Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fashion's Night Out - Milan

Thursday, September 9th was the 2nd annual Vogue Fashion's Night Out in Milan.  I love that I've gotten to experience the event in NYC as well as Milan.  Fashion's Night Out is the brainchild of Anna Wintour, Editor of Vogue, who thought it would be a great way to get people excited about fashion and shopping again after a rough downturn in the industry during the recession.

I attended the events in Milan around Montenapoleone area which is the high end shopping street.  Guests were able to shop and browse while enjoying a free drink and snacks in many of the stores.  In some, the line to get a glass of champagne was ridiculous.  People love free drinks!  

Highlights of the night: seeing the shoppers' outfits of course!  They were more toned down than the ones I saw in NYC, but that fits Italian style.  Shoes especially: there are still cobblestone streets in Milan which means stilettos are a risky choice.  It was fun to see Armani in person too.  I actually enjoyed walking through the Valentino store which was surprising after the intense Valentino project last semester (which I'm wearing in the last picture!).  My favorite shop of the night was Maison Martin Margiela.  Amazing designs, shapes, footwear, etc.  The shop itself was even cool because it wasn't right on the main street.  We found it tucked away behind some bushes and walked through the gravel front entryway while a DJ was spinning.    

Angela and Marico at the station

Live shoe models in a shop window modeled shoes on their hands and feet

Giorgio Armani broadcasting from his own store

In the Armani store - she's being interviewed... but I'm not sure who she is.  I think I saw several famous Italians that night but I didn't know who I was seeing!

A woman hand knitting ties in a shop window

Angela in front of the crowd

The Moschino window was eye catching

Live models in Versace - I loved this one because she looked like a mannequin


Friday, September 24, 2010

I'm starting my year abroad in Milan, Italy.  I will be studying for my 5th and 6th semester at Fashion Institute of Technology through a program at Politecnico di Milano.  FIT has a full program at their Bovisa campus.  I chose to study abroad because of the amazing experiences offered, the chance to learn about fashion from a different perspective, and in hopes of learning another language.

Practicing Italian gestures before we leave NYC

View of the Alps during my flight.  There are some mountain tops visible from  Milan far in the distance.

Angela unpacking in our residence hall room.  It's a nice facility but I'm ready to be in an apartment!

Certosa Residence - the one window with the shades up is our room.

Like I've seen in several big cities, the people of Milano are generally in shape.  The lifestyle of walking everywhere and eating very fresh foods without preservatives is wonderful.  I still have a hard time understanding how they manage to eat brioche every morning and yet maintain their figures...
Cappuccio and brioche for breakfast

Needle and thread near Cadorna Stazione.  It represents the transportation lines of Milano but I think it's fitting for representing fashion around Milano.

Navigli canals in the southern part of the city.  Pretty area.

Standing in front of a little covered area connected to the canals where women used to wash the family's clothes

Across the street from the residence hall where I will spend my first month in Milan, there is a supermercato.  I got this picture but got caught and scolded when I tried to take another shot of a can of "Prin-goooaaals."  Soccer (excuse me, futbol) is serious business here but fotos at the supermercato are not allowed.

Tomato sauce?  Yeah, we have that.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The World through Kids' Eyes

Luggage room was at a premium when I went home for winter break from school so I couldn't bring back good kid gifts.  Instead, I took my friend Kandy and her boys, Brandon and Dillon, to the Science Center of Iowa

Kandy, Brandon, Dillon

We did all sorts of exploring - watching a ball roll along roller coaster tracks

Tugging a rope strung through pulleys to lift a large tire

Watching balls travel through a maze of fans and obstacles

There was a small replica of a cave in the Iowa nature room.  The boys were a little scared to go into the dark cave and they really didn't want anything to do with this (fake) bat!  I told them it wasn't real, but Brandon informed me that since it was making noise, it had to be real.  I didn't bother to point out the speakers playing the noise.  Later Brandon said the cave was his favorite part of the trip.  :)

Kandy's favorite part was the (real) snapping turtle!  He's friendly and comes up to greet you through the glass hoping for treats.

