It is now my third week studying in Florence, and also the very last week of this amazing course. Studying media and communications for the fashion industry in the fifth fashion capital of the world is beyond amazing. So let me fill you in on what this past week has involved.
Sunday, aka sleep-in day, consisted of more site seeing and shopping. Florence is basically a bottomless-pit of high-end fashion stores and markets selling everything from belts to hats to handbags. If you ever visit Florence, be prepared to shop until you drop (and I mean literally drop because you’ll be so exhausted from all the walking through the cobblestone streets).Day 16
Back to uni today for another week of classes. Today was based around our upcoming photoshoot and ensuring our ideas were ready to be caught on camera. We spent the day gathering last minute outfits, jewellery, accessories and props for the shoot. We met with the makeup artist to confirm the final looks for our models and talked to the professional photographer about our plans for the scene. It honestly felt like I was working for Vogue rather than working on an assignment at uni. I’m not even joking when I say this is the most fun assignment I have ever received.
If I could think of one word to describe today it would be: hectic. Today marked the beginning of the photoshoots for our final assessment which meant we were basically running around like chooks with their heads cut off. One thing I’ve learnt is that photoshoots are very, very stressful. And getting things perfect takes a lot of time and patience. On the contrary, working with the models from Esprit Management was so much fun. Not every day you get the opportunity to direct a photoshoot with a professional model, professional hair and makeup artists and a professional photographer.
After such a taxing day, I ended my night by joining a couple of the other girls for a cooking class at the San Lorenzo Food Markets (also known as heaven on earth). To be honest, I’m not the greatest fan of cooking, but this class was possibly one of my favourite things of the entire trip. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t feel like I was on the set of MasterChef. On the menu was a traditional Italian dish, drum wheat spaghetti carbonara with artichokes and Tuscan pecorino cheese. Not only was the cooking class an absolute blast, but the food tasted absolutely amazing! Shout out to the Cucina Cooking School for their brilliant lessons!Day 18
Wednesday was filled with another day of photo shooting. Despite the extreme
exhaustion, we all managed to finish our shoots and produce an amazing array of photos that probably could feature in a magazine (I wouldn’t be surprised if we all became super famous now).
After class we were taken on an excursion to the workshop of Paolo Penko. Paolo is a master goldsmith based in Florence working alongside his wife who is an expert in gemology. The duo use traditional techniques of the Florentine goldsmiths to create unique pieces of custom made jewellery. With a strong focus on craftsmanship, Paolo and his wife make the jewellery entirely by hand for their customers. The Penko store has made quite a name for itself with celebrities such as Paris Hilton stopping by to purchase custom made jewels.Day 19
Today we were taken on yet another excursion to the beautiful town of Prato. Historically, the economy of Prato has been based around the textile industry, so naturally we visited the museum of textiles. We were given a guided tour around the museum, learning about Prato’s relationship with fabrics that have existed for more than 800 years. The museum is located inside the city’s medieval walls at an old shearing factory named Campolmi. Learning about the unique works, the collection of sacred and archaeological textiles and the important fashion figures was such a great opportunity for anyone with a passion for fashion.
Our day today was filled with mixed emotions as it was our very last day of studying at the European Institute of Design. On the upside, no more early morning wake ups, no more walking to uni when it is -2 degrees Celsius, and no more assignments. On the downside, saying goodbye to the Italian students and professors whom we’d become so close with was really tough. We all joined together for a final presentation, showing our classmates the amazing photographs we had taken for the last assignment.
With uni done and dusted, the professors took us out for Italian Aperitivo at a restaurant named Amble. Aperitivo is a pre-dinner Italian ritual that consists of having a drink accompanied with a small amount of snack food such as crisps, dips, cheeses and finger sandwiches. The idea of aperitivo is to “stimulate your appetite” for dinner by having some finger food beforehand. I must say, it is a tradition I could easily get used to!
My last weekend in Florence was spent touring around to the small towns of Siena, San Gimignano and Chinati whilst sipping on wine in the countryside vineyards and visiting some gorgeous tourist sites. My time studying here in Florence has been such an amazing opportunity and an experience that I never want to end. For anyone else thinking of studying media and communications for the fashion industry in Florence, I highly, highly recommend you to do so. I didn’t realise how much fun this journey would be and I’m so glad to have had this experience.