Florence Summer Wardrobe for Women: Top 10 Must Have Items By Alycia Oliver

The very hot and dry summer months in Florence allow everyone to shed their layers of clothing and take out their light summer wardrobes. Hello pastel and white colors, shear and flowy fabrics- ah I love summer! Florentine men and women are continuously well dressed and up to date with all fashion trends. The following are a few suggestions of key items, hopefully keeping you in the loop!

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1. Simply White. All white was a common theme used by the designer Pucci in her summer 2013 look and is a very big trend right now in Italy. Pairing a white dress with colorful jewelry or a bright lipstick can really make the outfit pop giving it a classy and sophisticated look. Not only is white a fabulous look in the summer, the contrast of the white fabric against skin will enhance any summer glow!

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2. Big hat. This will be a useful accessory to keep you from melting in the summer sun while keeping you looking fabulous. There are the typical large floppy beach hats however keep your eye out for many other fabrics and sizes!

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3. White Sneakers. Converses are typically the most trending pair of shoes at the moment. Not only will they relieve your feet from all the walking you will be doing around Florence, they can be paired with a wide variety of outfits. Shop for comfort while keeping yourself stylish!

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4. Maxi dress. These will save your life in Florence. When you are running out the door these are the easiest items to throw on…for almost any occasion. You can dress them up for a night out, throw them over a bathing suit for the beach or even go to work in them. They are conservative and perfectly suitable for the Italian culture.

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5. Circular Sunglasses. This trend dips into the past and allows the more hipster look to shine through in ones wardrobe. Sunglasses are an essential item for everyone in the summer; you might as well make them count! Additionally, glasses with a strong colorful reflection are something you may want to consider as they are spotted all over Europe this summer.

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6. Pastels. Everybody loves pastels, and summer is the best and most acceptable time of the year to wear them! The secret is that pastels rarely clash with one another, and they always give you a light summery look. Pairing pastels with white is something that will make you stand out while walking down the streets in Italy.

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7. Jumpsuit. If you roll out of bed and are dying to put on your sweatpants, turn to the jumpsuit. They are the most comfortable and stylish option! There are many styles of the jump suit; pants, shorts, strapless, low back. Choose the option that best fits your personal style.

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8. Fringe Bathing suit. Bathing suits are a must have in the summer, an item you cannot live without. Since it is the only piece of clothing you wear on the beach, might as well make it a fashion statement! L-space fringe bathing suits are coming in strong for summer 2013 swim wear. Many colors are available!

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9. High-Low Skirts. Showing off a bit of leg while having a flowing trail of fabric behind you is pleasing to the eye. These skirts are perfect for summer as the light fabric keeps you cool. They can be paired with a crop top to give the skirt a full effect.

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10. High-Waisted Shorts. Once again bringing back a vintage look into the 20th century, a high waistline is back in style! Not only is this a very flattering look, it will open your closet up to more cropped shirts and tank tops.

The items above items range from casual to dressy, night to day, black and white to vibrant colors, but remember on average Florentines do not dress very casually. Do not wear your flip-flops- those are for the beach. This list should help you stay fashionable while doing almost anything in Italy. Happy shopping!

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Fashion Forward Florence By Alycia Oliver

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If fashion is something that sparks your curiosity, you may wish to experience Florence, Italy from June 18th to June 21st. Between these hot summer days, the Pitti Uomo is in full swing. One could also call this ‘The Beautiful People’s Club’. This renowned fashion week attracts models, designs, bloggers and photographers from all over the world. You know what this means- great people watching! As high fashion men and women stroll the streets bystanders are able to admire their impeccable, well-put together outfits.

fashion-show-pictures-1As the busy city gets exponentially busier, events get set up on the streets. An even bigger bonus- several events include free alcohol and are open to the public! This will be one of the only nights you will want to be wearing your high heels ladies (other than that the uneven cobblestone streets will guarantee you an ungraceful face plant). This is the best place to meet future contacts, especially if you are interested in the fashion industry. Shops are open after hours and DJ’s are brought in playing euro-trance tunes to keep shoppers happy. If you are planning a trip to Florence, this could be the right time for you to come. If you are already in Florence, enjoy every minute and absorb all the new fashion trends Europe has to offer!

