The Many Shapes of Art & Fashion

Article and Photo by Ariana Andretta

To conclude the Spring 2017, FLY & FAST of Florence University of the Arts held its last showcase on Tuesday, May 2nd. The final theme was “The White Party,” which highlighted students’ innovative use of an often-overlooked material, straw, in the forms of hats.

A highlight of the night was the runway display of models who brought these pieces to life. According to FLY & Fast’s social media guru for this semester, Olivia, the theme of the show pulled from spheres of influence such as P. Diddy’s infamous white parties and the overall idea of luxury. She explained that the goal was to “make everything seem more elegant and a step-up of a party.” Guests could also become personally engaged through the interactive ability to dress to the theme.

Since the end is nearing, Olivia also reflected a bit on how this experience has shaped her time in Florence. She shared that being the social media coordinator for FLY & FAST has taught her about “the Italian side of business opposed to the American side we have come to know.” The beauty of experiential learning based educational programs such as this one is getting a sense of what it would be like actually working in this industry, which is something students can take home with them to apply to their future.

The models were accompanied by a live acoustic performance throughout the evening to create a relaxed ambiance in the background for guests. Similar to the 90s catwalks played on screens at the first FLY event, this was an activity to make everyone connect more to the material being showcased. There was an artisanal atmosphere mixed with entertainment based activities, proving that the event included a little taste of something for everyone.

To put a cap on the night, there was a special dance performance from FUA’s choreography workshop class taught by Keith Ferrone. When asked about the inspiration behind the piece, Keith shared that the students had “free realm of putting what their experience was in Florence into dance.” They used different stimuli from all aspects of art they encountered during their these past few months.

The experience of studying and living abroad is one that will last a lifetime. Despite the cliché sentiments that this phrase may initially suggest, it still rings true because of community involved events like FLY. The garden was a sociocultural bubble of students, professors, and locals alike because everyone came with the same intent of participating in a night of fashion and fun.

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