Italy is a place of endless inspiration to the creative mind, and when you add LdM to the mix it is also a place for endless learning and self-discovery. This is exactly what I discovered when I accompanied LdM’s Fashion Illustration class to the Pitti Palace to view the Costume Gallery that is inside its strong stone walls. This was the second field exercise that the class had been on that week, the first being our trip to Pitti Uomo. At Pitti Uomo we were inspired to find emerging trends for the fall and winter, while here, at the museum, we were given the task of drawing six different designs that inspired us to create our own garments. I had not brought a sketchbook, and was left to walk through the exhibit, which was definitely a feast for the eyes, and a great look into the lives and personalities of the people who would have worn the many outfits on display.
Yet, it was more than the spectacular vestments on display that had my attention. As I watched my fellow students start to draw I wondered what they thought of their classes and stay in Italy. While I loved visiting places like the Costume Gallery and Pitti Uomo, the experiences I had did not directly involve my future career interests (only my personal interest), like it did with the 10 or so students in the Fashion Illustration class. So being the nosy person that I am, I decided to ask one of the students, Heather, about her experience here in Florence and she was kind enough to answer.
I thought that it must be exciting for them to truly be experiencing what they might be doing professionally in a couple of years, and she thought the same, as her class had helped her in many was.
How have your classes at LdM helped you understand more about your major and what you want to do after college?
“The Fashion Illustration class has helped me develop the basic skills needed for sketching fashion figures which is critical for enabling me to draw and convey my own ideas and designs. I now understand what exactly is expected of a designer when he or she has to sketch out his or her own ideas for an upcoming or potential line.”
LdM, for Heather, was able to combine practical skills and amazing opportunities to give her a peak into the real fashion industry, and it were these opportunities that made her stay in Florence so worthwhile.
Heather is a Fashion and Textile Management and Product Development Major at NC State and had many great experiences with LdM, and many of these experiences could only happen in Italy, and I was curious as to which of these class exercises was her favorite and which she found most worthwhile.
What is the one experience, with fashion, that could have only happened to you in Italy?
“I was able to attend Pitto Uomo here in Florence for the Men’s Fashion Week, which was an amazing experience that allowed me to be right in the midst of the new up and coming fashions of a multitude of major fashion designers. I was able to see what the industry is actually like and what happens when major events such as these are put on to conduct business and get various designers’ collections out in the industry.”
It was great to hear about these experiences from another student’s perspective, and made me value my excursions with LdM even more. It was great to be able to see both the business side and everyday tasks of the fashion world, and really helped with my understanding of the demands of the fashion industry while showing the inspiration and power that fashion can give to a person.