European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal EFHA World

Accademia della Moda & EFHA – Student Workshop

fashion studentsresearchTales from the archive

IUAD Students explored our digital archive – here is how their journey started

2020 presented us with an unimagined and unimaginable scenario. Forced isolation and social distancing suddenly for ed us to rethink our relationship with time and, at once, allowed us to explore new digital paths, out of necessity or to fill the time allocated to  sociability. We have rediscovered technologies that already existed, but that had never fully  integrated into our daily life: video calls, group chats, online shopping even for food.
At the same time, the places of culture – cinemas, theatres, live music venues and, of course, also archives and museums – have suffered a considerable setback and, considered of secondary importance, they still continue to wait for their moment to be taken into consideration.


Can fashion exist without a lively cultural atmosphere in which to find inspiration and share ideas? Can digital archives become the keepers of memory and help in navigating moments of closure and isolation? Can these places / non-places be considered an alternative to the handling of objects, or are they providing a completely different type of experience?

We asked these questions to the students of Accademia della moda in Milan and Naples, giving them five keywords as starting point to delve into the EFHA archive: Identity; Color; Metamorphosis; Imitation; Origin.

The projects developed by the students in response to our questions showed how fashion designers could rely on digital archives such as ours not only too draw inspiration, but also to learn about complex issues such as provenance, the political value of clothing, appropriation and cultural specificities. After evaluating the different projects, we decided to feature the three that most excited us – they will be featured on our Instagram page for a special curation.