Last fall I had the great pleasure of meeting Christina Esposito who teaches fashion, costume design and pattern making in Palermo at her school called Mode School – Scuola di Taglio e Cucito. Claudio Italiano kindly introduced me to Christina during one of my visits.
Anyone who loves sewing or fashion will resonate with Christina’s story. It starts in her childhood with memories of her grandmother sewing and embroidering. Like many of the Sicilian tailors I have met in my journeys, Christina started sewing as a child. In her case, she was just 10 years old and started on dolls. At that early age, she recreated the patterns by taking apart their miniature clothes and tracing out their components on paper.
Later she studied art, women’s pattern making in Rome and Padova where she learned the SITAM method for sewing, costume design and pattern drafting.
She returned to Palermo and started her own school because there were no schools in Sicily. Initially she offered private courses and then five years ago started the Mode School. In fact, this combined two of her passions – costume design and teaching.
To start something new in Sicily (or Italy) is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. This is especially true in the world of craftsmanship, whether you are a tailor, dressmaker or an educator in arts and crafts. It’s great to hear that her students have opened up their own atelier or find work with brands and ateliers.
If you happen to live in Palermo or are just visiting, please check out Christina’s Mode School.