Are you in Milan and desperately looking for a way to avoid the sizzling temperatures? Try something fresh, such as tonight's MA Fashion and Textile Design graduate show at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano (NABA).
The third year students will be presenting a formal catwalk show, while the second year students have opted to present their creations with a video that will be broadcast after the main show.
Apart from their designs students have also worked on very special garments for tonight - personal uniforms. Their main inspiration was the black and white NABA logo that they have deconstructed and rebuilt using the materials, techniques, shapes and silhouettes of their choice.
Students at NABA come from all over the world - from China, Thailand and India to Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, the USA and, obviously, Italy, but they all share one dream - working one day in the fashion industry. To prove it they have shot a sort of fashion film entitled "Sogni cuciti a mano" (Handsewn Dreams).
There is a childlike purity to the film: when the video opens the students are shown sleeping on their working tables or reversed on their sewing machines. They aren't actually exhausted, but they are simply dreaming about the clothes they would like to make.
Their choices go from romantic to avant-garde, with some students attempting to maybe criticise a bit the system by writing on their designs mottos and slogans such as "We are all rats" or "My body rules", the former almost a statement about our collective views of young fashion designers as disposable entities that can be replaced every six months with the next big thing; the latter a message of empowerment to all those people who feel uneasy in their own skin.
The most poetic thing about this video, remains the fact that the students are all sleeping and dreaming together in their workshop, almost to remind us that you need a team of people (and not big egos...) to make sure the fashion industry works properly. There is actually an ironic twist at the very end of the video, with one student getting pelted by a few (digital) rotten tomatoes, but, rather than crying, he seems happy to use them as decorative elements and additional colours for his design since he happily smiles at the end of the digital vegetable deluge.
"The students in the course are really nice and at least we're having fun," their lecturer, former fashion designer Cinzia Ruggeri, comments. In a negative fashion industry, keen on producing crazes and fads that move money but don't bring any joy, that sounds like a huge statement.
Not in Milan tonight? Well, celebrate the students by watching their video here on Irenebrination, with special thanks to Cinzia Ruggeri, director Marco Poma and all the students and designers (you can see them dancing in this animated gif on the notes of Joyello's "Glad 4 Magenta" available on Kutmusic) - Yinxi Jiang, Ram Monitar Bodapati, Luis Manuel Lopez Luna, Edoardo Pizzocheri, Min Hao, Yulia Salomatova, Federica De Stefano, Simone Antonini, Arif Mehmetali Kara, Pornarun Taengnara, Mayra Cristini De Oliveira, Vanessa Milena Rueda Moya, Oana Juganaru, Viviana Dell'Orto, Adrian Sanchez Ojeda, Jingzhi Wang, Shiyao Wu, Xuan Guo, Shuo Wang.
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