Category Archives: Study Abroad

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

 

Weekend Trip to Ishigaki, Japan!

Hi everyone!

This past weekend my friends and I took advantage of a sweet deal on flights to Ishigaki Japan from Hong Kong, and enjoyed every moment of it!  HK Express is the only international service that goes to this island in the far south of Japan, so it was definitely an exclusive experience.  We were also there during the off season, and it felt like we had the island all to ourselves!

Here are a few of the highlights from our trip:

I went with 3 of my FIT friends studying abroad in Hong Kong with me.  When we arrived, there was a massive downpour but the skies cleared up almost immediately.

Nakamura-ya, Ishigaki Japan

For lunch we went to a magical curry place.  The chef at one point went out to his garden and got celery to add to the sauce.  The set meal also came with chai tea for dessert.  Would definitely recommend!

Kondoi Beach, Taketomi Island

After lunch, we took a high speed ferry boat over to an adjacent island.  The ferry ride was a highlight of my trip- it was like an amusement park ride.  Once there, we took a bus to an island known for its star-shaped sand and cats.

Yonehara Beach Equipment Rental

Sunday was beach day!  We rented snorkel equipment and got to see lots of fish- my favorite were these tiny, electric blue fish.

Another fun activity was going to Yaima Mura, which is an outdoor museum similar to Jamestown in America.  There were some historic houses and replicas, with exhibits on how sugar cane was processed, traditional dress, and dance!  The best part was the spider monkeys, which you were able to feed with the provided treats.

Here are my friends dressed in the traditional dress, posing with a Shisa.  The shisas are all over Okinawa and Ishigaki, and are placed standing guard at entrances to ward away evil spirits. We saw them all over the island!

The last thing we got to do was glass bottom boat tours.  After snorkeling, it was great getting to see the fish and coral out further in the water.  Plus Kabira Bay, where we went, was stunning!

We had an absolute blast in Ishigaki, and it felt so special because there were so few foreigners there.  Everyone we met was incredibly nice and welcoming.  Unfortunately, very few people spoke English, but it was great practice for my Japanese minor at FIT!

Studying abroad is a trip in and of itself, but taking a weekend to explore somewhere new was so exciting.  I would definitely recommend it, especially if you get a great flight deal!

Sam

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

Why I Decided to Study Abroad

Hi everyone!
It’s a big decision to study abroad, so I decided to talk a little bit about how and why I made my choice.  Here are some of the things I considered before submitting my application and packing my bags!
Fantastic Educational Opportunity
Production Management is a global industry, and a lot of that traffic flows through Hong Kong.  Being in the classroom with peers who will possibly one day work at the factories I communicate with from New York is amazing.  Seeing things from Hong Kong’s point of view is giving me a chance to understand both sides of the manufacturing relationship better.
I Could Communicate
All of our classes are taught in English, and almost everyone here understands enough that we have no troubles.  Not being able to understand what is going on, or being able to read signs is really challenging.  There are times when confusion arises, but it has never caused more than a miscommunication or a silly mistake.  Definitely consider wether you will be able to understand and be understood wherever you decide to go.
I Knew Others Going
This is a big one for me- even though I love a good adventure and have gone places by myself in the past, spending a whole semester some place I knew no one was pretty daunting!  Thankfully a few of my friends were also applying, so we kept each other accountable during the application process.
I’m currently rooming with one of my friends from back home, which has helped keep homesickness away- any time we need to talk about NYC, we can!  I’m not sure if I would have considered going if I didn’t know others interested, but I think I would have loved the experience with or without bringing school friends.
I Find Asia Fascinating
The world is huge, and this is honestly my first time experiencing it.  Before now, the furthest I had traveled was Canada, and right at the boarder at that.  Having the chance to explore Asia, and see the sights was a big draw for me.  At FIT I take Japanese, and I look forwards to being able to travel to Japan while I am here!  Hong Kong has so much to do as well, a month and a half in we have barely scratched the surface.
I’m Okay with Being Away from Home
Something important to consider is if you can handle being so far away from family and home friends.  I had spent about three months away last summer, and enjoyed it for what it was, so I was confident I could handle being away for the four and a half months on exchange.  However, I know it won’t be easy the whole time.  I miss being able to easily communicate with home (the time difference adds a whole other level of separation!) but we have all been adapting and growing through it.  I definitely miss some American things too.
Those are some of the factors I took into consideration going abroad.  It is not a small decision, but it is one I am so glad I made.  I have grown so much here, and am having a lot of fun too!
Sam

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