Author Archives: mariabarros

Studying Art History in the Cradle of the Renaissance

HELLO EVERYONE!

A great decision I made before coming to study in Florence was to plan all my classes and required credits I needed accordingly. I sat down with my counselor and spoke with her on the many possibilities in completing all those requirements. One suggestion that she made was to leave art history classes for when I came to Florence. Best decision I have made!

In my first semester spent here I took HA 112- History of Western Art and Civilization: Renaissance to the Modern Era. This course was geared towards religious, political, economic, and social conditions in relation to art, such as paintings, sculpture and architecture. It was very eye-opening and enriching towards learning about European culture, mostly events that happened in Florence!

The second Art History course, which I am currently taking is HA 212- Renaissance Art in Florence. It mainly focuses on paintings, sculpture, and architecture from the fourteenth to seventeenth century. Most of the course has been guided towards some of the major monuments and anything art related in Florence. It has been wonderful! Almost every week we have visited different sites, from churches to museums to piazzas!

All visits have been mesmerizing, we’ve got to see some of the most famous art pieces by important artists. Some of these include: The Trinity by Masaccio, The Statues of David by Donatello & Verrocchio, and of course, one of the biggest monument, the Duomo and Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral.

There is so much art to explore here in Florence since it holds a great amount of the most important works in the world, better yet, it is the cradle of the Renaissance. I definitely recommend, if you are planning to study abroad here, to go for the option of taking these courses here and see all these majestic works in person.

 

Arrivederci, Maria

Fashion Week in Milan Part 2!

HELLO EVERYONE!

This week I will continue to share with you the trip of Fashion week in Milan!

On our second part of the trip, there was still so much to discover. We made a stop at La Scala Laboratories, located in the Zona Tortona. The Teatro alla Scala in Milan is among the world’s most famous opera houses. At their Laboratory we were able to see where the magic begins and moves along onto the stage. Most of the handmade works for the production of stage design emerge from there. From set design, sculpture, carpentry works, mechanics workshop, set assembly, costume design, laundry, etc.

Teatro La Scala Ansaldo Workshops

Teatro La Scala Ansaldo Workshops

The next day we visited S2B press office specialized in public relations towards the fashion design industry. We had a very informative tour in their loft office about a few of the rising young designers they are working with. Some of their services include advertising planning, events production, product placement & celebrities, social media management, and image consulting!

Image from S2B Press Office Loft

Image from S2B Press Office Loft (from website)

The last two days were a dream come true! Our final stop was at Pino Grasso Atelier, a master of embroidery for the most renowned haute couture and ready to wear fashion houses. Some important clients include: Givenchy, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana. I was mesmerized by all the handmade work and countless number of hours put into a garment. There are many countless possibilities when it comes to embroidery and materials, from beads to sequins, feathers to fringes. They even work with designers to create innovative solutions for design requests, like flowers from plastic bottles!

Me trying embroidery techniques for the first time!

Me trying embroidery techniques for the first time!

Handmade samples from work for clients.

Handmade samples from work for clients.

Our trip to Milan was so rich of adventures with enriching information for the student’s fashion career start!

Arrivederci, Maria

 

Fashion Week in Milan

HELLO Tigers!

As many of you may know Milan Fashion Week just passed and it was very exciting to take a look into all the action. We had various industry appointments throughout the week, some of which were very, very, helpful towards the skills you may need in the fashion design world.

With a mix of classic and modernity, this city is sure going to make you stop and look, everywhere you go. And well, the first visit we made was to the Ferré Foundation, located in the heart of Milan’s new fashion and design district, Zona Tortona. The Gianfranco Ferré Foundation was established with the goal of sharing the work of “the architect of fashion”, Gianfranco Ferré. We had the opportunity to view a database created to showcase drawings, photographs, videos, and even runway photographs dating back to his earliest collections. We even got to analyze and touch some of the garments that were part of collections!

Ferré Foundation Presentation

Ferré Foundation Presentation

Ferré Foundation Archives

Ferré Foundation Archives

Next stop, the MUDEC (Museo delle Culture di Milano), an amazing space with two great exhibitions. One was from artist Paul Klee, which features a selection of his works on the theme of “primitivism”, and an embrace to the period of Western art.

