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Cover photo by the author

Every two years the contemporary art world fills the ancient palaces, shipyards and city gardens of Venice. The ancient city bursts at the seams with the most thought-provoking contemporary trends in painting, sculpture, installations, sound works, performance and everything in between. La






historic public gardens (Giardini), the

of the exhibition, chosen by Rugoff,

contemporary art exhibition held

former Navy shipyard and armory

quotes a fictitious proverb invoked

bi-annually in Venice for over a

(Arsenale) and scattered throughout


century. In this year’s 58th biennale,

the city in historic palaces and

The phrase has been cited multiple

Curator Ralph Rugoff, Director of


times over several decades by world

the Hayward Gallery in London since

Biennale also includes 87 national


2006, has chosen 83 living artists

pavilions, and there are 21 collateral

crisis, continual states of shock and

from all over the world, including

events and peripheral exhibitions

a sense of never-ending catastrophe.

more women than in the exhibition’s

promoted by non-profit national and

Rugoff anchors the exhibition to this

history, and many artists born after

international institutions. May You

quote, reflecting on the present-day

1980. Artists’ works are located in the

Live in Interesting Times, the title

manufacturing and questioning of










"fake news." He has chosen artists who present alternative

can never know “what is white.” In his film, images of

points of view rather than “alternative facts.” He has

white supremacy and the LA riots from the 1990s run

not presented a theme for invited artists to respond to,

alongside footage of the white people Jaffa knows and

instead he provides a platform for the artists’ work to


provoke a dialogue with the audience. His hope is that

Friend and sometime collaborator, Kahlil Joseph, is

this quote, “May you live in interesting times,” can be

an artist and filmmaker, whose work spans cultural

turned from a curse to a challenge of transforming the

media, fine art and cinema. His most notable works in

current times into interesting ones.

popular culture are his projects with Beyoncé and Flying

Many of the 83 artists’ works in the exhibition address

Lotus- short films that fall somewhere between music

shared concerns, such as walls/boundaries/borders,

video and avant-garde cinema. Poetically situating high

alternative realities/identities, ways of seeing and

and low culture visual imagery, his project BLKNWS

unseeing, parallel worlds and forms of division. Rugoff

(2018-ongoing), created for the Biennale, navigates the

has structured the exhibition in two parts: Proposition

world of “fake news”, where anything can make headlines.

A, held in the Arsenale, and Proposition B, located in the

Non-linear and non-reductive thinking manifests in the

Central Pavilion in the Giardini; asking each of the artists

split screen juxtapositions of YouTube clips of Honey Boo

to create two totally different works for the occasion.

Boo, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Martin Luther King and

The artists’ two different works present differing points

sports imagery. BLKNWS is an artwork and a business,

of view and signal the power of art as a unique space. This

and throughout the exhibition, real-time footage of

space values the questioning and viewing of ambivalences

unfolding events will be inserted into the ongoing loop.

and its capacity to deal with paradox, contradiction and

National Pavilions of note: Poland, Switzerland, United

complexity in an increasingly polarized political reality.

States and Lithuania. For the Polish Pavilion, Roman







Stańczak presents a single object. Flight is a private



luxury jet turned inside out. Used by the top 1%, this is a commentary on wealth inequality in the former

is known and unknown. She won the Silver Lion for a

communist country. The dismembered airplane puts

Promising Young Participant for her work inspired by the

light on the 2010 plane crash in Russia that killed then

1940 Adolfo Bioy Casares novel, The Invention of Morel.

Polish president and other members of the government,

In her award-winning pieces, she explores the perpetual

as well as pointing to the leader of the Law and Justice

dislocation of past, present and future as well as the

party, which can be widely seen as eroding democratic

eternally distancing states of imagined relationships.

freedoms in Poland today.

Indian artist Shilpa Gupta addresses the arbitrariness

In the Swiss Pavilion, Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz

and repressive nature of national borders in her work.

share how a simple gesture of Moving Backwards

She works with everyday objects, installation and sound

adopts the physical body language of backing away

to speak of the lived experiences of the Radcliffe Line,

from governments with whom they disagree on borders,

which divided India and Bangladesh in 1947. For, in

gender and progressive movements of society.

your tongue, I cannot fit (2017-2018), 100 microphones,

American sculptor, Martin Puryear, gives us Liberty /

suspended from the ceiling, broadcast the silenced

Libertà, sculptures that at first glance may seem part of a

voices (in Arabic Azeri, English, Hindi, Russian) of 100

minimalist or formalist tradition, but slowly reveal their

poets, from the seventh century to today, who have been

subtle references to the history of the African American

imprisoned for their political leanings.

experience in the United States.





navigating the discarded cultural ephemeral of what





Winner of the Golden Lion for Best National Participation,

(2012-ongoing) by South African visual activist Zanele



Lithuanian artists, Rugilè Barzdžiukaitè, Vaiva Grainytè

Muholi, is a series of larger-than-life black and white

and Lina Lapelytè bring their respective worlds of writing,

photographs from her evolving archive of black South

filmmaking, theater and

African lesbians, which showcases the importance of

makeshift beach constructed in an old warehouse.This is

black representation and of writing one’s own self.

