There was such a tremendous response to our blog on images of Italy, here, that we thought we’d share more. This is some of the students’ reflections of their trip in words.

Italians value beauty. Beauty is everywhere-in the churches, the homes, the streets, and the neighborhoods… …Everything is looked upon as an opportunity to adorn. Nothing deserves to be ugly or ordinary. Color is everywhere-bright, bold, happy color.

The sense of pride and loyalty displayed in various traditions: horse racing in Siena and Medieval soccer games in Florence.

Having the opportunity to be totally immersed in the world of Florence greatly enhanced my understanding and appreciation of Italian fashion. I came away with a much deeper sense of how all aspects of Italian culture influenced the industry throughout history and contributed to what it is today.

As was mentioned, unlike Americans who ‘dress to hide flaws,’ Italians (Europeans) ‘dress to accentuate positives.’ It’s about having confidence and knowing how to dress for the circumstances.

Learning about the artisans’ and crafters’ traditions was a special interest of mine. It was wonderful to have the chance to visit some of the local artisan studios: feathers, leather, silver, and custom design shops.

Yes, the food was great, the architecture amazing, the fashion fresh, the people lovely, the museums incredible, but when I sit behind my sewing machine, I think of tradition, adaptation, and workmanship. I think these things will inspire my work going forward.

I love this quote from one of our lectures, ‘For Italians, it is not about clothes at all. Italian Fashion is actually all about an attitude; an attitude of custom-made, fluid, sophistication.’

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