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.

Milano

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.

-Natalie

What’s Gucci, yo?

Hey guys!

My name is Zach, and I’m studying International Fashion Merchandising/Marketing in Florence for my 3rd year at FIT. I’m pleased to say that I’ll be blogging for the FIT in Florence blog now!

Today, us Merchandising/Marketing students took a trip to the GUCCI Headquarters, located in Scandicci, just outside of Florence. In this particular building, there are 1,200 employees. Despite the pouring rain, we were all wide-eyed and excited to see the secrets held inside of this huge designer facility. Upon arrival, we received guest passes with our names on them to be worn around our necks.

We were greeted warmly by a girl who was not much older than us students. She studies part time in Milan and works full time as an assistant to the Production Manager for Gucci in Scandicci. She gave us a tour of each department of the facility. Here, they develop products and create all of the prototypes which are then sent out to 60 different factories who produce and assemble the goods. We were shown an archive of every textile used for their accessories. Every kind of leather (crocodile, python, Louisiana alligator, ostrich) with every type of finish imaginable. I personally loved the black “rubberized” leathers. The things I’d do for a motorcycle jacket of this material! We saw furs of all forms and colors, synthetic materials, sheet-thin deer-skin, and more. The artisans showed us how they cut the leathers, using only the most flawless parts of the leather and using the less-nice parts for finishing touches and small goods. They source from the best tanneries located in Florence. Everything is hand cut using a very tiny, special cutting knife that’s sharpened before every use. Going through the workshop, we saw tons of skilled workers, each working on a different Gucci product, mainly handbags. There is only one man who makes the customized travelling trunks. They take about a month to make each, and sell for an unimaginable amount. You can take your pick from buying a new house, or a hand-made Gucci trunk. Some recent clients mentioned were Rihanna and John Travolta (who apparently uses his two trunks as coffee tables). They can be made with any textile of your choice, and are finished with luxurious hardware, usually gold. Lastly, we were taken to “the bamboo room.” This is where they finish, heat and reform stalks of bamboo for their famous “bamboo bag”. The bamboo is imported from China, and only the roots are used because they are strong and not hollow like the plant itself.

Walking through the halls of Gucci’s headquarters is an overwhelming feeling. We all know gucci, and the quality that is associated with it. Some of us know the crazy story of the Gucci family (Guccio’s vision, the rebellion of his grandchildren, Maurizio’s assassination). Gucci represents a powerhouse of a family, their struggles, and their triumphs. Along the walls are black and white photographs from the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s, showing family members, celebrities, and handsome people wearing Gucci. The lights inside were bright and everything sparkling clean. I hope to someday work at a place like this.

The next time you see a Gucci bag, consider the amount of time and effort that goes into making it. Know that it passes through this facility in Scandicci, and is, in every aspect, a luxury item!

Paris… The City of Opportunities

Paris brings a lot of opportunities for fashion design students. Being in Study Abroad with F.I.T. we have the advantage of going to different places. We went to the YSL foundation where they have kept every single fashion drawing that Yves Saint Laurent ever drew. We also met an eco designer by the name of Eva Zingoni who had an Intern that was mentored by Zac Posen and is now working free lance in Paris at the age of 23. Eva Zingoni’s Idea of taking the unused fabrics from top end designers reinvents the idea of moderation and using surplus to one’s advantage. First ever tour of the Hermes store in Paris was given to all the fashion design students from Florence attending F.I.T. We learned about every little detail of the reason things are decorated a certain way and we heard many different stories about all the celebrities that had visited the store. In Paris there is a store on Rue du Bouloi that takes eating to a whole new level. Many fiction writers have imagined that in the future we would all be drinking fumes and eating magic pills. Who would have thought that drinking fumes is possible today? The Lab Store created this candy tube called le whiff where you breathe in the partials of chocolate get a great full mouthful of flavor without the calories! We also went to Premier Vision and a couture pleater and my favorite… The Louvre!!  Paris was incredible, thank you again F.I.T. in Florence!!! Oh and here is a hint about what spring/summer of 2013 will bring: A lot of Green!

J’adore Paris

As David mentioned below, our school took an academic trip to Paris this past week! Our schedules were jam packed with industry appointments, museum visits and a trip to Premiere Vision! Even with a tight itinerary, we had the evenings to enjoy the beautiful city.
Here are a few photos from the week :) Enjoy~
graffiti 
Metropolitan stop designed by architect, Hector Guimard

La Seine

lit up night streets

Notre Dame

Hotel de Ville 
Sacre Coeur
 

Parisian cemetery @ Monmarte

Louvre Museum

inverted triangle inside the Louvre 

A view of the Alexander Bridge while on the cruise along the Seine

a 2 floor carousel

& of course, Eiffel Tower during the hourly light show
At the end of our trip, I really didn’t want to leave.. Paris is SO beautiful and I definitely want to make a trip back when the weather’s warmer :)
J’adore Paris!