where performers, along with beachgoers, operatically

Los Angeles artists taking center stage are Arthur

sing ordinary stories. Sun & Sea (marina) Opera-

Jaffa and Kahlil Joseph. Jaffa draws from found images,

performance for 13 voices is a durational performance

historical photographs, music videos and news footage

activated once weekly, and otherwise the remnants seen

regarding the black body. In his video, The White Album

from above, broadly address issues of climate change

(2019), which won him the prestigious Golden Lion for

and consumerism. The exhibition is open to the public 11

the Best Participant, he questions the construction of

May - 24 November 2019. More information can be found

what it means to be white from the vantage point of a

black person and how the black person must know, yet 2

performance together on a




by Syndey Pogue

Photo from Unsplashed

Anyone can tell you that Florence (especially during the summer) is flocked by thousands of locals and tourists alike. Ergo, anyone can argue that there are as many different ways to experience Florence as there are people who explore it. But have you ever considered experiencing this city through the ambery-golden lense of a craft beer? If you haven’t, I’d certainly recommend it. Like with wine, I have come to find out that beer has become an integral part of not only the Italian palate, but of Italian culture as a whole. Although, it wasn’t always this way. For centuries, beer in Italy was far overshadowed by its more popular counterpart, wine. It was only around a century ago that beer started to become more elemental within Italian culture, making it incredibly young, comparatively. This hasn’t deterred the Italians from integrating this beverage into their daily life, as there are now many brewpubs dedicated to helping everyone explore the world of beer. In the air of discovering Italy from this perspective, I visited three of said brewpubs to discover exactly what it was I was missing out on. And I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The first place I visited was a gastropub called “Pint of View” at Borgo Tegolaio, 17. Alongside a clever name, this little pub seems to extend creativity into their menu. They offer a nice variety of beer-many coming from different microbreweries in Italy while often including some options from Germany and Belgium. A personal favorite of mine was “Seta Special,” brewed by Birrificio Rurale. Better yet, this pub has a unique twist in cultural palate. Much of their food menu is of Korean influence, offering unique appetizers, main courses and desserts (with vegan options included). To top all that, there is free wifi included, putting a bow on the already pleasant experience. Another gastropub I went to was called Diorama. Located on Via Pisana, 78/9, this pub makes for a great scene for those who enjoy an eclectic mix of music taste complemented by a collage of posters, trinkets and unique decorations, 3

all of which ornament the small space. They also offer a

television screen, Black Lodge makes for a great place to

menu of food options, ranging from paninis to tagliere di

be for those seeking that classic pub vibe. While this pub

formaggi. Most pertinent however, is that they also host

may have the signature look, they go above expectations

a nice selection of craft beers to choose from. Personally,

when it comes to their beer selection. Changing their

I went with their Pilsner from Rothhaus. It was crisp,

options every week, they often host many beers from

light and certainly refreshing enough to rejuvenate my

microbreweries in Italy. But, keeping in similar intent as

palate for the last leg of my journey.

the other two, Black lodge seems to make an additional

Last, but certainly not least, is Black Lodge, located on

effort to include craft beers from other European

Piazza del Tiratoio, 6R. Speckled with round wooden

breweries beyond Italian borders.

tables, stools, a small bar and adorned with a mounted

THE ITALIAN APERITIVO 100 YEARS LATER by Maryum Salim Photo from Unsplash

Aperitivo is an Italian tradition held between 7 pm and 9 pm that entails Italians enjoying one another’s company and the taste of wine, cocktails, cheeses, meats, pizzas and sometimes small portions of pastas. In Milan and northern cities, Aperitivo is said to be the most authentic since it originally started in northern Italy. The event of Aperitivo serves a purpose of allowing people to unwind after a typical day while initiating one’s appetite for dinner. Aperitivo is the time to drink an unusual flavored, or bitter, cocktail or a fine wine that goes well with this variety of salty hand foods. Over time, and with the 100 year mark of the Negroni cocktail, many places in Florence have grown to really accentuate the experience. In Florence, it is essential to try a Negroni cocktail during Aperitivo. The drink is a mix of Campari, Gin and Red Vermouth, garnished with orange slice; typically it is 1oz, 3cl Gin; 1oz, 3cl Red Vermouth and a slice of orange, but parts vary by region and the type of food that is served along with it. The origins of this drink were derived from Count Camillo Negroni. He wanted a stronger mix while visiting the Caffè Casoni in Florence, so he asked Fosco Scarselli to replace soda water for Gin, and a masterpiece was brought into existence. Many believe that the urge and inspiration for this swap was brought on by his travels abroad and his time in America where he worked as a cowboy.

