We just finished our first major project! For our fashion art class we were required to create 50-60 figures in a single collection. This was a brutal shock to all of us, considering the most that was required of us in New York was 12 figures. So after the initial freak out we rolled up our sleeves and got to it.
In the end it was not as impossible as it seemed.Yes there were extremely late nights, but with every figure I got a little faster and a little better.
After a tough week of finishing up that project we had some fun in our Fashion Past and Present class. We visited “ Mazzanti Piume Petali” a special Atelier that creates feather pieces, trims, and accessories for luxury designers all around the world. We saw first hand the process of cleaning and dyeing the different kinds of feathers. We learned how a simple feather could be warped and molded into fantastical shapes and accessories with only a few simple tools. At one point we were even allowed to try on several of hats and pieces from the Artisan’s own line of feather accessories “Nanà Firenze”, as well as some pieces they had created for theater companies.
Here are some pics of the accessories and us playing dress up
Many of us FIT bloggers so far have written about Milan, but I feel as if I should elaborate on the the fashion trade show, WHITE, because it has been one of the most exciting fashion events I’ve ever been to and the most exciting even during our stay there. WHITE is for buyers that are interested in new labels for their store, and also for the press to help expose new talent to the world.
As a first year fashion design student, demotivation is something that will happen, since in the beginning you need to learn how to adjust yourself to be precise, which is something very difficult to do. However, this event allowed me to see what happens after the struggle of learning the technical processes of designing. There is an endless sea of creativity, and this can definitely be seen at WHITE.
We got to interact with new designers that are eager to put their collection out there to the world. Some designers and brands that caught my attention were: PAOLA BALZANO, A-LAB MILANO, CC KUO, VALENTINA DE PIETRI, KTZ, LONDON INK (they have cool t-shirt prints), THE TEXTILE REBELS (they have very bold all-over prints on jackets and sweaters), and UNFLEUR. However, there are hundreds of designers in womenswear, menswear, accessory design, and footwear, that participate in this event. The best part is that the designer can actually express their mindset to you about their collection and their vision.
A designer that really inspired me was Paola Balzano. She has a very artistic and innovative vision that she put to practice through her collection that she was showcasing. She used her paintings as the prints that would be on her garments, which I thought was really great because I feel as if sometimes people believe that painting and fashion needs to be two separate things. As a future designer, I would also like to incorporate some of my personal artworks into my fashion.
Besides the amazing fashion, you can get a lot of free magazines, or even buy fashion magazines that aren’t usually sold at your local newsstand, which is great.
I think if an opportunity comes up for you to go to a fashion trade show, say yes. It’s an amazing event!
It has been over a month since we arrived in this beautiful land that mothers the worlds finest architecture, art and fashion houses. Between school and settling down our schedule has been saturated. Last week we were lucky enough to be in Milan for fashion week. Even if we were not attending the shows we got a vast feeling of the city at its best.
The First stop was Como. We visited Riccardo Mantero Seterie’s office where we were presented from antique archives to current prints. That same afternoon we paid a visit to its factory Mantero Seta and had a tour throughout the color kitchen and the printing of designer fabrics. My heart skipped a bit when I got a glimpse of the double C’s on the printers.
Day 2 was a full Milano day went to the top of the Milan Cathedral. Dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente. Of course we had to get our retail therapy, or should I say observe and take detailed notes for our class at the department store Excelsior. One of the coolest environments I have been in. Following, we went to the trade show “White”. (sorry, no pictures) It was a great to see all of these fashion brands, from makeup and fragrance to shoes and accessories. Innovative beautiful quality shadowed most of the booths. To conclude our day, with a cherry on top went to Rossana Orlandi Concept store. Where art was the main component. Furniture and other pieces were manifested in all forms of beauty while some others might call it weird.
Our final day consisted in a series of fashion exhibits the 1st one was Palazzo Morando Custume Museum, followed by Vogue “Who’s Next” and Anna Piaggi’s “Hat-ology” and to wrap up our itinerary, one more retail store 10 Corso Como.
This voyage was truly enticing and inspirational, and this is just the beginning.
t’s been only four weeks since we arrived to beautiful Firenze, and we were already off to Milan for the weekend! I was honestly not expecting too much. I had heard that Milan is a sprawling city with a cold and industrial vibe. But once we arrived, the high-pitched whir of the subways and the activity of young urbanites brought me back to my beloved New York City. Yet Milan is the same and different. Tall cranes are scattered around fresh skyscrapers, while cobblestone alleys and ancient churches resound with the history of the city.
The view from our rooftop tour of the Duomo (cathedral) of Milan.
On our first day of Milan we began with a visit to the small atelier of designer Selene Giorgi. She is a petite and whimsical looking woman who explained to us that she never had practical training as a designer. Instead, she attended only one year of art school and began creating pieces using only natural fibers and a dress form. She said that creativity for a designer needs to act like a drug. It needs to push you beyond expectations. It must keep you awake at night with the longing to create. I hoping her words of wisdom will help me push through those tough work nights before finals:)
Milan captured my creativity in a way I had not expected. We are off to Rome in November, but I am hoping to revisit this lovely city for a weekend before then. Till next time, Arrivederci!
It’s the first day in Italy. You set your bags down and everyone decides to go explore a little. It’s as if today is the first and last day to see the city – you feel the need to see everything, all at once, all right now. Walking around, you can almost feel the drool start to form as your jaw has yet to return to its rightful place. You walk down the Arno river, over the bridges that belong in the photographs you’ve been looking at for months and months, wondering how different it will be once your there in person, once you’re here.
The streets, tiny, cozy, and beautifully historic. The people, frizzy haired, casually fashionable, and wonderfully lax bring you in, farther from the noise and aggression of New York City that you left not long ago. You pass the cafes and bars and gelaterias of the city in a mild state of shock. You don’t even realize the amount of time that’s passed since you started the walk together. Just like they told you, you really can see the Duomo from any point in the city, and you follow its burnt orange rooftop to the center of the city. You walk ahead of the group without even noticing. You turn the corner and there it is, in all its wonderful marble magic. How did you even get here?
Fast forward a few weeks and we’re all finally settling in. I no longer need to look at my maps to get around (most of the time), I’m finding it easier to speak in Italian on the fly (sometimes with google translate), and I’ve successfully gone on trips! Cinque Terre was beautiful. It was a welcomed day of extreme heat (95 degrees Fahrenheit) and hiking followed by a swim in the Mediterranean in which you look up at the mountains, slightly baffled by your hiking them but mostly that you’re here, in this water, at the foot of these mountains.
Tomorrow we wake up at an hour I wasn’t sure truly existed: 5:15AM. One of those times that you assume is there only cause it has be, but you’ve never really seen it on your alarm. But I suppose because we’ll be in Milan for the next three days straight going to concept stores, museums, and factory and archive visits, we’ll allow it. However, that does mean that my 11:00PM post is far too late. Wish me buona forte.