FIT in Florence

FIT in Florence

April 23, 2015
by Kaylee
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Counting Down Days

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In this outfit I was told I looked Italian, therefore documentation has to be made

To be exact, I have just 24 days left of this wild, crazy decision to move away for nine months. I remember counting down the days until I left New York, counting down the days until my Dad and brother came to visit, and now I am counting down the days until I return to New York, but with much less excitement.

After spending my spring break in Portugal, a beautiful country that shows the cracks of a struggling economy among the old buildings and tiled streets, I was happy to return to Florence again. The weather has been sunny and seventy, with blue skies and an occasional breeze. The sunsets have been incredible. I missed the Florentine food after only a week. Florence welcomed me back with open arms and I walked into them immediately.

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My friend Joe, pointing out the sites to our friend from home, Sean

This past Sunday was a perfect Sunday, the kind you can’t come up with if you tried. The morning was spent at Piazzale Michelangelo in the sunshine, people watching and view watching. We meandered to Piazza Santo Spirito where a street market was taking place. We ate Gusta panino on the steps of the church after exploring the stands. In a burst of energy, we crossed the river to San Marco, and grabbed the bus to Fiesole, taking in the view of Florence from up above. It was a day that fell into a place, the kind of day you can’t plan, a Sunday that I will always remember fondly, for the company, the place, and the laughter.

 

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Fiesole: it was a bit chilly and gray, but the view is incredible either way!

The end of the semester projects for everyone are looming, The second year design students have their exhibition in a week and the end of the year aperitivo is right around the corner. Everyone is busy with last minute trips, procrastinated papers, and going to the restaurants we always talked about, but haven’t made it to. This weekend I think I will finally go to Pisa. Yes, I have been just a short train ride away from the leaning tower for eight months and yes, I still haven’t gone. The months move quickly, the weekends fill up, sometimes you have to save certain things until the end. I think my last few weekends here will all be like that; watching sunsets, taking afternoon trips, and finally getting aperitivo at that place nearby I’ve always walked past. It’s been a great eight months, here’s to one more amazing one.

 

 

April 3, 2015
by Kaylee
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Gnocchi in a pesto sauce with bacon

Spring break has finally arrived and it’s been a long haul to get to this point. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of school work, projects, and tests, mixed with trying to spend time in the gorgeous weather. Florence in the spring is unreal: the skies are blue, the sun is warm, and the streets fill up with the buzz and bustle of people going on their ways. People begin to sit outside with cappuccinos and paninis, relaxing on the steps of the many churches and piazzas. I most certainly have lost my tolerance for snow since being here and I’m not sure if I will ever be able to build that back up (or if I even want to try!).

 

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Just a casual day on a Florence rooftop, right?

The Italians still think it’s cold, but I’ve been attempting to soak up the sun in minimal clothing on my friend’s terrace during every spare moment this week. Our books for midterms were laying near us and I’m hoping that along with the sun, I soaked up some info from the pages of my notebooks as well. Everyone has different study methods, right?

 

It’s been a tough semester of work, yet I would redo it if it meant we weren’t this far along. I have under 45 days until my flight takes off for New York. I’m not ready to go back yet and I’m not sure I ever will be. Though some people are eager to return home, I would be happy to spend a few more months here, before heading to the city for senior year. A semester is most certainly not long enough to grow accustomed to a new city and two semesters still hasn’t gotten me there.

 

IMG_4692 copyLast weekend we went on a gorgeous hike through Tuscany. Professor Iozzi led us up through the hills and made way for us to look over Florence. From any point outside of the city, you can see the monstrosity of the Duomo, sitting dead center of the many buildings. You can make out a few others if you try, but it is crazy to look from afar and see just how big the dome is. It was warm enough on the hike to wear a tank top, the sun beating down on my shoulders. With our time rushing towards an end, I force myself to worry less about my grades and schoolwork and to get outside, see the city, truly give it all that I can. Who knows when I will return.

 

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I was also lucky enough to turn 21 in Florence… this says “Many Wishes Kaylee” although I think they spelt it Kaylle… close enough!

Tomorrow I leave for Portugal for a week. My friends are heading to locations such as Greece, Berlin, Belgium, Malta and more for spring break. For some it’s their last trip of their months of stay. I’m extremely happy that both my mind and my budget cut off some of my travel this semester. Florence is so gorgeous in the spring, that I don’t want to leave it each weekend, only to realize that I missed the city I live in by trying to see others. The list of places I want to see continually grows longer since coming here, but Florence it’s a sight in itself and I’m so lucky to be here.

February 19, 2015
by Kaylee
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As the Brits say… Cheers

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Fries with gravy and cheese from the Brick Lane markets

A four-day academic field trip to London to attend industry meetings and a trade show is definitely my kind of field trip. I arrived in London and took to Brick Lane, an area famous for shopping and splattered with more vintage shops than my wallet could handle. The weather was uncharacteristically gorgeous. Much to my relief, everyone was speaking English, which made me way too excited. The bustle of London, the language, the grim and dirt on the streets… I felt at home and I fell in love.

 

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How incredible is this street art?

On Monday we had a visit to Burberry on Regents Street where we received a behind the scenes tour of the amazing store. The cavernous lobby of this flagship location pointed your eyes towards a massive screen showing the most recent catwalks and ads from the season. Following Burberry, we took a smaller, more personal tour of Antipodium, an English brand with a smaller budget that is in expansion mode. Former FIT in Florence grad, Daniel Mcilwraith is the Head of Design and he gave us the details about working at a more personal brand. We got to explore the East End of London after, taking inspiration from the many unique retail stores and the insane street art found on every road. For the afternoon, we traveled up to Camden for more exploring through the famous Camden Markets. Exhausting? Yes. Amazing? Even more so.

 

Bright and early on Tuesday we headed to Pure Trade Show and walked along the

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My friend Sara and I at Pure Trade Show

hundreds of booths.. While there, we were lucky enough to watch a fashion show, breaking up our time exploring booths for inspiration. After Pure we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Though the tube system is pretty easy to master, I got caught up in conversation and had a movie moment as I eagerly looked towards the doors just as they closed. Fellow FIT students reached for me towards the glass as the train took off to the next stop with my friend and I still inside. Once we finally made it to the V and A Museum, we were privileged to see a beautiful wedding dress exhibit. We ended the day at Harrods, one of the most famous department stores in the world. If you’re exhausted reading this, I understand… just imagine living it. I’m still trying to recover.

 

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London by Night

On Wednesday, we began the day with our highly awaited WGSN appointment. Nothing makes you feel fancier or more motivated (in my humble opinion) than being at the offices of the top trend forecasters in the world. Following WGSN, we took a walking tour of the city from a lovely guide. She taught us about all the main sites and I finally made my way to see good ol’ Big Ben and the London Eye. Nothing like seeing the important touristy stuff last, right?

 

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My Hogwarts dreams coming true… finally

It was a fast-paced trip in a fast-paced city… It’s reassuring to see that after the relaxed Italian pace I’ll still be able to hold my own in New York next fall.  Everything about London was bursting with creativity and inspiration. It has history in its buildings and streets, yet the fresh, modern feel of New York. Am I gushing too much about my newfound love? Above all the things that made the school trip a success, one is making it out without getting taken down by a car on the wrong side of the road! As the Brits say, Cheers!

 

PS: I also got to see Platform 9 and ¾ for any HP fans out there… did I mention I love London yet?