In modern times, Aperitivo has evolved to sometimes replace dinner, although it is not supposed to, because

During Aperitivo, drinks are discounted and sometimes

of the buffet options that a lot of places offer. If one does

have added supplement to help enhance the various

not come from Aperitivo with a smile across their face or

flavors. Aperitivo is an opportunity to immerse into the

a newly-made friend, then it is safe to say they are not

culture and converse with the locals.

doing it right, especially here in Florence!




FRIARS AND PERFUMES By Emily Lock, Kelly Vilbig, Gabrielle Acurso Florence has many sights to offer its

their remedies to the public. When

Acqua Della Regina which was the

visitors. Piazza Santa Maria Novella

the black plague hit Florence, the

perfume created by the Dominican

is no exception. This piazza draws

Dominicans monks played a critical


people in with the beautiful basilica

role in the treatment of individuals

before her marriage to the King

and wonderful food surrounding the

suffering from the deadly disease.

of France. The museum contains

square. But just one minute away

Now over 400 years since they first

original apothecary equipment and

from the piazza sits one of Europe’s

opened to the public, the Officina

machinery used by the monks to









Profumo Farmaceutica still sells their

develop their products throughout

Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria

product to the people of Florence,

the years.

Novella is one of Florence’s best kept

as well as cities in Europe, United

The Officina Profumo Farmaceutica

secrets that is teeming with history.

States, Australia, Japan, and Korea.

offers visitors a view into the history

The Officina Profumo Farmaceutica

The building itself has been restored,

of medicinal practices and a chance

originates from 1221 when Dominican

and today functions as a shop and

to take home some of their traditional

monks came to Florence and began

free museum. The store sells soaps,

products. This shop has a proud

using herbs from their gardens as

perfumes, and other body care items.

history and is a unique experience

medicinal remedies. In 1612, the

Most products are made original

for anyone who enters.

monks opened their doors to sell

from the historic recipes, such as

ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM SOCIAL MEDIA? by Mackenzie Gellner Photo by the author

The photo-sharing media giant Instagram is useful for

Italy is known as a popular tourist destination with its

catching up with your family and friends’ lives, keeping

historic art and architecture. Though it is as beautiful

up-to-date on trendy news, and also for sharing your life

online as it is off, the photo isn’t always capturing

through a snapshot (or several).








psychologist practicing in Florence, explains how the However, social media can cause a person to step out

beautiful architecture within Florence, such as the

of their experience because they become too focused

Duomo, isn’t necessarily being lived, but captured.

on showing others they are having a good time. This is especially noted when traveling because users are drawn

“It becomes important to you, and real, when you take

into capturing every moment to share with their friends,

the shot and you send it. You post it, then it means OK

family and other followers.

you’ve been there, you’ve experienced it. No, it means 5

you’re great at taking pictures. But what are your feelings

Similar situation to the historic monuments are all the

about it? How are you comparing this to other things?”

food photo-ops that occur. According to the Journal of Consumer Psychology, evaluating food before it’s eaten

In Florence, for example, heavily visited tourist spots

makes the meal less enjoyable because it can affect a

are the Duomo, Gucci Garden and every gelato or pizza

person’s satiation or satisfaction of eating it.

haven. As stunning as all these spots are, every photo is a snapshot not a storybook.

Dr. Mary Ann Bellini describes her own experience with these types of situations when she attended an art show,

Endless crowds gather around the cathedral in the Piazza

which featured works by Leonardo da Vinci, where she

del Duomo, posing and taking photos of the historic

explains seeing 90% of attendees taking photos of the

monument from every possible angle. The difference


between the reality and social media version is the subtraction of the hectic walk through these photoshoots

“It’s making it into something that is not your experience

under the beaming sun. People are frustrated and the

unless you take the picture and send it to others,” she

temperature is hot, but that is not seen in the post under


the caption “Summer Vibes.” “Look at this beautiful sculpture, you’re never going to When photographing monuments, Dr. Mary Ann Bellini

see it again because I think it came from England, it’s

doesn’t believe it should be about getting the perfect

from the 1500s or 1300s, it’s right there in front of you.

angle for your Instagram; it should spark feelings and

You can see and move all around it, look at it. What do


you see? Don’t just take the snap of it and then say, ‘Ok, I’ve seen the show.”

“Imagine that period of time, what do you feel about this, what does it give you? Sadness, excitement, does it make you feel emotionally involved? That’s what I think is the most negative [about social media],” she states.

IL GIARDINO DEI SEMPLICI by Sydney Pogue Photo by Sailko from Wikipedia

Imagine sitting quietly on a park bench underneath a tree. You take a deep breath in, golden rays of sun peek through the gaps in the forest canopy and cast you in a dappled checkerboard of dark and light. You can smell aromas ranging from sweet to tangy, pine laden, and grassy notes accented with a tinge of citrus— all of which reside harmoniously in one place. The best part is, you are not only sitting contently in a garden, but you are sitting in one of the oldest medical gardens in the world. The Orto Botanico-Giardino dei Semplici, which simply goes by the name of “Giardino dei Semplici,” is a botanical garden that resides within the heart of the city. Its official creation was at the hands of Cosimo I de’Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany at the time, who officially inaugurated the garden on December 1st, 1545. Initially dedicated to the medicinal discovery of plants, it eventually became a vital source of knowledge for not only nearby medical schools and hospitals, but has been 6


an influential source to pharmacological research as a

all concentrically frame an elegant fountain at the very


center of this park, which in itself has become a tiny ecosystem for small fish and water species.

