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?

Round Two

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First published article for The Florentine

The second week of school has just ended for me and a semester’s amount of work has been unloaded on my shoulders. It already seems daunting to balance both classes and travel, but thankfully I know I already managed for a semester, so I’m sure I can handle this oh so hard study abroad lifestyle once more. It’s been an exciting start to the semester already with my first article getting published at The Florentine, a FASA cooking class coming up this weekend, some amazing new teachers and returning teachers to make this semester even better, and trips coming up in the near future. The spring semester students have landed in Florence and have begun mingling with the full-year students who already know the  ropes. The friendships that began five months ago have just continued to grow. I can’t imagine what a new spring semester student coming from the stark FIT campus must think when all of us are mingling, talking, and joking both during each class break and before/after class. In just four short months, they will see that it is a lovely, inevitable part of studying at Polimoda.

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Pitti Bimbo Trade Show

Two weeks ago Pitti Uomo, a menswear tradeshow, graced the streets of Florence with some of the most beautiful and well-dressed men I’ve ever seen. This, of course, built up my excitement to attend Pitti Bimbo. A children’s tradeshow that is in its eightieth year, Pitti Bimbo is one of the first places big childrens brands show their new merchandise for next season. We got to explore the interesting grounds of La Fortezza, an old military base, where the tradeshow was held for two hours last Saturday morning. We were lucky enough to walk through the collections of Original Marines, Diesel Kids, and Twin Set to name just a few. There’s nothing like a childrens apparel show to prove to me that even Italian kids look better than I do.

In just a week I’ll be taking off for Paris, my first trip of the semester. London is a close second and is funded by the school. Our classes will take place there for four days. I opted to travel both before and after the London trip, so I suddenly have a ten-day trip coming up. After a relaxing break, I’m ready to see some new places: Paris, France, London, England, and Galway, Ireland. Prepping for this trip is stressing me out (my usual nature), but I know I have nothing to complain about. Three countries in ten days? *Insert dancer girl emoji right here.*

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Shades of yellow along the Arno

Today a few rare flurries of snow fell on Florence, much to my surprise. After expecting to miss Juno completely, I guess a small bit of snow still caught up to me across the world! It’s the start of a new semester in the same beautiful, renaissance city… and I couldn’t be happier. Here’s to my last four months In Florence, which should seem like a lot of time, but in reality doesn’t seem long enough. I’m ready to tackle Europe round two.

A Venetian Trip to Remember

In one of the last hurrahs of the season, FIT in Florence took its last academic field trip of the semester to Venice Italy. After arriving by private coach in the in the morning, and checking into our hotel, our first stop was a tour of St. Marks Basilica. This cathedral contained beautiful gilded walls and domes. After, we continued to the Fortuny Museum, which is an important and very respectable art museum in Venice. The museum contains fashion, paintings, and the infamous Fortuny lamps.

The next day was by far my favorite. We started in Murano, and were given a very interesting demonstration on how Murano Glass is blown. The pieces were beautiful, and I purchased quite a few as souvenirs. After a short lunch, we continued to Nicalao Atellier, where we were able to view many of the costumes produced for movies, as well as get an introduction to Renaissance Venetian dress. For a relaxing end to a long day, we finished by going to a FIT Student Activities (FITSA) event at the Ca’ Macana Mask Studio. We were first taught about the history of masks, and then allowed to decorate our own, something I found quite rewarding.

Our trip concluded with a trip to the Biennele Art Exhibition. This museum contained art featured in “pavilions” set up by different countries. In a way it reminded me of a cross between Epcot and the MOMA, but was still one of the best sights of the trip. Overall, I found our trip to Venice to be excellent mid-semester relaxation while still allowing me to feel like I saw the important sights of the city. I will absolutely be back for the Venetian Carnevale.