Word of the day: Moda

Moda (MOH-da): Fashion

Professoressa Giuili, the Women’s Studies and International Relations teacher in the study abroad program, was doing a field trip to the Florence high fashion outlet mall with some of her students, and I decided to tag along. The mall is actually about 20 km outside Florence (a 50 minute bus ride), through the now deliciously green countryside. There you can find designer fashions at about half of “boutique” prices, plus additional discounts, up to 70%, on end-of-season items. This still makes it all more expensive than I am willing to pay, but it was definitely an interesting outing.

All the big name Italian brands are there – Pucci, Gucci, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Fendi, Valentino, Ferragamo, and Giorgio Armani. There were lots of others that I had never heard of, including Balenciaga, Hogan, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, and Zegna. Some items seemed very “every day” while others had that high-fashion, slightly-outrageous edge to them.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the outing:

Although they are nice, these scarves don't look all that special to me. They were €120 EACH, marked down from €240. Americans, €120 equates to over $150. The next time I see a scarf I love for €5 (or even €8 or €10), I'm buying it!

Cute, right? But almost $1,000 worth of cute? I'd rather stay on a beautiful island for a week.

Awesome heels for going out clubbing. Can't quite remember how much they cost, but somewhere in the neighborhood of $500.

These shoes were more practical and a steal at €85.

I believe this jacket was on sale for a little over €1,000. The black one, right be hind it, with silver bling, reminded me of Michael Jackson.

And for the baby in your life, how about a white fur stroller? This was marked down from €5,760 to €2,880. Love the tiny little jacket next to it.

This photo is actually from the Dolce & Gabbana shop in downtown Florence. This is the store window of a clothing store. The beautiful food is certainly eye catching and it did make me want to buy that hot-mamma chili pepper shirt in the display. I like the idea of using beautiful food to sell a tank top. That works for me.

All in all, I found the outing fascinating, though all I brought home was an empty (very fancy) bag that someone had abandoned on a chair. I’m going to use it to wrap a gift for a friend. What you spend your money on all comes down to priorities, I guess. I know it is tremendously important for some people to have the very best in clothing. I love to look nice and dress well, but I would much rather spend my money on experiences than stuff. I am a huge fan of the fun and the practical in clothing. I could see spending a good chunk of change on the most comfortable pair of shoes in the world, or even a classic black dress that you will wear for years. What I have a harder time understanding is spending this kind of money on clothes that you will wear for one season and then discard in favor of newer stuff next season. Of course, I’ve had the same $20 pair of hiking boots for over a decade. Hey, they’re comfortable and still in good shape. What can I say?

I did stop into the Roberto Cavalli store in Florence this morning. They have a little cafe and I got a very upscale, visually stunning caffè machiato for €1. I admired the gorgeous chocolate easter eggs and fantastic cakes, and went on my merry way with money in my purse, whistling a tune, and keeping an eye out for a good deal at the local street market.






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