That isn't to say the influence of this garden has come without any hardship though. Unfortunately, in the Fall

As part of the Museum of Natural History of the University

of 2014, a storm hit Florence and resulted in severe

of Florence, Giardino dei Semplici is also dedicated to

damage to the grounds. However, after a few years of

providing an enjoyable experience for those who have

recovery, and dedicated care on behalf of the University

disabilities, such as sight impairment. The garden claims

of Florence, the garden is now again open to the public.

on their website to have flowers which are “sensory, tactile, and olfactory‌ specially designed for our sight-

Over the years, Giardino dei Semplici has come to

impaired visitors�. In this way, the university has put a

accumulate various flora and fauna that reach outside

commendable effort into obtaining knowledge of various

the parameters of Tuscan medicinal study. In fact,

species beyond the Tuscany region, all the while making

there are also food plants, oaks, ornamental plants,

an effort to educate the public amidst a scenic stroll.

mesophilous plants and even poisonous plants, amongst many others for those curious enough. The garden is also

Better yet, for any students of the Tuscany region,

decorated with the occasional park bench, stone chairs

this endeavor is completely free. The gardens offer an

and tables, and a small pond. For those more invested in

opportunity to those who are not only interested in the

the historical aspects, there exists some greenery that is

history of matters regarding botany or pharmacology,

hundreds of years old. One such specimen is a yew tree,

but also provide a peaceful stroll on a summer afternoon.

known specifically as a Taxus Baccata, which was planted

Either way, it is certainly a simple, yet spontaneous

in 1720. All of these unique and interesting attractions

adventure worth considering.

WELLNESS ON THE ARNO by Anna-Marie Kimberling, Lauren Allen Photo by the author

Florence is a city in which many people find themselves

oil for butter. The Mediterranean diet leaves a lasting

on a pursuit of health and wellness. From changing their

impact on the gastronomy system, and if coupled with

diets to a Mediterranean version, or participating in more

exercise, overall health may improve.

physical activities, it is a place where you can better

The Mediterranean lifestyle follows a diet inspired by the

yourself both mentally and physically. Even if you are

eating habits of countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy.

only visiting Florence for a few days, it is recommended

It developed in the late 1960s and was first published

that you eat more fruits and vegetables, substituting olive

in 1975 by Ancel and Margaret Keys (Keys, 1975). The 7

principles of this diet are based on the high consumption

and leads to longer, healthier lives (Ströhle, 2009). If ever

of olive oil, fish, legumes and vegetables followed by the

traveling to Florence, Italy, it’s recommended to bring a

moderate consumption of dairy products and wine. The

good pair of walking shoes and a water bottle.

diet benefits heart health and is said to lower risk of mortality.

A main destination for those looking to participate in sports and leisure is the Arno River, where many sporting

In the center of Florence you can find a multitude of

activities take place.

restaurants. However, diet is not the only reason for better health and wellness of the citizens of Florence.

There are two main rowing clubs in Florence that use the Arno for their practices. These row clubs promote

Locals and tourists alike use walking or biking as their

physical fitness and also give many a way of bonding

main form of transportation, as most of the ideal sights

with those around them, strengthening ties with old and

and destinations are within a reasonable distance from

new friends. Standing over the river, where the rowers

the city center. While this might not seem like it would

practice, are a multitude of scenic bridges where anyone

affect one’s health and wellness, this daily exercise

can take a stroll for both exercise and sightseeing.

actually holds a huge impact on our health, both mental and physical. An active lifestyle has been shown to improve

There are many reasons to visit Florence, from the

mental health; exercise reduces the negative symptoms

beautiful, rich culture to wanting to learn a healthier way

associated with depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD and

of living. This city is the perfect place to pursue one’s

other traumatic events. It also promotes a healthy heart

health and wellness.

