Sunday, September 4, 2011

La Casa Penitenziaria Circondariale di Como and La Sartoria DREAMS (Part 3)

A distance of one and half hour drive above beautiful Lake Como, Italy is where I work three days a week, dedicating my time, heart and soul to a social cause. A rewarding experience indeed! I have a job that is worth knowing about and it certainty does not lack human experience: I enter into a hard place touching difficulties and suffering at first-hand but, there is also the dignity of a person. I enter into my sunny lit atelier and see happy eyes and smiling faces (and not always)...saying to each and everyone of them “Buon giorno miei fiori“ (good morning my flowers).....our eight hour day begins with hugs, kisses, laughter and up-dates. 

I have a job that is worth knowing and that is promoting further higher education through my professional training course; “The art of Italian tailoring and dressmaking”...instructing female prisoners in achieving a high level of artisan skills by means of using the “intelligence of the hands“. This translate into a mind-blowing experience especially to those who never knew of possessing “inner talents“. This is a dream. This training course also helps keep alive their dignity...dignity goes beyond blame.

My fashion school and atelier in prison includes every project phase, textile and accessory companies in the Como area, providing me with technical expertise, resources with significant social and educative value. and this enables me to go to work on extraordinary projects "inside" prison. 

“I call this adventure...dreams“ 

The objective of my professional training course is in creating experts capable of working in autonomy supported by specialized technical competencies required in the apparel market today and generating the possibilities for future work prospective leading to a professional tailor, stylist or couture dressmaker. 

Work is the most effective reintegration into our society for prisoners: The dignity of having a job translates into success and with that, there is hope for NO more delinquency. In addition, this incredible opportunity will introduced them to a “second chance“ and the possibility to desire and contribute positively to themselves, their families, businesses and to us “our society.”

My very fabulous and talented apprentices and I have other collaborations, with students from vocational schools specializing in textile design. This unique partnership has involved the construction of a prèt a portèr collection for women. WOW! This project is structured in a real full-time production environment, allowing relationships between apparently very different and distant worlds that really ever have dialogues: the reality of young people in vocational training, production companies and the reality of prison. 

My days with my students have given me the most incredible “life changing“ experiences, because. this is exactly what I have come to experience as their maestra, because education is an experience...teacher and student are learning together.” 
I must confess , I had several inner voices helping me while writing this post, it was not easy! I believe I have found my place. What do you think? I would love hearing from you.

I will continue to share with you in my next post, another difficult but unbelievable and extraordinary project. 
See you soon!


Karena said...


I think this venture is just unbelievably noble and it sounds so rewarding. Very generous of you, and these women are certainly in extremely skilled and loving hands!

Come and enter my Fashion Giveaway from Fresh Produce!

Art by Karena

Couture Millinery Atelier. said...

Dear Kirsten, I feel every word of this post, so beautifully written! You have aesthetics to admire and a great eye for design. I stopped to wish you wonderful Fall weekend. I have hat designed for my new collection that reminds me of you somehow. :-))) Will share it soon! Sending many kind wishes from New York.

AngelaWC Creative Gifts said...

Dear Kirsten, I enjoyed looking and reading your post, it is written beautifully! You are very talented with your original hat designs. I want to wish you much success with your unique design collection

Jeena Sharma said...

I just read your post.
This is just so noble and beautiful thing to do.
I'm so glad to know you.
If you need any help or assistance with this or any other such noble cause, please do not hesitate to contact me on linkedin.

Love and Cheers!
Jeena Sharma.

Couture Millinery Atelier. said...

Kirsten, thank you for your wonderful, heartfelt comment under my rejection post. It was not an easy post to write. To most - the subject of rejection is an ungly subject and I know that many people would prefer to struggle with in privet. I am glad that I wrote the pst because at the end, reading through the comments, your very wise words I have realised how blessed I am to have people like you in my life who are able to give me clearity and lift the heavy weight of my shoulders. Thank you for that. I am wishing you wonderful day full of beuty and inspiration.

Cobalt Violet said...

So amazing and inspiring what you are doing!
Thank you for sharing this!

Rachel {Da Paura ♥} said...

Hello Kirsten, I discovered your blog from Anya's blog, Couture Millinery Atelier, and I am simply in love with everything I see here. My husband and I lived in Rome, Italy for 2 years while he was attending school - to learn the art of tailoring "Proprio Sarto" :) I'm so excited that I found your blog because you share a love of the arts and a passion for artisan skills. We are back in California now but missing Italy dearly.

I'm your newest follower and can't wait to follow along now.