Monday, 23 May 2011

Art+Fashion/ The Graduate Exhibition of F.I.T.'s students

F.I.T (Fashion Institute of Technology) has a long history in Florence. For the past years, F.I.T is sharing a partnership with Polimoda Institute of Design and Marketing here in Florence as Polimoda is the host institution.

Last week, the F.I.T students that studied in Florence for more than the past 8 months presented their creations, fashion or art related along with their books of inspiration and designs. In general I can say that we saw a lot of draping but also clean cut lines and well tailored looks.

My most favorite creations came from Gianni Inglese (second set of pictures) that combined soft and strong materials as well as Robert Jakacki
with his clean lines and simple architectural silhouettes (first pic, fifth set of pictures).

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Artisans and the Palazzo

For three days, the private Giardino Corsini here in Florence is open to the public thanks to the annual Florentine Artisans fair "Artigianato e Palazzo" (link)!

Today is the last day and the weather unfortunately is not as good as yesterday or the day before, but if you see this post and you still manage, you should definitely go and visit it, as it was extremely interesting to see so many artisans from different fields gathered in one -such a wonderful- place.

What I loved the most was the fact that some of the greatest bespoke Florentine artisans such as the Scuola del Cuoio, Saskia and Profumeria Lorenzo Villoresi were all there. They all have a special history here in Florence and as the bespoke trend is currently evolving worldwide, it's nice to see their work and talk to them in such a relaxed environment. Furthermore, photographer Juri Ciani presented his photography exhibition under the title "le mani, le cose, la passione" (the hands, the things, the passion) with sets of pictures from the artisans' hands and something from their personal working spaces. It closely reminded me of this post I made back in January. Beautiful pictures I would love to see this exhibition travel to other places after the end of the fair.

As for the end, the last set of pictures just demonstrates the laid-back attitude of the crowd! Loved these ladies!

Thursday, 12 May 2011


I'm in Florence the last five months and I have to confess that only one shop makes me want to visit it again and again. Boutique Nadine is not only close to my home, doesn't only keep it interesting with the frequent window display changes, but also has a great and very well curated selection of clothes. Some of them are designed by the boutique's owner, some are selected from Italian designers and in the back of the boutique there is a great selection of vintage findings!

Today I visited the second and brand new store that they opened recently (offering menswear as well) and my hand kept on selecting dresses tagged with the heart-shaped brand "Vivetta". After some research, I found that the brand is Italian (o
k..what else could it be with the -etta, right?) and that it is one of the most upcoming brands of the moment!

What I most like about this brand is that the designer Vivi Ponti is not afraid to be playful with the shapes or the fabrics! Another reason why I liked this brand is that I found out that one of my most favorite stylists Eva Fontanelli was wearing Vivetta clothes when Sartorialist captured her in the below -already saved in my laptop- pictures!

Discover Vivetta at

Eva Fontanelli picture source: Sartorialist

Monday, 9 May 2011

New Kid from Italy

New Kid is basically Rachel. Our story goes like this: I received a mail with the lookbook and the photoshoot and everything was written in Italian plus the photoshoot took place in the Italian -easily recognizable- sea side.

Three days ago and after many unsuccessful tries, we finally met and on the way to Palazzo Vecchio I prepared my best Italian vocabulary to greet her!...But no! Instead of the Italian I imagined, I found an Australian and a cute dog plus her Italian collaborator Imma (now all the Italian make sense). We went for a beer (or two) we talked about Italy, furnished kitchens, shoes, blogging, Australia, Japan, shoes, Italy, studies,shoes... and when I got back, I realized why this brand actually make so much sense to me.

Rachel designs shoes that are easy to wear, fit any wardrobe (even Rachel's mom wears them) and most importantly, they are 100% Rachel. She loves wearing flat shoes, so why not design them as well for all of us that are desperate flat-lovers/seekers of some uniquely designed ones? Furthermore, she moved all the production from China to Italy and now all these shoes have the "oh so precious" tag of "Made in Italy" and they are produced in a small factory just outside Florence!

You can find New Kid mostly online right now (check here for stockists) but I'm pretty sure, soon the world will be full of New Kids!

New Kid at

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The IOU project

Bianca aka Battered Couture was a liiiitle bit faster than me in posting the "I Owe You" video when it was apparently sent to both of us! As my philosophy generally is not post something that has already been mentioned elsewhere (and Bianca's posts are more than inspiring every time) it took me some long hours just watching again and again the video, being impressed by this project and having numerous thoughts in my mind without thinking of possibly re-posting it. But thoughts like:

"..machines create clothes so that we can all dress th
e same way...But, don't we all want to be unique? Express our differences? Respect the environment?"

...deserve to not only be re-posted but actually be further discussed. As the matter of where creativity starts and ends in the fast fashion world that we are living in,
the IOU project actually proposes something different. "Instead of mass producing standard clothing, they have found great European craftsmen to assemble each piece that has been weft by Indian weavers , one at a time. Then the consumer by tracking each individual piece, knows the whole story behind the garment that he is wearing"!

How many of us can actually say that they
know the story behind what they are wearing right now? Or, how many of us read the tags "Made in Bangladesh or China" and actually know or think of what this means?
The I Owe You project is launching in just one week from today, and I thought it would be interesting to ask a few more questions the team behind IOU. Enjoy the small interview and don't forget to check the official site here.

Q - Can people track the craftsmen behind each piece of clothing?

Yes that was a very important part of the project. We have documented , interviewed and filmed each and every one of the artisans involved in our project ( right now we work with 223 weavers ) Each artisan has his own code and we track each piece of cloth thr
ough the entire process to be able to tell its complete story.
Of course since each piece is unique it has its own QR code that takes you to the entire story of the product, the video/pictures of the artisan who made the fabric in India and the artisans who made the garment in Europe.
And if you feel like it you can take your picture and add it to the story of that piece. All of this can be looked at and shared from our website.Q - Do these craftsmen get paid a higher wage?

Yes the IOU Weavers are getting paid more for their work and not only that we are working with local NGO´s to start an entrepreneurial fund in their villages headed by the artisans and pay extra into it from the sale of each of their
patterns so that they themselves can turn into investors in their own villages . These artisan communities live in the harshest of conditions but we found them to be extremely proud of their craft and very keen to preserve their independence and attract their children back to it. Our dream is to work with more and more families.

Q - Are they all from India?

The weavers of the Madras check at this stage of the project are from the tamil nadu region of India. We are also producing a line of real plant Indigo dyed hand woven selvedge denim made in Japan. We then bring the fabric into Europe and work with European craftsman in Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain to turn these into beauti
fully hand crafted pieces of clothing. The european artisan has suffered tremendously in these last decades as well and our aim with this project was to bring back work and pride and a competitive product to them. The great part of the project has been the collaboration and understanding between everyone to make this work as they all understood that this was truly for everyones benefit.
Q - How can such a collection be advertised when each garment is different from the others?

We are crazy enough to take upon ourselves the herculean task of photographing every single individual piece since each one is UNIQUE.
We have had to turn the entire production system of our european partners and our own company on its head as every lungi( Piece of woven fabric ) woven by the weavers is a different pattern from the other.
You will see that clearly on our website

If i were to sum up the IOU Project i would say that it has been a study in the creation of a Prosperity chain; an experiment to rethink how goods are produced and sold in a way that benefits everyone.
We Believe:
In empowering the Artisan
In celebrating Uniqueness
In our right to Transparency
We believe in the power of Technology to make these happen.

...So, any thoughts?


My photo
fashion lover but most of all style seeker