As one of Italy’s most beautiful and inspiring cities, a beacon of style for centuries, and a thriving modern fashion hub, Milan is an ideal destination for fashion or textiles related student tours. Spending time here will give your pupils the chance to explore some of the most exciting haute couture shopping districts in Europe, witness the world’s most cutting-edge design at one of the city’s many exhibitions and fashion shows, and discover how fashion and clothing have played an important role in culture throughout Italy’s history. It is worth timing a trip to coincide with a fashion convention or show, but regardless of the time of year here are some of the other treats your group could be in for on a trip to Milan.
Shopping in the Fashion Capital
Milan’s top-end shopping districts are works of art in themselves, and a definite highlight of fashion-related student tours. The Quadrilatero d’Oro, or Golden Rectangle, is lined with graceful mansions built from the 17th-19th centuries and is an architectural gem as well as home to some of Milan’s top couture outlets such as Versace and Armani. Also a must-visit is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a glass-vaulted double arcade located at the heart of the city, framing an octagonal central space topped with a stunning glass dome – a marvel of design and construction. Containing some of the city’s oldest shops and selling some of its most elegant fashions, this is certainly a place to inspire. Stores here include Prada, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton.
Fashion further afield
Venturing beyond the high-end stores of this design-rich city can be highly rewarding for those on student tours, as it allows pupils to see the diversity that’s on offer. A visit to the canal-lined Navigli district yields independent fashion boutiques, a vintage market where classic designs and unique materials can be hunted out, and plenty of character-filled cafés where ideas and inspirations can be swapped and discussed.
Fashion through history
Students of fashion or textile design will be well-acquainted with the importance of their subjects in today’s culture. But as student tours can demonstrate, they have also been central to cultural and even political life through history – as many of Milan’s museums and galleries can attest to. Taking a trip through the networked museums of the Castello Sforzesco provides many interesting glimpses into arts, culture and history in Milan – including dress and textiles. For those interested in costume design, meanwhile, the city’s famed opera house, the Teatro alla Scala, has a fascinating museum attached to it. The Museo Teatrale alla Scala collects items relating to Italian operatic and theatrical history, including an array of sumptuous costumes from historic performances.