Watching the pendulum.  Due to the Earth's magnetic force, it naturally swings to one side enough to knock over a peg every five minutes.

The staff at the center were great with the kids.  It helped that we went during a blizzard so there was a lot of individual attention!  Brandon got to pet a box turtle and when Dillon touched a wet salamander, he said it felt like soap!

Oh those dimples!



This is always one of my favorite parts.

The bubble area was fun.  Color inspiration for a pastel line in the near future...

Self portraits on my iPhone.

We went to Under the Sea, an IMAX movie, while we were at the Science Center.  Kandy wasn't sure how the boys would do since they haven't really done movies in theaters.  This was a short documentary film with beautiful cinematography of underwater life narrated by Jim Carrey.  The theater surrounds you like a dome so it feels like you are really IN the movie.  I told Brandon and Dillon that there would be loud noises, but they don't have to be scared.  Well... as soon as the movie started with the loud music and overwhelming visuals, Brandon said (loud enough for most people there to hear), "I never even wanted to come here!"  Oh, I about died.  Great, my gift will be remembered as that scary place that Bree took us.  Ha!  Dillon was quiet, but he had a death grip on his chair because he felt like he was falling out since the action felt like real movement!  Brandon thought the titles were coming straight at him too.  We got through the initial fears though, and surprisingly, when scary sharks and fish snapped up others as a quick meal, the boys jumped but didn't seem too scared.  I was impressed.  Brandon asked a couple times when we could go home, but amazingly they made it through the movie!

Overall it was a really fun day and pretty exhausting for someone not used to full kid-speed!  The boys discussed the good stuff on the way home (maybe they'll block the bad memories of the scary movie!)  I was glad to spend some time with them.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wicked Beauty

Conjure an image of a beautiful but wicked ice queen and you'll be on the right track to imagining winter in Iowa.  In December of 2009, Iowa got more snow than they had seen since the 1800s.  Rough start.  While I was home there was a blizzard, an ice storm and more snow. 

Pine trees in the back yard after a melt-fog-frost combo froze.  It wreaked havoc on power lines causing major power outages around the state.

Storm likes eating the snow while she's outside.  Keep going girl, maybe we won't have to shovel.


The smiling rock in my parents' landscaping was peeking out of the snow suspiciously. 

After the ice storm.  Limbs break under the weight, power lines and poles fall, and vehicles slide, but there is an eerie beauty about everything outside.

Merry Christmas!

Coming home to dogs is the most joyful experience.  Storm didn't disappoint.  She wagged until she was close enough to smell and realize it was me - then she was excited and kept jumping up to "nose-bump" me (her version of kisses).  So sweet! 

Where does a poor, time-crunched college student shop?  At the school bookstore!

Mom and Dad wore their new FIT parent shirts with pride.

Me and my girl.  And a snowman.

Brian (bro-in-law) was super excited to receive an Ohio State light-up sign for his man cave.  Go Hawks!  Just have to throw that in to balance things out a bit.

 It's pretty clear my family loves our pups!  Carissa (sista) showing off a new calendar and socks.

Christmas went by quickly but we were able to spend it together which is the best part. 

Culture Shock

I'm an Iowa girl and until I moved away, I didn't realize the pride that I have about my roots.  It was great to get home for an extended break from school but it was also like culture shock returning to the Midwest.

The good kind of culture shock - homemade Christmas cookies.  Hoo boy.  Feel the love.

The bad kind of culture shock.  Fashion at the local Fareway.  Can you read her hat?  It says "Flirt."

Video games with shotguns - haven't seen that in NY yet.  Playing Buck Hunter at the small town Collins bar with Chuck.  Love the price of drinks (free that night!) 

I was startled by clucking noise in the dark as I walked into my Great Aunt Betty's house.  Her rooster was sitting on the porch hanging out.  Betty told us he has walked into the house before to get out of the cold.  Smart bird.  But the dogs weren't happy about it and Betty had to rescue him from the dogs!  I petted the rooster and was surprised at how soft the feathers were.  Perhaps more feathers in my future designs...  Iowa inspiration.

It was good to be home again.