After spending a semester abroad in Italy, Apparel and Textile Design senior Lily Paschoal has new inspiration to draw from and is incorporating this experience into her clothing designs.
“My study abroad was a very immersive experience, and I left very inspired,” she said. “I’ve loved bringing it back to Michigan State with me — all the knowledge and learning experiences I had while I was there.”
Paschoal currently is doing an independent study (ATD 428) focused on Italian fashion. For this, she is designing a 10-piece collection inspired by her time abroad. Eight of the pieces are women’s ready-to-wear outfits that are monochromatic with a pastel summer-inspired color palette. The other two pieces are couture —a trench coat and a 1940s-inspired pink chiffon ball gown.
Paschoal plans to complete the collection by the end of the Fall 2023 semester and will enter the designs into VIM Magazine’s 2024 Fashion Show, which is held every year in the spring.
“My time in Italy really inspired me, so I wanted to take my collection in a direction inspired by my study abroad.”
“There are a variety of fabrics used, but mostly a series of colored linens. So many of the people I saw, including myself, wore linen in Europe,” Paschoal said. “My time in Italy really inspired me, so I wanted to take my collection in a direction inspired by my study abroad.”
Paschoal participated in the Studio Art & Fashion Design in Florence, Italy program offered by CEA CAPA (Cultural Experiences Abroad – Centers for Academic Programs Abroad) during the Spring 2023 semester. She spent four months in Italy where she had classes four days a week that were catered toward her major. She also traveled to Rome and Venice.
“It was truly amazing. The program was so helpful, hands-on, and personable,” she said. “I didn’t go with anyone I knew, and I came back with the most incredible friends and had the most incredible experiences. I don’t have a single negative thing to say. It was genuinely a perfect experience.”
Paschoal’s study abroad classes consisted of everything from sustainable fashion to Italian politics. The program also hosted a fashion show at a historical site where students showcased their work. Paschoal was involved in helping set up the show. The professors who led the program were professional fashion advisors and had many resources to put on an authentic Italian fashion show.
“Studying abroad changed my life in the best way possible. I came back with such a new outlook on life and how I want to live. I grew a lot while I was there.”
“Studying abroad changed my life in the best way possible,” Paschoal said. “I came back with such a new outlook on life and how I want to live. I grew a lot while I was there.”
The excellence and variety of its study abroad programs were the main reasons Paschoal chose to attend MSU.
“I had always wanted to study abroad, and Michigan State had everything I was looking for,” she said. “Also, the resources that Michigan State has given me fashion-wise have been amazing.”
Paschoal is now looking forward to graduating in Spring 2024 and said she wants to find a job abroad in Italy or New York. Although she said she will likely start as an entry-level designer, but her ultimate goal is to work abroad.
“I want to thank Michigan State for the opportunities it has provided me and for the most incredible four years of my life,” Paschoal said. “I can’t say enough great things about my major, my professors, and my study abroad. Everything has been incredible.”
Written by Kelsey Lester