Travel Report: Fashion Around Europe, Literally – Week 8
Today I am writing about the eighth week of Fashion Around Europe Literally, tour. It’s a bit strange, because I am going to talk about the last week of our incredible tour on the continental coast of Europe. We are in the car now and we are driving straight to Sibiu, our second home. This meaning that our amazing adventure got to an end, for now.
Check also: Travel Report: Fashion Around Europe, Literally – Week 7
We have spent 2 months on the road. We have passed through 13 countries, we drove almost 13.000 km and we stopped to visit 86 cities and places. Our peace was insane, alert, always on the run, but we had such a good time. We have learnt so many things about us, about people, fashion, history, traditions and life.
Fashion Around Europe, Literally tour is more than a project, it’s an experience. It’s unique and it offered us moments that we even didn’t dream to happen.
You see, I have started to feel melancholic and I forgot that I was supposed to write you about the last week of the tour.
After spending a week in Barcelona and then on the Cote d’Azur, we drove to Italy. Our first stop was in Genova, which is a very nice city. Here we have spent 2 nights. As I told you before, when we reach to a new city, we are doing the check in and we go right away to visit it.
We loved to get lost on its narrow streets and I looks a lot like Porto from Portugal. It’s a colourful and joyful city, with nice places and smiling people. If you travel to Genova, you can’t miss driving on the Italian Riviera, which is so beautiful. Here you will find all the small and colourful ex fishing villages as Santa Margherita, Portofino or Cinque Terre, which are absolutely gorgeous. Take the no tolls route and stop to visit each other.
I always wanted to see Portofino and I loved it from the first second, we arrived there. During summer days, the harbour it’s full of boats, the restaurants and bars are full of people and the vibe is so special. Even though, we didn’t get to taste from all it’s vibe as it was early December, we still enjoyed so, so much.
In Genova, we meet Lara Stuttgard and we interviewed her for the documentary and book. We talked about her brand, her background and plans for the future. She also described for us the Italian fashion market, nowadays. If in the past, the Italians were interested to always be very well dressed and create their own wardrobe by visiting their tailor, now they lost that care. They are consumers and the local designers are fighting the fast fashion. Everything that Lara is doing is handmade and her style is chic.
After Genova, the next city on our tour was Venice and we were all very excited to see this famous floating city. Just a few weeks ago, Venice was badly damaged because of the storms and floods, so we didn’t know what to expect. Luckily for us, everything was perfect, even though in some place you could still see the marks of nature’s fury.
Venice is absolutely beautiful and you definitely have to visit it one day. I don’t know what to say about the period you should book your holidays here because it is always full of tourists. Now, in the first week of December, we were still bumping into people on some streets and they say it was quite empty. So could you imagine how is it going to be in July or August?
We loved getting lost on the streets, we had a boat tour and our guide explained us everything about it. We stayed for three days here and we tried every time a new restaurant. I have to be honest with you and tell you that I was expecting to find average food as the touristic places and restaurants are known to loose their quality because of the volume. But I was surprised to eat very well each time.
Tessiture Luigi Bevilacqua
One of the most amazing experiences of this week, was our visit at a Venetian textile factory. It is located in the heart of Venice, you can reach it by foot, but also by boat and when you enter it, you get goosebumps. Why you may be thinking. It’s just a textile factory…
Well, we thought the same before reaching there, but Tessiture Luigi Bevilacqua it’s on the market since 1499. Since then, it’s manufacturing top quality velvet and other sophisticated fabrics. You can find its fabrics all over the world. Mainly, its products are used for interior design purposes, but the big name brands like Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and many others are inspired by the patterns and the collections of Bevilacqua. They use the velvet and the fabrics for the haute couture sophisticated outfits.
The factory is using the same production process as 200 years ago. Yes, you are reading it right. The precious fabrics are made by hand with the help of 18 looms, which are from the 18th century and are still functioning. Basically, you are in a museum, but a working one. The feeling is impressive and seeing the small team of mister Alberto while is producing the luxurious velvet it’s unique. The process is very complicated and slow, the “savoire faire” has to be passed to the young generation in order to keep it alive and we hope to find this factory alive after another 100 years. Thank you Mr. Alberto Bevilacqua for this wonderful meeting and interview.
After spending these three days in the beautiful Venice, our last stop was in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The city was a pleasant surprise. We stopped here for a few hours, we visited the centre and then we had a meeting with one local designer.
Even though it’s December and we have been in many cities where all the Christmas decorations were on, here was the first time when I really felt its magic and the spirit. By the Ljubljanica River you find a lot of restaurants, bars and a market with many delicious products.
Julia Kaja Hrovat
We did the last interview for the project with the Slovenian designer Julia Kaja Hrovat. Her slow fashion brand is inspired by the rich Slovenian cultural heritage. It is dedicated to the strong, independent and sassy woman and it’s joyful and chic. Meeting her was a pleasure and we were glad to find out the insights of the local fashion.
This being said. We have 6 more hours to drive to Sibiu, the place where we were all born and where Feeric Fashion Week takes place. Fashion Around Europe, Literally tour was just amazing. Our goal to discover how fashion really is around Europe is fulfilled. We meet so many emotional and inspirational stories from designers, fashion schools, showrooms and people from industry and we can’t wait to share them with you.
I am feeling nostalgic and I am reviving again all the route, the moments and experiences we had during this tour. We are thankful for the great moments and for the fact that we received more than we expected. Beside all the beautiful and unforgettable places we have seen, I am grateful for the amazing people that we meet around and for the friendships that are connecting us now.
I wrote this many times before and I have to write it again because I consider that this is what made this experience unique and amazing: the people involved in each moment of it. We want to thank them all for being close to us. In Romania, we have a saying: People are the ones making a place special, not the place itself. And our experience proves how true is this saying.
Thank you all again: OMV, hotels, restaurants, fashion schools, designers, friends, showrooms, concept stores and chefs for completing this adventure. Stay close to us… A documentary and a fashion book will be born from all the information we gathered during those 2 months spent on the road. Thank you Mitichi, thank you Landiana for every second spent together.