THE FAMILY AND THE BRIDGE by Anna-Marie Kimberling, Lauren Allen

The Medici family played a drastic role in why Florence

role in the lifestyles of the citizens, and so they decided

flourishes the way it does today. They not only changed

to act upon this sanitary problem. In 1593 Ferdinand I

the city itself, but they also impacted people all across

decreed that only jewelers and goldsmiths could reside

Italy. What began as a modest family of bankers, soon

on the Ponte Vecchio. This improved the quality of life of

grew into a prestigious group of people changing the

many citizens, as it brought in more wealth and a cleaner

lives their whole town. The Medici reign lasted through

environment. However more changes were soon to come.

the Renaissance period, and their history can been seen written on the walls throughout the city, from their

Although the Medici family lived and walked with the

palaces and statues, to the Vasari Corridor. The remnants

common man for years, the family soon set off on a pursuit

of their past tell the story of their relationship with the

of separation from the crowds. The initial idea was based

people of Florence and the city itself.

on the needs of one man, as it became challenging for the Grand Duke to freely move between his home and the

They’ve also shaped the architecture around them. In

government palace. In 1565, he had the Vasari Corridor

their daily lives, they often crossed the famous Ponte

constructed to run across the Ponte Vecchio, connecting

Vecchio bridge, which it is home to several shops since the

the Palazzo Vecchio to Uffizi. This gave the Medici family

13th century. For many years, butchers and fishmongers

a safe route of travel throughout the city, and also a way

occupied this space and would often dispose of their

to separate themselves from the more modest families.

waste products into the Arno River. This created not

Their changes brought the city into a new era, as well as

only a horrendous smell throughout Florence, but also

making them one of the wealthiest families in Italy.

a sanitary issue. The family knew the river played a key 8



FLY LOOK OF THE MONTH Model: Aisha Grady Photography: Corina Divito, Zuhra Rahmaty Styling: Corina Divito, Zuhra Rahmaty, Melonie Tang Summer has officially kicked off in

vibrant green Pucci pants, allows the

Italy, and it surely packs a punch! Are

funky patterns on the capris to stand

you trying to get out and explore the


beauty of the city? Join us and our

For shoes, we’ve paired a neutral

model, Aisha, as we take you through

wedge from the Italian brand Andrea

the beautiful streets of Florence.

Pierago. We think it’s best to stick to something more neutral for this

Here at FLY, we value staying true to

look to balance out the bold colors

your fashion identity while doing the

and prints of the outfit. Additionally,

things you love. It can be a struggle


to look cute while doing your regular

comfort and stability while out in

activities. Follow us on this journey as

the city and maneuvering through

we put together the perfect outfit to

the cobblestone streets.





help you look trendy while exploring the streets of Florence.

To accessorize, we’ve added a bag and a pop of green eyeshadow. We

At FLY, we are all about bold prints

decided to go with something that

and bright colors. We prefer to stand

matches the green tone of the look,

out from the crowd rather than blend

and this little clasp bag and eye look

in. This month’s FLY look is light and

does the trick.

airy but still very fashion forwardperfect for those days you’re out

With this outfit, you’re ready to

exploring the city and wanting to

explore Florence and look fabulous

look your best.

while doing it. Whether it be to gaze at

the beautiful view from

Inspired by the designs of Emilio

Piazzale Michaelangelo or take in

Pucci, we decided to pair green,

the breathtaking architecture of the

uniquely patterned capris, designed

Duomo, check out FLY for all your

by Pucci himself, with a cream-

summer wardrobe needs. We’ll be

toned, sleeveless silk blouse. The

sure to keep you looking trendy on

neutral-colored top paired with the

your adventures all summer long!


DITCH THE BLACK... OR AT LEAST WORK WITH IT by Sophie Lavigne, Leah Smith, Chloe Tomalin-Reeves and Taylor

Photos by the authors

energizing. Studies reported by psychology professor Norbert Schwarz at the University of Michigan, prove that infusing vibrancy to your closet can greatly impact your mood. Black will always be chic. By no means are we telling you not to wear it; however, there are constructive ways to integrate color into your typical all-black outfit. Merging small amounts of colour into your accessories can bring a mundane outfit to a whole new level. With that being said, FLY’s new emerging designer, Lavandalab, has an eye for color. Although she is mostly known for her signature color, lavender, she also features handmade designs with bold blues, yellows, purples and pinks. Lavandalab’s trademark piece is a tea-length-fullskirt that embodies creativity and self expression. Pair any of her statement bottoms with a simple white tee to give your everyday summer pieces a pop of color. Or if you are feeling more confident, here we paired her patterned cerulean palazzo pant with a striking silk top.

It’s no secret; colour is a game changer. To an all black outfit which, may speak to sophistication, adding a pop of color will brighten your mood and add a bold statement to any look. But why is wearing color important? Color portrays confidence, and you can’t make a first impression twice. Whether you realize it or not, what your put on the outside speaks to who you are on the inside. Studies show that wearing colour can assist you in exhibiting that inner morale. According to The Telegraph, 20% of 18-34 year olds reported wearing colour at the office assisted in gaining promotion. Additionally 20% of 25-34 year olds surveyed that it advanced their pay raise. For those of you with a fear of color, you can begin with incorporating navy blues or maroons. Slowly building your way up to brighter, more vibrant colors like reds, yellows and greens, wearing these colours can be 10



by Demah Al Balkhi, Chimnaz Ganbarova, Harmeet Kaur Bal, Huyen Truong Thuc Nguyen Photo from Unsplash

