The digital fashion industry requires new training solutions: the master of science in Digital Fashion Communication, double degree between Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France was designed to address the needs of the evolving fashion industry.
Among the courses, the students conduct Study Tours, an umbrella course for several field trips, directed by dr. Nadzeya Kalbaska and teaching assistant Tekila Harley Nobile.
This article will take you through the study tour which took place in Florence in October 2021 through the insights of the students Ilaria D’Amico and Lizaveta Zakharava.
Let’s travel back to October 2021 and dive into the atmosphere of the very first study tour we had in Florence. While the trip to the unspoken fashion capital lasted only two days, we were able to embark on a centuries-long fashion journey that began with authentic Scuola del Cuoio and ended at the historic Fondazione Cerratelli. Equally impressive, the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum and the Gucci Garden, representing the past and the future of the field, were another two stops on our fashion route.
Craftsmanship and production: Scuola del Cuoio
If we had to define the visit at Scuola del Cuoio with just one word we would say tradition. Visiting the Scuola del Cuoio was a journey into the history of the school, starting from when it has been founded - after World War II thanks to the collaboration between the Gori and Casini families and the Franciscan friars of the Monastery of Santa Croce - until now that is a famous and recognized school that trains great and unique leather masters and artisans, passing through the creation of the different collections.
Since the very beginning the technique used by the artisans was the craftmanship technique and during the years they transmitted this technique generation after generation to preserve it and to guarantee high-quality, as well as the true ‘made in Italy’. Moreover, we had the possibility to deepen our knowledge about the different kinds of leathers skins they use, how they select and work them. Some examples are Alligator skin, Lambskin, Ostrich skin.
Creative process, collection development: Ferragamo Museum
The Salvatore Ferragamo Museum features Salvatore’s drawings and designs from the 1920s till 1960s. The exhibition includes not only vintage Ferragamo shoes, archival photographs, books, and magazines but also sketches and silk scarves by avid traveler and designer’s daughter Fulvia Ferragamo. Designed under her direction, the pieces are displayed alongside the sources of Fulvia's inspiration: tender flowers, ancient books about flora and fauna, and even real stuffed wild animals. Upon visiting the museum, you will be pleasantly surprised by the video installation, which is comprised of animated drawings of modern artists' work. The Salvatore Ferragamo Museum is a place where the past meets the present, and it is here that we comprehend a vital truth: historical heritage preserves fashion and ensures its continuation.
Fashion in context, vision behind clothing, future of the industry: Gucci Garden
Situated in the historical center of Florence, the Gucci Garden attracts hundreds of fashion enthusiasts daily. We were not an exception, and, in the morning, we were posting pictures of recognizable pink tickets with unfeigned joy. As we walked up the stairs, we found ourselves in a subway car, which brought us to the romantic and bright future. After that, along with Gucci models, we walked down the field, had a five-minute party, and entered the Gucci Flora devoted fans paradise — an immersive space smelling like cult perfume. The highlight of the exposition was the impressive collection of sneakers, wall clocks, toys of all shapes and sizes, and dried butterflies in the mirrored endless room where you could easily get lost.
In the museum, all the spaces are devoted to a particular campaign, each inspired by a city and a decade: in less than an hour, we went almost on a world trip down Alessandro Michele’s vision of Gucci. The Gucci Garden Galleria is more than a museum, it is a multidimensional immersive space, which makes fashion more tangible and real.
Intrinsic connection between fashion and history, importance of archiving: Fondazione Cerratelli
Our last visit was at Fondazione Cerratelli, a foundation that exhibits an important collection of theatre and film costumes. Here, we were able to discover and understand the relation that cinema and theatre have on fashion and vice versa.
By visiting this Fondazione, we saw some historical patterns belonging to a broad collection used to realize important and high-quality garments for the cinematographic or theatral world.
This foundation has many collections of garments used in various occasions during important artistic exhibitions. For example, they have the costumes from the 1968 film Romeo and Juliet, which made Danilo Donati win an Oscar for the best costume design. Here we understood how considering the past means building the future.
At this point our fashion adventure came to an end. Engaging in such study tour allowed us to network with industry experts, build professional contacts, and dive into the world of fashion.