Venice Biennale


On November 5-6th, we took an academic trip to one of the most beautiful places in Italy, Venice. In Venice, we visited one of the most prestigious contemporary art exhibitions, La Biennale, which includes the fine arts, film, architecture, music, performance, and more.

We split up into two groups when we got there, both included guided tours around the various pavilions. Our tour-guides were very insightful, as they explained the artists’ outlooks and artworks. My group started our tour in the British pavilion where we got to enjoy a delicious cup of tea on the building’s balcony. After touring around a few other pavilions, we were let to explore the grounds of the Biennale on our own.

There were artists from all over the world, from Europe, to South America, to Asia, many of which are very different from each other, however they all really captivated the essence of their countries’ traditions.

The Biennale is definitely an event to attend if you want to a universal collection of contemporary artwork. It was a good break from all the Renaissance Italian art that we’ve been seeing.

Memar Hat Millinery

Hats were a sign of status or a job, aristocracy wore the ultimate fashions and fanciest designs, it was a sign of success and wealth. It was disrespectful to walk outside of the house not wearing one, it used to be the completion of the outfit, it was almost as necessary as wearing a corset during the eighteen hundreds.

Visiting Memar Millinery was a remarkable experience, to see the entire process of different types of hats being made. The Memar Millinery is one of the last 3 factories left in Italy that has the means to have production in house. This company has a long history and prestige, as hats have been a tradition in Italy from centuries. The factory started in 1903, it is a family owned business that has been passed down from generation to generation. Memar has vendors, all over the world. They have worked with Macys, Bloomingdales, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and many more.

The factory has kept itself going by sourcing new materials, coming up with new techniques and collaborations with high-end designers. This way not only the quality of the materials and production is something to admire but the enthusiasm and spirit of competition.

We had a tour around the millinery facilities. Witnessing the work it takes for a straw fedora to be sewn and the shaping of felt and straw hats.  Most of the raw goods come from Italian land but other sources are also used.

At last, we got to be hands on and decorated a hat of our choice.

I am a big fan of accessories but specially hats, after this visit I have learned to have a better appreciation of the craft and skills required for this labor. Memar millinery not only has years of quality and experience, but also passion and heritage.

A historical moment!

Last weekend we went to the school’s student activity group—a FASA held activity, which was a soccer game played at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. Soccer is such a big thing in Italy, so it must be fun! Especially since we are already here, we got to watch it. I’m glad that almost everybody signed up for this or they will regret for sure, because we had so much fun!!

It was not a long way by bus from Santa Maria Novella(The train station), but we had some problems figuring out which bus should we take. Let’s give a big thank you to the FASA member Rachel of being such a responsible person and help fix the problem right away.  After 15 minutes in a crowded bus, we finally got to the Stadium. Guess what’s the first word that can express my feeling when I got off the bus? PURPLE!!! Everybody wore their purple jersey for it is the symbol color of the local team Fiorentine. Big flags, scarves(must have, everybody hang it in the hand to make a purple sea during the game to cheer up the team, that scene was so amazing.), everything is purple! Wearing black and white was the symbol of the other team, Juventus which we were not rooting for. We FIT students wore all purple too, since we study in Florence and we don’t want to be kicked out of the stadium, haha just kidding.

First half of the game was ok, ball was always close to the gate but never got kicked in, people got upset and worried because Juventus already got 2 points, purple sea kept cheer up for their team. By this time I got bored and went to get hotdogs… Suddenly I heard people screaming and shouting the name of the team and the player, I nearly dropped my hotdog,haha ! That was the most fun thing ever, people got so crazy and hugged each other, sang songs, took pictures, and were running around! Because Fiorentine got one point! And then what was even more exciting was in the second half of the game, Player called Rossi kicked three balls in a row towards the end of the game! Everybody went so crazy!! I was so happy that jumped off the seat and hugged with people, if you were there, you’ll be so amazed by the atmosphere, happiness, and the cheerfulness. It was the best feeling ever!

Maybe you’ll get confused about the title, actually, after the game in the Monday afternoon, our Italian professor told us that Fiorentine hasn’t won the game for the past 15 years… Isn’t that unbelievable? So this time was really a historical moment! That’s why everybody got so happy!! We made such a right choice to go there. After this time, I love soccer even more! I think this is the spirit of sport, never give up. Fiorentine had such a long buffer period, but they did not give up, keep training, keep trying, you’ll finally see the success one day! Salute!


Work Work Work…. and Feathers!

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


WHITE Fashion Trade Show Milano

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 BALZANOA-LAB MILANOCC KUOVALENTINA DE PIETRIKTZLONDON 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!