Do you ever wonder why matching





FLY (Fashion Loves You) has taken

your outfit isn’t a cherished trend?

gone from matching same colored/

on this trend. Here are some tips

Well, this article will unravel the

printed blazer with pants or even

and tricks to help you pull off a

issue of why this trend deserves to

wearing a monochromatic look.

fashionable matchy look! Keep in

be embraced more by fashion lovers.

mind, in order to achieve that matchy

Wearing matching outfits, or as

This concept of wearing a matching

trend you could also match your

we’re calling it, “matchy-matchy,” is

outfit and streetwear styles are

outfit to your shoes, like a yellow,

going to make it a lot easier for you

meant for each other, like a full neon

plaid trench coat dress can be paired

to start your day in trend rather than

outfit with top, bottom, outer cover

with the same yellow, plaid-printed

spending hours in front of the mirror

being neon and nude boots.

boots, so indulge in prints.

deciding what goes well with what. Wearing be









forget about the small details-the

can it

isn’t impossible. On the runway,

Luxury brands, like Versace, have

best way to create a matching outfit


is by adding accessories.





the trend which trickled down to

Don’t be scared because you won’t

Florentine boutiques like Dixie.

know it until you try it!


FERRAGAMO STORY by Natalie Lorenzo Photos by the author

technology. Other artists are looking at the importance of a collective commitment to refounding society and the future overall. The start of this luxurious brand was founded back in the year of 1927. Salvatore Ferragamo had returned from





California where he made a name for himself among the stars creating fabulous and unique footwear. He knew he wanted to go to Florence, Italy, which was the capital of Italian elegance and leather craftsmanship at the time. The Florentine artisans helped his dreams become a reality. The headquarters opened in 1938 after Ferragamo bought the Palazzo Spini Feroni, which was the heart of Florence. Since then it has been a symbol in the fashion industry As a child, I had a passion for fashion

The museum is located in the lower

and designing: I would constantly

level of Palazzo Spini Feroni, a

be drawing different dresses and

Medieval Palace built back in the year

outfits while playing dress up with

1289. They opened the doors to the

my neighbors. I saw my passion only

public in 1995 in an effort to illustrate

grew as I got older and was able to

Ferragamo’s artistic skills and the

explore my Nana’s closet. My Nana

impact he played in the history

who is originally from Palermo, Sicily

of shoe design and international

was exposed to the “Italian fashion”


and lifestyle at a young age. This time era is when some of the greatest

Composed of different exhibits the

designers known today started their

museum is built like a maze. You



start with number one and follow the

Gucci, Pucci and Ferragamo are just

numbers, leading you to the different

a few big names that picked Florence,

rooms with the exhibits.




Italy as their home for their next big creation, forever changing the

The word “sustainability” is this

fashion industry.





whole museum, and is displayed in Since arriving in Florence,

I have

every exhibit you enter. The idea

had the opportunity to dig deeper

of sustainability is a focus among

into my love for fashion with visiting


some of these historical marks that


land Florence on the maps. The

with nature, the use of organic

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum is one

materials and the re-creation of

of them.












with holding press, photoshoots, receiving clients and inspiration.




Photo by the author

A cool breeze blows towards me, and I bask in the relief

finger. The pages are silky smooth beneath my fingertips,

it gives me. A figure of marble is standing next to me,

but stiff to turn. The sun beams down my side, raising

taller in person than pictures could possibly convey.

drops of sticky sweat to the surface of my skin. The heat

She is draped in fabric that billows around her and has

bakes my mind until it is as malleable as clay. I easily slip

concern etched into her face. I wonder why she feels that

into a trance of words in my head.

way, knowing perfectly well that I could probably search

The spell is broken by the high-pitched joyous squeals

for the answer and have it in minutes. I take a seat next

of a toddler who sits a few feet from me. His bright eyes

to her. She stares down at me; a motherly guardian.

look up at me, sparkling as his front teeth stick out from

Looking at the book in my hands, I relax until I can fall

his smile. The bitter scent of his mother’s espresso drifts

into the lull of my mind’s eye. Inked symbols stare at me

into my nose. I raise from my seat and unstick my thighs

from beige pages. I slide a finger along the thin edge,

from the stone stairs with a tug.

too deep in my own head to realize I had almost cut my


by Rida Rana

The darkness of the night slowly disappears as an orange

stands behind an enormous statue in hope to capture the

hue rises from the sky. My eyes pierce open wide at the

beauty of the piece. In awe at his talent, I approach him

barren Piazza della Signoria. Little hills form upon my

with curiosity and lean against the refreshing metal that

arms which urge me to reach for a sweater. A man treks

acts as a barrier around the statue. Suction cups, one

across the uneven stones with his luggage in hand and a

after another, grasp the stone floor and release at ease.