Salvatore Ferragamo: A love story based on Shoes – by Ségolène Guitton

For those of you who have never heard of Salvatore Ferragamo or know little of him, here is a biography of someone who went on to become one of the world’s most famous shoe designer.
Salvatore Ferragamo was born on June 28th 1898 in Bonito, a small commune in the south of Italy. At the young age of 9, Ferragamo made his first pair of shoes for one of his sisters to wear for her confirmation, and as he grew older it became clear to him that he had found his calling. After a couple of years, Ferragamo decided to go to Naples to study shoe-making and after a little while he decided to open a shop based out of his parent’s home. However, soon after Ferragamo decided to emigrate to the United States to pursue his career in the shoe-making business – he moved to California and after opening a shop for shoe repair and made-to-fit shoes he found success among celebrities of the day and designing footwear for the cinema industry. Although, Ferragamo found success among this glamorous industry, he remained unsatisfied to the fact that although his shoes were atheistically pleasing they were painful to the foot itself. Following his instinct, Ferragamo decided to study anatomy and went on to enroll at the University of Southern California. In 1927, Ferragamo returned to Italy but this time he decided to settle in Florence and open a workshop while concentrating on the science of shoe-making. Ferragamo’s success grew bigger everyday and during the 1950s, he ended up expanding to a fully staffed work crew of around 700 expert artisans that produced 350 pairs of handmade shoes a day. Ferragamo died in 1960 at the age of 62, leaving behind his wife Wanda and 6 children who eventually went on to run the Ferragamo company. The company went on to expand its operation by including luxury handbags, eye-wear, watches, perfumes and a ready-to-wear clothing line.
The Salvatore Ferragamo Museum situated Via dei Torbabuoni has opened its door since June 20th to an exhibition paying homage to Marilyn Monroe. You may ask what is the connection between an internationally renowned shoe designer and a famous starlet from the fifties? Well, as Salvatore Ferragamo’s success increased, he started to design shoes for some of the wealthiest and most powerful women of the century and this is how Ferragamo started a great friendship with Marilyn Monroe. As Monroe’s acting and modeling career took off, she needed more and more pairs of shoes to attend various events, and this is how Marilyn Monroe went on to become one of Ferragamo’s most loyal customer as well being credited for the inspiration of Ferragamo’s famous four-inch heel pumps.
If you are hungry for anything fashion related, I would urge you to check out the exhibition before its closing date which is quickly approaching.
The Marilyn Monroe exhibition is set to run until January 28th, 2013 and the entrance fee is 5€.

For more information on current events and upcoming exhibitions please visit www.museoferragamo.it

Shopping in Florence: A unique experience à la Florentine – by Ségolène Guitton

If you are from abroad and have never been shopping in a typical European city, be prepared for a different kind of shopping experience right here in Florence.

Shopping is a different adventure for everybody, but whether you are looking for high street clothing stores, high end brands, vintage, antiques or home furniture, Florence is the place to be.

If you are on a quest for the latest trends from the world of high fashion such as Gucci, Prada, or Ferragamo, you should head to the streets of Via Tornabuoni, Via della Vigna Nuova, and Via dei Calvaiuoli. These streets are filled with the latest fashions and haute couture collections from the biggest italian and international designers.

Yes, Florence does hold some of the everyday clothing stores we see all over the world such as H&M, Zara and all these other high street brands but as you walk through the city from famous monuments to little secluded streets you will find that Florence holds many little boutiques unknown to the world outside of the city. And as a total Fashion addict as myself, I think that is amazing, what better place than Florence to find this unique top or accessory that no one else will have when you get back home? If you are an individual with a distinguished sense of style, Florence is the place to be to find that one more unique touch to add to your look.

As you spend more and more time walking around Florence, you will come to realise that people were not lying, Italy is the birthplace of leather. I cannot describe how many shops I see every day filled with only leather goods, excellent quality leather goods for that matter. And while you may see many of these shops, make sure you take time to pop into some of them as you may be surprised with what you might find. Although leather goods can be found all over the city, make sure you check out the Santa Croche Leather Workshop: located in the cloister of the church of Santa Croche, this workshop is the most famous place to find leather items, ranging from bags to belts through bracelets all made in creatively natural shapes and textures.

Another thing that can make your shopping experience in the city that much more unique is the possibility to see craftsmen at work: the other day while I was wondering around Palazzo Pitti enjoying a nice walk in the sun, I came across this little hat boutique and while you walk around the shop admiring those beautiful handcrafted hats you cannot help but be distracted by that man in the back making those same hats surrounded by fabrics and drawings, something you rarely see in those big department stores back home.

While walking around Florence you might start to fill overwhelmed by the number of tourists and shops so here is a list of some of my must go places while out shopping:

Leather Goods

– Monaco Metropolitano (most commonly known as MM, this shop is home to a fantastic range of accessories all handcrafted and produced far from “the world of industrial mechanization”)                                                                                               – Santa Croche Leather Workshop

Jewellery

– Ponte Vecchio (if you love jewellery and are looking to purchase some high quality accessories, make sure to visit the gold sellers on the Ponte Vecchio – the place is filled with jewellery shops where you can find unique necklaces, earrings, bracelets, watches, rings and much more.)

Antiques

– If you are a lover of antiques, you should head towards Via Maggio (located close to the Palazzo Pitti) and Via de Fossi (located close to Sante Maria Novella).
I actually live on Via Maggio, and every day on my way back and forth from work I cannot help but stare at the amazing artworks and collectables they have on displays.

Haute Couture Fashion & High Street Fashion

– A large number of internationally high end designer stores can be found on the streets of Via Tornabuoni, Via della Vigna Nuova, and Via dei Calvaiuoli                                                                                                                                                                  – If you head towards Piazza della Repubblica, Via Calimala, and Via Por Santa Maria, you will find big international chain stores such as H&M and Zara as well as large Italian department stores such as Rinascente