There’s no place like Venice…

When I stepped on the streets of Venice I looked around expecting to see a little brown brindle cairn terrier, named Toto, appear so I could tell him I didn’t think we were in Florence anymore.  In Venice there isn’t a car in sight and the closest thing to ‘American hospitality’ was a McDonald’s that didn’t have a single picture of the famous golden arches.  Walking the streets of Venice at night is a magical thing. The city becomes nearly deserted, hardly any boats are running and the best thing I heard was… pure silence.  I have yet to find a city that can come close to the majestic allure of Venice.

As a young girl I dreamt of living in the era of corsets, petticoats, powder wigs and handmade lace. I guess you could say I almost lived that dream.  Cannaregio 2590 is home to Nicolao Atelier. From the front it looks like a small everyday costume shop but once through the doors, it turns into a wonderland of Rococo and Baroque decor.

All The Fashion Design Students we taught about 17th – 18th century attire by Stefano Nicolao (the owner and designer) who chose one lucky young student to model a corset and petticoat for us. Mr. Nicolao’s costumes have been seen in Casanova and Pirates of the Caribbean to name a few movies and have been in many theatrical performances.  We were able to see his studio and costume inventory.  It seemed like the costumes ran on for miles. As a hopeful future fashion designer, it was better than waking up on Christmas morning to presents under the tree. I could have spent a good day at Nicolao Atelier, but we soon had to rush away from trying on tri-corner hats and masks to go take a trip on a gondola. I would have never been able to see such amazing textiles or costumes if it hadn’t been for The Fashion Institute of Technology’s Study Abroad Program. Thank you F.I.T.