Paul Klee paintings

Paul Klee paintings

The other exhibition was of a very well-known artist, well his artworks are very well-known, because it is still a mystery who he really is. Can you guess? If you said Bansky, you are right! The exhibition showcases works, including painting, prints, sculptures, CD covers, and memorabilia, which all together demonstrate the way of thinking of Bansky.

Bansky Print - Girl with Red Balloon

Bansky Print – Girl with Red Balloon

Getting away from the fast-paced ambience that Milan can be, we took a bus through mountain roads that guided us to Como, the city of precious silk. An important part of this short trip, was a stop at the Ratti Factory, where we explored the world of silk printing. It is known as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of printed, plain, yarn-dyed and jacquard fabrics, luckily, we were able to see samples of the whole process from start to finish. They work with private clients and pret-à-porter brands, some of which include: Hermès, Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Ferragamo, among others!

Ratti Factory thread rack

Ratti Factory thread rack

Ratti Factory machine at work

Ratti Factory machine at work, weaving with many color threads

So far, this has just been half of the trip! If you want to read more about it, stay tuned and next week I will be posting some more amazing experiences that happened throughout the week.

 

Ciao, Maria

A Trip To Turin!

HELLO EVERYONE!

Today I’m going to share with all of you the experience of our weekend trip to Turin, Italy!

During our study abroad program we have a couple of academic trips, one of them for this semester was going to Turin. Turin is located a couple of hours by train from Florence.

As we arrived and walked the French-styles streets of Turin, from almost every spot, my eye was always caught by the most iconic symbol of this city, the Mole Antonelliana. Originally designed to be a synagogue, now hosts the Museo Nazionale Del Cinema. It is considered to be the tallest building in the world without steel reinforcement!

An outside picture of the Mole Antonelliana

An outside picture of the Mole Antonelliana

We visited the Museo Nazionale del Cinema and being guided by our art history professor we experienced the evolution of film. With a maze-like and multi-level exhibition you are for sure not going to be bored. From pre-cinematographic optical devices, earlier and current film technologies, stage items from early Italian movies and interactive displays! After the tour we took an elevator that ran through the heart of the building all the way to the top. A breathtaking view of 360 degrees of the city was awaiting.  This was definitely a highlight of the trip, with a view to the Italian Alps in the distance!

View of Turin from the top of the Mole Antonelliana

View of Turin from the top of the Mole Antonelliana

The next day, we visited The Chapel of the Holy Shroud, a Baroque-style Roman Catholic chapel connected to the Palazzo Royale.  The chapel was constructed to house the Shroud of Turin, a religious relic

that many believe to be the burial shroud of Jesus. It’s history and architecture are beautiful and very inspiring!

Architecture of the Chapel of the Shroud of Turin

Architecture of the Chapel of the Shroud of Turin

This trip was culturally rich and if you ever have the chance to study in Italy, I definitely suggest you add this lovely city to your travel itinerary!

Ciao, Maria

 

Florence, Italy at Your Hands!

HELLO FELLOW TIGERS!!

My name is Maria, I have started my 4th semester in FIT. However, I started classes a little far away from campus. Where? In Florence, Italy! Now you may ask “what is she doing over there?” Well let me explain….

At FIT there are many options for studying abroad, it all depends on the major you are studying. As a fashion design student one of my options was to study in the “the cradle of the renaissance”, that is Florence, Italy. And so I chose this option for my second year of AAS.

You cannot imagine how excited I was to start my journey abroad. In the month of August (2018) I had my bags all packed and ready for what was coming. I heard great stories about my classmates’ experiences abroad and was ready to start my own.

Our host in Florence is Polimoda fashion institute right in the historic center. The main campus itself is a gem, with frescoed ceilings and walls, it sure takes you back in time. The design lab in Scandicci has everything you need for the realization of projects. Since the program admits a certain number of students, professors are by your side to assist you.

In the following blogs I will be going in deeper into my experiences during the last and this upcoming semester.

Ciao, Maria

A view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo

Florence, Italy: A view from Piazzale Michelangelo