Style with Meaning

A couple of weeks ago we traveled to the Umbria region of Italy. It was my favorite place on this trip so far and the towns of Asissi, Orvieto, and Perugia were the loveliest places I had ever seen. The thing I love about Italy most is the value and symbolism everything seems to have. Being interested in fashion, I really enjoyed visiting the weaving and jewelry making studios in Perugia. Italian culture fascinates me and I love how they do everything slower, with importance, and significance. Little did I know that they also incorporate it in their fashion too.

Anna Fornari, the jewelry designer, stated that she always makes her jewelry with a symbolic meaning. For her, it’s not so much a fashion statement, but every piece has a different and significant meaning. I learned at the weaving studio how much work is put into it. All of the patterns, textures, and colors have all kinds of different meaning. One single pattern has an economic, political, and historical meaning. That blew my mind! As much as I have loved fashion my whole life, I had never really thought about it ever having much meaning to it.

So it got me thinking about all of the pieces in my own closet that have specific meaning to me. For example, I have a pocket watch turned into a necklace given to me by my boyfriend before this trip that is probably my favorite piece of jewelry I own now and it’s because of the meaning behind it. I have shoes that I just bought in Copenhagen that were hand-made by a guy and yes they are very cute, but when I started talking to the man who made them and he explained it was a family business, I had to purchase them. I will always remember that man and the little store in Copenhagen where I bought them.

After this trip, I am going to start trying to buy things that have more of a significant meaning to me. After all, fashion is about far more than just style. It’s history, it’s emotion, it’s purpose, it’s personal, all wrapped into one.

– Sydney Butler

Hand weaving studio, Brozzetti, in Perugia, Italy.