By Camila Heredia Oranday and Giulia Piceni. Cover image: Manuela Millares and Nicolás Tamayo Angulo, students in Fashion Styling & Creative Direction and Fashion Design Intensive. Photograph by Virginia Niccolucci.
September is the month of Fashion Week, Vogue’s biggest issue of the year comes out and… the academic year starts again. The first day holds a massive charge of expectations, hopes and anxiety.
Planning the kick-off outfit fills everyone’s mind until the very few instants before the display in the institute’s corridors.
The numerous GRWM vlogs can support last-minute styling, first-day-of-school hauls and motivational videos to boost confidence, especially if you’re socially anxious. Don’t lie: we’re all guilty of this.
One quick tip from those who went through this before you: during this first glorious day, but also months of school, let your only concern be to find people that match your energy and stick with them during your academic journey: they are very precious finds.
Get ready to be inspired by the school community and other students’ visions and backgrounds.
Be shamelessly yourself, and you’ll be fine.
Manuela Millares, Fashion Styling & Creative Direction
I’MF: Name the figure(s) that helped you encounter and successfully enter the world of fashion and art.
MM: The first one, my biggest inspiration, is my mother. She is also very much into fashion. Growing up with her and this environment revolving all-around fashion and art made me grow up in love with both of these worlds. The second is my sister. I grew up in a family of artists, and I believe she has helped me so much with my confidence and how I express myself and style my clothing. Both my mother and sister are really why I’m here right now; they’re my biggest inspirations.
I’MF: The first day of school means a lot of planning in terms of outfits. How did you choose to represent yourself today?
MM: To be honest, I always try to dress the same way, consistent with my personality. I try to be a lot like me. This is the first time I’m studying something I love [fashion], but even before, when I was in high school and nothing attracted me, I used to dress differently to express myself, to feel and explore who I am. You’ll probably see me tomorrow with the same attitude but a different style: I enjoy experimenting.
I’MF: If you were a garment, which one would you be and why?
MM: ¡Un bolso [a purse]! I am obsessed with bags: they are so useful, I feel like everybody needs them. And there is such a wide variety of styles that I would consider it the absolute best.
Sebastian Baylon, Fashion Design & Accessories
I’MF: Concerning your style, who inspires you the most?
SB: All the artists from the Renaissance. The great masters inspired me to find my style.
Those people were both artists and scientists. I know we all come from that collective consciousness, that immense source of creativity.
And that’s what I want to embrace in my fashion style. You see the baggy clothes, the bandana, all the bedazzles… you can sense I come from El Barrio. What I wear is a statement of my origins, interests and the human being I aspire to be.
Connor Kamineski, Fashion Design Intensive
I’MF: Describe your personal style with three adjectives.
CK: Simple, a little rugged and chic, I guess.
I’MF: If you were any type of garment, which one would you be and why?
CK: Probably a vest, cause a vest is open. I feel like I’m pretty open arms but also a little bit covered.
I’MF: Which are the characteristics you look for when buying new garments?
CK: Personally, I don’t really like buying new clothes now that I’m usually involved into making my own clothes. So, when I go shopping, I look at clothes as inspiration. Then I go back to my studio and make a version of what I’ve seen.
Why should I spend money on another brand while I can instead support my craft?
Now I’ve been sewing for about two years. Normally I create clothes only for myself, but when I did garments for other people, I used to give them for free because, you know, it’s the beginning of the journey.
Camila Heredia Oranday and Giulia Piceni are Undergraduate students in Arts Curating at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.