Backstage secrets

by Marco De Micheli

Backstage secrets

From the fashion show workshop.
Now that the spotlights are off and we can breathe a sigh of relief, after many months in the workshop, here are the secrets of the fashion show that took place at the end of April.


A peek behind the scenes reveals meticulous research. The inspirational theme for this year’s show was “The Journey”, interpreted by students in diverse ways: from the creation of traditional elements of travel, such as suitcases and means of transportation (trains, motorbikes), to the arrival at distant destinations represented by a fusion of ethnicities, to an almost mystical journey into outer space.

The students invented clothing that was often transformable, reversible and adaptable, expressing an idea of dynamic movement. For example: oversized pants that become skirts, jackets with sculptural sleeves similar to superhero costumes, clothing scattered with identification labels, jackets that incorporate suitcases and that can be transformed into luggage and “spacesuits” made of wool or gabardine. There were also dark reversible coats and jackets with glimpses of color in architectural shapes. 

The fabrics used were almost always re-worked: printed, embroidered, appliqued and otherwise treated. The idea of movement and travel, whether touristic, exploratory or urban, inspired the students to create total looks, with special attention given to accessories that were also designed and created by the students.

The Accademia Italiana’s fashion show brought to mind a giant suitcase out of which emerged outfits that were contemporary, vintage and re-worked, with a historic or futuristic look, in a harmonious “confusion” that captured a contemporary, dynamic way of dressing. 

In terms of materials, fabrics that stood out included wool that was matted, distressed and embroidered, made more noticeable in braiding and unusual structures. There was also the softness of silk and glove leather or transparent plastic and denim, not to mention tapestry, crocodile leather, Napa and suede. On the runway, looks were not complete without large patchwork bags and jewelry created with hardware bolts or reflective plastic, men’s hats covered with buttons and shoes with wedges of inlaid wood.

* Fashion design professor at Accademia Italiana, Florence