practice abroad experience. The summer program, led by incoming chair of FIT’s photography department, Ron Amato, included two weeks in Florence and Milan and three days in Como. 

photo by Alex Lilja

“Surrounded by beautiful scenery, architecture, culture, and people, I quickly fell into a niche of exploring ‘off the beaten path,’” writes Alex.

photo by Alex Lilja

“The people here have such a somber and relaxed lifestyle, which unknowingly to them helped us fulfill our assignments and produce aesthetically pleasing photographs.”

Photo by Jenifer Thomas

Photo by Elle Loughan

From a post on the FIT Photography in Italy blog ( by Marvin Menke: “From the vantage of an outsider looking in, I think I learned to appreciate the quiet moments just a little bit more.”“Comfort behind the camera, as well as with our subjects, proved to be essential to us, whether in the studio at the Politecico Di Milano, or out roaming the streets of Florence,” writes Alex.

Photo by Marvin Menke

“Being in a foreign country, for some of us the first time, can be overwhelming and easily detract from the quality of our photographs.  But this was not the case. The amount of time spent outside of class exploring our new city, balanced perfectly with our scheduled museum trips and lesson plans.”

Photo by Marvin Menke

“Without that structure,” writes Alex, “I feel, we would not have been able to appreciate the culture and history that is Italy.”

For a look at the type of summer abroad courses FIT offers go to:

All photos used with permission

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