rainstorm forms in my ears. A woman rides by on a red

My head pivots to the right and I gasp, as it was the sound

bicycle whose ratty chain reveals its old age. It drifts off

of a runner jetting across the open space. A crescendo

into the distance, as does she, and a roar of an engine

of murmurs disrupts the serenity of the vicinity as a

ignites the piazza as a produce truck sets off on its

herd of tourists approaches the geometric structure in

journey. A large pigeon flies right before my eyes, not

the center. The melodic ring of church bells plays in the

afraid to make itself known. The strength of the bird is

distance. I shake my head in disbelief as my digital watch

remarkable as I hear its forceful flaps. With each flutter

displays 7:00 A.M.

of its wings, it ascends higher into the sky. A young artist 13



by Emily Lock, Kelly Vilbig, Gabrielle Acurso

Photos Dante and Beatrice (painting) by Henry Holiday from Wikipedia

Everyone knows the story of

Shakespeare’s Romeo

fell in love, sadly her father already promised her to

and Juliet, but Florence has its own great love stories.

another, Francesco Agolanti. In these times, marrying for

Fortunately, they have a much happier ending. Florence

love was out of the question. Ginerva went through with

has a long history containing some of the most wealthy

her marriage to Francesco. Shortly after Ginerva and

and influential families of all time. The famous Medici


family owned the largest bank in Europe during the

depressed. Her condition worsened, causing her doctors

fifteenth century; the Bardi family helped finance the

to pronounce her dead and she was buried in the family

voyages of Christopher Columbus and John Cabot to the

crypt. Ginevra awoke, terrified as she had been buried

Americas; and the Buondelmonti family held many of the

alive, and trapped beneath the city.







political positions in the city of Florence. While these families held great power in the city, sometimes they had

Through her determination, she managed to escape the

little power over their lovestruck children.

crypt and rushed home, hoping to find comfort from her loved ones. However, her family and husband became full

Like many of the Florentine families who wanted

of terror and refused to let her in. The only person who

to keep their power, the Bardis and Buondelmontis

believed her was her true love, Antonio.

had an ongoing feud. This was not the first time the Buondelmonti were feuding with other families in

Thinking this was their second chance at love, the two

Florence. Disagreements with the Amidei family about

planned to wed. After hearing that Ginevra was truly

a marriage resulted in a blood bath. This feud between

alive and planned a marriage with Antonio, Francesco

the Bardi and the Buondelmonti families began due to

demanded a dowry since he was losing his wife. When

their younger members, Dianora Bardi and Ippolito

Bishop Council heard of the dreadful experience she

Buondelmonti, who the families had forbidden from

endured, they made a unique decision. Since Ginevra’s

being together. However, their families’ objections did

first marriage was impeded by her ‘death’, she had

not stop them. When their families discovered their love

fulfilled the requirement of “till death do us part” and

affair, Ippolito was sentenced to death. His last request

was allowed to wed Antonio in her new life.

was to see the love of his life, Dianora. The moment

You are still able to retrace the paths of these love stories.

Dianora saw Ippolito, she ran into his arms and asked

The Palazzo Buondelmonti, where Ippolito lived, can still

the Signoria, the Florentine courts of the time, to spare

be found in Piazza Santa Trinita. The crypt of the Almieri

his life. The Signoria were moved by the fact that these

family, were Ginerva was initially buried, lays under the

two descendants of rival families were truly in love and

Piazza del Duomo. Legend states that Ginerva’s ghost

decided to pardoned

can be seen walking the piazza at night!

Ippolito. After this public display, their families saw their fault and allowed the young couple to wed.

These stories live on today, appealing to any hopeless romantic visiting Florence. Fortunately, for these lovers

Another prominent Florentine love story is the one of

and listeners, these stories have a sweeter ending than

Ginevra degli Almieri and Antonio Rondinelli. The two

their Shakespearean counterparts.




When students come to Italy, they always end up making great memories. Most try to record them by way of diaries and/or pictures, but Abigail Long decided to record everything by putting them in watercolors. Here’s a small selection of the art she shared with us for you to enjoy.


REFLECTIONS by Jordan Solich

A brief series of portraits by photography student Jordan Solich regarding the change in perception when you capture the human visage through a screen or reflective surface.




ALUMNI PROFILE FUA: Why did you choose to study at FUA? I chose to study at FUA based on the fashion program that FUA offers, and I’ve always wanted to study abroad; so once I did my research on FUA, I knew it would be a perfect fit for me. FUA: Why Florence? Why Italy? Italy has always been a place known for fashion, especially Florence! Gucci, Ferragamo and many other high-end brands started their careers in Italy, which always interested me. I also love leather and knew that Florence was known for leather as well, so I knew I would be able to fit in very well. I’m also Italian, so I was 100% prepared to have amazing food, which I did! No surprise there! FUA: Did you do any internship or SPEL with FUA? If yes, tell us about it. I did a fashion management experiental learning placement with FUA, and I loved every single second of it. FLY (Fashion Loves You) was my second home, and I learned so much from Gaia and Marisol while I was there. I did everything and anything that you could possibly think of when it comes to the fashion industry. I did some social media marketing, looks of the month and week, designed my own scarf collection with two other FUA students, created fashion events and created visual displays throughout the store.

