A Trip To Italy’s Fashion Capital

To say how crazy it is that I have been here in Florence for a month already is a complete understatement. The weeks seem to go by so fast, and the weekends speed by even faster. Having Fridays off is great and it allows for more time to travel, whether it be inside Italy or to another country. I have been trying to keep a list of all of the amazing restaurants, stores, gelaterias, etc. that are my favorite, but I just can’t find enough time to  jot everything down!

Day at the Duomo di Milano

Day at the Duomo di Milano

This past weekend (from Sunday to Tuesday) all 70 of us FIT students made our way to the fashion capital of Italy. We arrived early Sunday morning and from there we began our adventure. Our trip started out with us dropping off our luggage to our hotel and then making our way to the “Super Collections” trade show that was occurring. Once we were there we walked around and looked at all of the amazing merchandise that was being shown. It was great to see merchandise at an international trade show, as most of the merchandise, let alone brands, were all very unfamiliar to me. I was personally able to see a multitude of brands and companies that are not shown at trade shows in the U.S. During the trade show, we were all able to complete our findings for two of our fashion merchandising classes which was very helpful.

Top Of The Duomo

Top Of The Duomo (Samantha Seltzer, Teresa Kelly, Kayleigh Folster, Caitlyn Hansen, Hannah Charles and Kathleen Arias)

After we left the trade show we took the metro to the Duomo and from there we began to see the real city of Milan. Milan fashion week was occurring while we were still there and Milan is of course, known for its one of a kind fashion. Stores on every corner and people bustling throughout the city streets. We were fortunate enough to take a guided tour of the Duomo di Milano which led us up the stairs of the Duomo itself and out on the main rooftop. While sitting there, it was an unbelievable feeling, to actually sit and think of where I was sitting in that very moment.

Monday rolled around quite soon, and our day was full of fashion visits and a trip to Como to see the silk factories and textile factories.  Our FMM group was split into two and I visited the Mantero Factory. It was amazing to get to see how brands such as, Gucci, Vivienne Westwood and Valentino print their silk scarfs. There were silk screen printing and  digital printing. It was interesting to see which form companies print their merchandise on. Higher end brands normally print through silk screen printing since it takes longer and to uses more materials and lower end companies use digital printing. Having observed both, they seemed both very efficient and both of good quality. After visiting the factory we were able to see the archives of the Mantero company and view their oldest fabrics and books used. Once that was over we were able to enjoy the rest of Como and take in all of its beauty. Como is a very pretty city and very quiet (now I know why George Clooney chose to have a house there). The lake is beautiful and relaxing and after lunch my friends and I ate a gelato as we walked around the lake.

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Gucci Print at Mantero Factory

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Archived Fabrics From Mantero

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1938 Chanel Advertisement

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Lake Como

After a full two days on Sunday and Monday, Tuesday was just as busy. Fortunately, we were able to wake up later and get in as much sleep as we could (I mean, what college student doesn’t love their sleep?) Anyway, Tuesday morning we were off to have private store visits of both the Excelsior and LaRinascente department stores. Both of which are two very different stores targeted to two very different demographics of customers. The Excelsior store is on the more higher and exclusive end of the spectrum and LaRinascente is targeted toward the higher end everyday shopper, almost like a Bergdoff Goodman’s or higher end Bloomingdales. After our tour we were headed over to the Chagall Exhibit that was going on. We had a guided tour as well, and it was very informative and interesting to hear about Marc Chagall’s inspiration and life as an artist. After looking through the exhibit it was time to hangout and tour Milan on our own. From there we shopped, ate lunch and took in as much as we could.

Pizza From Milan

Pizza From Milan

After a long three, exciting, yet tiresome days of fashion and travel, it was time to head back to Florence. We took a 7:30 train and we were back to Florence around 9:30. It was a great trip and an overall wonderful experience. I loved seeing all the sites and gaining the first hand knowledge from the factories and tours. After this trip, I can’t wait to see all of the other wonders that are out there. Arrivederci!

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

Spring Break in Ibiza, Spain

One of the best things about studying abroad is the ability to hop on and off a plane and travel all throughout Europe. Even with all the work we have left to do before graduation (next week!!!), a few girls and I took a 4 day vacation to Ibiza, Spain.. after all, it IS spring break :) The beaches were incredible and absolutely breathtaking. Ibiza’s known for it’s clubs and bars right along the beaches during the summer. And because it was off season, the beaches were quieter, but I definitely enjoyed being able to relax with the incredible view of the Mediterranean and it’s crystal clear aqua waters!


{greeted by blue skies & palm trees}

{the view at lunch}

{couldn’t leave Spain without having some paella!}

{40 euro cab ride to the most beautiful beach ever, Cala Conta}

{BLISS}

{crystal clear, aqua waters}

{brunch along the beach}

{the sun starting to set}

I never wanted to leave.. but back to reality! Although the trip was short, it was well worth it. It was definitely nice being able to take a break from doing work, but now back to the grind till next week! Hope everyone finishes strong! :)

An Island Adventure

Last weekend I decided to take a short, two day trip, to Palermo on the island of Sicily. I was in pursuit of some warmer weather and great sites. I was not disappointed!

The first day, I decided to take a walk around Palermo and take in the attractions. Palermo is a beautiful city, complete with the amazing architecture of the Byzantine, Arab, and Italian civilizations; all of who used to control the island. One of the most stunning sites I saw was the Cattedrale de Palermo, which featured all three of these cultures. I was also thrilled that Palermo was also armed with some of the best shopping in Southern Italy and I happily indulged.

The next day, I took a short train ride out to the village of Cefalù. The main attraction is the beach, which was amazing. It was great being able to sit out for hours in the warm sun, and it only being mid-march.

I loved my trip to Palermo and hope to return soon!

 

Cattedrale de Palermo

Cattedrale de Palermo

Teatro di Palermo

Teatro di Palermo

Arezzo Antique Fair

This morning, we went to Arezzo for their monthly antique fair! They had everything from vintage jewelry, antique home decor, vintage paintings/photos, to collectable items! It was quite overwhelming with the amount of merchandise they had, but nevertheless, amazing. If I owned my own place in Italy, I definitely would’ve gone crazy with the antique furniture and decor!


{some IFD2 girls on the train!}

{leaning trees}

{I want to own a library some day with books like this!}

{Deer in headlights}

{collectables}

{vintage mini sewing machine}

{wall art}

{only 15 euros}

{details of a chair}

{black & white vintage photos}

{stamps from way back when}

{cute outdoor seating to a restaurant along the market}

{ciao Arezzo}
The antique fair is definitely worth checking out. I’m sure you won’t leave empty handed :P