There is a lot of expectations when you find out you and 39 other like-minded Australian students will be studying in Florence, Italy for four weeks. It is now halfway through the trip and expectations have been more than exceeded. Though Florence is amazing, it is the culture and the atmosphere that have captured our hearts. Keep reading to see what we get up to on the ‘Media and Communications for the Fashion Industry’ course.
Our week started with a visit to Pitti Uomo- a men’s fashion week, where buyers can come and order the next season’s looks and trends for their stores. However, we as a cohort saw this as an excuse to dress to the nines, allowing each student to showcase their best looks and start the experience with their best foot forward. When we weren’t searching for items to fulfill our assigned scavenger hunt, you could find us snapping pictures of stylish guests, whose style extended beyond just their clothing. However, creativity spread far beyond the guests at Pitti, to the stalls that featured brands and the décor around the show; with standout brands being ‘Mackage’ who used the underground area decorated with icebergs, black mirrors and a genuine ice bar to showcase their new range of winter coats and puffer jackets and ‘Drykorn’ who took a factory vibe to a new level, with the roof being decorated with hanging plastic wrapped garments, giving a true industrial chic vibe.
Ditta Carlo Cecchi by Giuliano Ricchi
One of the more intimate experiences was the group’s visit to Ditta Carlo Cecchi, an artisan workshop where Giuliano Ricchi, the artisan himself demonstrated how he creates metal pieces like napkin rings, bracelets, charms and brooches with manual machines. His intricate designs range from floral and paisley pieces etched into stone then pressed into metal to wax moulds, hand-crafted to make miniatures of famous Italian landmarks to create charm bracelets. Giuliano’s generosity extended beyond the invitation to his workshop, but also offerings for commission pieces to each student and hand pressed coins to represent our trip to Florence.
After a short walk around Florence, the group came to the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum. The exhibit at the time was based around ‘Old Hollywood’, though the cohort came expecting a plethora of shoes as per the Salvatore Ferragamo store. A mixture of costuming, film, art, photographs and shoes created an amazing spectacle to the eye. The exhibit shared a timeline of Ferragamo’s influences, the necessity for his work and where it was featured. One of the main features of the museum was the shoe room, featuring prototypes of Ferragamos work and some of the intricate and one-of-a-kind shoe designs.
The finale of excursions for the first half of the trip ended at Gucci Gardens, a museum and store dedicated to the history of Gucci and exclusive pieces. A smart combination between Gucci pieces from past and present, offset with murals by the creative director’s favourite artists. A main showcase was the features of Gucci’s most recent collection, based around the idea of ‘Fake Gucci’ where collections had poorly spray-painted designs or misspellings of the brand name. The museum was organised depending on garments and styles, with whole rooms based around luggage and bags or floral or animal patterns. This was inspiring for many students as their jungle collection proved relevant to current assignment works at the university. Gucci Gardens had excellent attention to detail, with each room being a full experience to the senses with each room having audible and visual connections as well as specific senses. At the end of the tour, students were released to explore freely, and many blew too much money on Gucci souvenirs for Florence, but to be fair who can blame us?
The first half of the AIM Overseas Trip to IED in Florence has been filled with amazing excursions, one of a kind experiences and excuses to dress up and show off our unique fashions. I look forward to sharing the remainder of our experience in the coming weeks.
Brigitte is an avid lover of statement earrings and all things Netflix. When she’s not exploring new places you can find her, eating all the pasta she can see, booging the night away, sitting and re-watching The Office for the 100th time (US version obv), or scouring the shops to find the best deals on the newest trends.