INTERVIEW WITH ALEXANDRA BELLER by FUA Alumni Association Photo by the author

FUA: Introduce yourself (name, last name, where are you from, major, university, etc) Hi, my name is Alexandra Beller, and I am from Homer Glen, IL studying retail merchandising with a minor in social media

FUA: What did you do at FUA that helped you in your career and/or in your personal growth? In which way studying abroad (at FUA) changed your life/professional path/career? While I was at FUA, I dedicated my time and effort into learning more about the classes I was taking. As well as taking the time to progress as a fashion student and as an individual trying to have a career in the fashion industry. I became more confident in my abilities and became more confident in myself as a person. Although some moments were not

marketing at Bradley University.

picture-perfect, I was able to learn from my mistakes, and I

FUA: When did you study at FUA? (year, semester, session,

at FUA. Out of a whim, I applied for Louis Vuitton, and I can

etc.) I studied at FUA during the Spring Semester of 2019 from

would not be who I am today without the experiences I had say that without the life changing experiences I had at FUA, I wouldn’t have applied for that job and would not be doing this

January to May.

interview today! Everything happens for a reason, right?!?

FUA: Tell us about your profession and/or what you have

FUA: Have you traveled with FUA? How was it?

been up to since you left Florence Since I left Florence, I have been working and balancing summer classes. I applied for a seasonal position at Louis Vuitton in Chicago while I was in Florence, had my interview when I got home and started training right away, which is absolutely crazy! 18

I did a few class trips with FUA, and I loved it. It was amazing to take the information we learn in class in a different environment. Professor Nannini was a great example of showing me this. She taught us that no matter what you learn in a classroom, if you truly pay attention and notice the small details, you can use them in your everyday lives.


FUA: Have you taken part in any Alumni events yet? If yes

FUA: If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they

tell us about.

should study abroad at FUA, what would you say?

Unfortunately, I have not taken part in any aAlumni events,

I would say that studying abroad with FUA is an experience

but I’m hoping to in the future!

to know another part of yourself that you never thought was possible. You will laugh endlessly, love every single place you

FUA- What are your favorite FUA memories?

travel to, and make life long friends from those you least

Just being able to develop relationships with students and


professors has been an amazing experience for me. I could talk about every single memory that was my favorite, but

FUA: Describe your FUA experience with a word.

that would take hours! Overall, being able placesparts of

There are so many words that I could use to describe FUA

America, and in Italy, was truly a life changing experience,

with, but whenever someone asks me how my study abroad

and I would do anything to experience that all over again!

experience was, one word always comes to mind: lifechanging!

FUA: Are you still friends/in contact with someone you have met at FUA?

FUA: What are your plans for the future?

I still stay in contact with some of my the friends and my

The plans for the future is to graduate Bradley with my

professors that I met through FUA. Just the other day, one of

Bachelor’s degree in retail merchandising and social media

my friends was talking about going back to Florence in a few

marketing, and eventually start my personal styling business

years, and I told her that we are going to do it 110%.

after a few years in the luxury industry. I have always loved knowing people’s passions and dreams and incorporating

FUA: What would you say to any future students looking into

that into what they wear. I hope in a few years I can come


back to Florence and expand my business as well!

I would say that take in every day with a positive mindset, and have fun! FUA is an amazing university and no matter what classes you take, you will have fun and learn so much about yourself. Trust me you will! 19


Coordinamento Editoriale | Managing Editor

Supplemento di |

Tommaso Monaci

Supplement to Blending Magazine Reg. Trib. di Firenze n° 5844 del 29 luglio 2011

Redattore Associato | Contributing Editor

Anno 9 - Numero 5 - Luglio 2019

A lice Fratoni

Year 9 - Issue 5 - July 2019

Redazione testi | Copy Editors Editore | Publisher

A llie Jones

Florence Campus per INGORDA Editore

M acKenzie Gellner

Via Alfonso Lamarmora, 39 50121 Firenze

Consulenti Accademici | Faculty Advisors A ndrea M ancini

Sede editoriale |

Claudio Rodeghiero

Blending is a newsletter created

Editorial Headquarters

Gaia Poli

with and for students of Florence

Corso Tintori 21

Francesca Bocci Benucci

University of the Arts, the

50122 Firenze

Lucia Giardino

academic member of Palazzi FAIE.

Tel. 055 2469016

M arco Gualtieri Nicoletta Salomon

The newsletter collaborates with the Student Life Department and

Stampato in proprio |

Nora Ferrucci

Development Office.

Printed in house

Salvatore procopio

For information contact:

Simone Ballerini

Rosaria Parretti R EDAZIONE | MASTHEAD Direttore Responsabile | Editor in chief

Impaginazione | Page Layout

M atteo Brogi

Monica Bulnes

Caporedattore | Editorial Director Grace Joh

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