Fashion Education Immersions
Throughout my long tenure in fashion education, I have enriched the learning experience of my students at Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) and Stevenson University by arranging yearly, private trips, to the New York City garment industry and overseas. Students and Faculty gained cross-cultural competence by visiting key fashion companies, department stores, textile houses, manufacturing plants, museums, and schools in Belgium, France, Greece, Ireland, London, Italy, Morocco, Sicily, and Spain. The trips included workshops at local fashion institutions, fashion shows, behind the scenes of retail stores, costume exhibits, textile plants, fashion design houses, trade shows, bespoke ateliers, and home-based cottage industries.
Milan & Trussardi
My most recent tour, which I organized for Stevenson University for students and faculty, was a trip targeting the Italian fashion industry. We arrived in Milan, where we toured the luxury retail center of the Trussardi Group. The Creative Directors of the company welcomed the group and eagerly shared the design process of developing high-end clothing and accessory lines through a collaborative team effort.
Although the design rooms at Trussardi are off limits to visitors, the doors were opened to us. Later during our stay in Milan, we observed a technical Transformational Reconstruction pattern draping demonstration conducted by local artisan, Cristina Stoica.
Florence, Gucci and Ferragamo Museums
The group then traveled to Florence where we explored historic and contemporary Italian fashion via private tours of the Gucci and Ferragamo museums. In nearby Prato where much of Made in Italy apparel is manufactured, we participated in lectures about the Italian Historic and Contemporary Fashion System conducted by the Director of Fashion Art Italy, Serena Fumanti. The students, faculty, and guests on the trip were also able to observe new computer aided patternmaking software being developed by the Beccaglia Machine S.R.L. Company. Serena was so impressed by the Stevenson student’s knowledge of computer-aided design that she invited them to beta test their system. A journalist from the Il Tirreno, Prato’s local newspaper was on hand to capture Stevenson University’s Study Abroad visit to Prato. Stevenson students made front-page news!
Prato, Prato Textile Museum and Luxury Couture House of Roberto Cavalli
In Prato, the group visited the Prato Textile Museum and the luxury couture house of international fashion designer, Roberto Cavalli. At Cavalli, we observed the process of textile printing and design, met with the Creative Directors, and got to see the construction room, which is usually off limits to visitors, where the first samples of the couture clothing for the American and European performing stars are created. The highlight of the trip was the exhibit of the work created by the Stevenson students, which pays homage to Italian fashion designers. The Io, Tu, e La Moda Italiana exhibit, which first debuted at Stevenson University and then was shown at the Pecci Museum. A few industry leaders including the Creative Directors from both the Haute Couture design houses of Roberto Cavalli and Emilio Pucci attended the event. It was an amazing educational experience for the students that combined classroom learning in the States with field learning in Europe.
Organize a Fashion Excursion in the U.S. or Overseas
(Interested in organizing a highly tailored fashion excursion in the U.S. or overseas? Feel free to contact me below.)