From July 31, 2021 to June 30, 2023
Historical Tailoring, Costume for the Performing Arts (biannual course)
The two-year course "Historical Tailoring, Costume for the Performing Arts" offers complete training, structured in quarters, aimed at acquiring sartorial professionalism for measuring up to and communicating with the various professional figures of the performing arts and live shows.

Reconstruction of a Venetian style in vogue in about 1570. Chiselled velvet "Palio 1", in red silk against an ivory background, hand woven by the Fondazione Arte della Seta Lisio, Florence/1991. Private collection.

Duration: two years

Enrolment deadline: 31 July 2021

Start of lessons:  September 2021

Course venue: Florence, Italy

Attendance: obligatory. Full-time classes are scheduled three days a week: Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Course language: Italian

Total hours: 1,300 hours of which 1,060 hours in the classroom (frontal lessons and workshops) and 240 hours of professionalising activities.

Total costs: € 13.000,00 

Training areas: the macro-areas of skill acquisition for the five quarters are:

  • Tailoring techniques
  • History of costumes and the stage
  • History of the performing arts
  • Digital archives and virtual exhibitions
  • Restoration and conservation
  • Self-employment and entrepreneurship
  • Graphics, digital processing and communication
  • English for communicating in this sector
  • Safety at work pursuant to Legislative Decree 81/2008 
  • Case studies and expert reports
for historical, sartorial and entrepreneurial professionalism

For the academic years 2021-2023, the Fondazione Arte della Seta Lisio of Florence is organising a two-year course on "Historical Tailoring, Costume for the Performing Arts" for training professional figures with specific skills from the design and making of stage clothes - including theatre and historical re-enactments - to philological reconstruction for historical costumes.

The course aims to provide a solid basis on the history of costumes and evolution of historical tailoring and merchandising, including specific tailoring skills for the educational museum sector, from the initial historical costume restoration and conservation skills to the technical skills necessary for cataloguing funds and collections of costumes.

The tailoring workshops are entrusted to five personalities from the tailoring world of the performing arts, including costume designers and costume historians, each of whom will be touching on a specific historical period.

Focus&News | "Historical Tailoring, Costume for the Performing Arts" course

Evento online tenutosi Sabato 20 giugno 2020 in diretta streaming per la presentazione delle novità del corso e dei titolari dei cinque laboratori, un momento d’incontro tra esperti del settore, esperienze e idee per il futuro. 

Announcement and application

School regulations and application form

The application form must be downloaded at the bottom of the page in the " application form " section, filled in and submitted by e-mail to , complete with the relevant documentation attached, by 31 July 2021.

The application must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • Copy of curriculum vitae signed and containing authorisation to process personal data;
  • Photocopy of identity card (front and back), or other valid identification document;
  • Scanned copy of receipt of payment of the registration fee, as well as the administrative fee, for a total of € 2,000.00 (two thousand euro/00).

For more detailed information regarding the purposes, training subjects, costs and registration methods write an e-mail to Secretary asking for the "Course Regulations".

The quarters

Course structure

The course is based on quarterly modules, each for 212 hours during which theoretical, theoretical-practical, and practical workshop lessons will be provided.

The theoretical and theoretical-practical lessons entail a progressive approach to the subjects for organically acquiring knowledge and skills throughout the entire training course. Towards the end of each quarter, practical workshop lessons will lead up to the creation of costumes in line with the historical periods taken into examination.

For each historical period, life-size costumes will be created with a dual perspective: the first includes techniques and procedures faithful to the historical practices of the clothing of each period, the second uses the visual form of the historical period but adapts it to the stylistic and scenic requirements.

The quarters and workshop teachers:
  • 1 st quarter - "Propaedeutic” : “From Antiquity to the 15 th century” workshop module , 60 hours - Susan Marshall ;
  • 2 nd quarter -  " Costumes and the scene 1" : “ The 16 th and 17 th centuries”   workshop module, 60 hours –  Luca Costigliolo;
  • 3 rd quarter - " Costumes and the scene 2" : “The 18 th century”   workshop module, 60 hours -  Anna Maria Heinreich;
  • 4 th quarter - "Accessories" “The 19 th century”   workshop module, 60 hours -  Thessy Schoenholzer Nichols;
  • 5 th quarter - "Museums, Teaching Methods and Conservation" “The 20 th century”   workshop module, 60 hours -  Isabelle Caillaud.

The following are foreseen in each quarter:

  • Training days  with  guest speakers during which the students will be in direct contact with specialists in the various sectors for more in-depth thematic analyses;
  • Guided tours,  to enrich knowledge through comparisons with museums, companies, artisan enterprises.

In the first four quarters there will also be lessons for acquiring English terminology in this sector . Courses on safety at work and entrepreneurship will bring students into direct contact with practical issues of the world of work. 

240 hours of paid workshops to create costumes for the performing arts

Professionalising course

A 240-hour professionalising course with non-curricular and therefore, paid workshops is foreseen at the end of the fifth quarter.

During the course the students will be involved in the production of one or more Italian scenic tailoring workshops where they will come into direct contact with the real work of tailoring, actively taking part in the production of costumes.


Maria Alberti (coordinatrice attività didattiche Fondazione Zeffirelli), Eva Basile (docente Fondazione Lisio, progettista ed esperta tessile), Isabelle Caillaud (docente Fondazione Lisio, costumista), Francina Chiara (già curatore dell’Archivio e Museo Fondazione Ratti, professore Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Brescia), Luca Costigliolo (costumista, docente The School of Historical Dress, Londra), Simonetta Dynys (docente Disegno e Storia della Moda e del Costume), Paola Fandella (direttore Master Museologia Università Cattolica Milano), Donatella Gavrilovich (professore associato Discipline dello Spettacolo, Università “TorVergata”), Sara Gianassi (illustratrice e Concept Artist, docente Accademia Nemo Firenze), Giovanni Guidarelli (Confartigianato Imprese Firenze), Annamaria Heinreich (costumista), Ernst Karl Jorns (docente Polimoda e Accademia Europea di Firenze), Patrizia Lia (titolare Lia Parrucche ed Affini, presidente Ancos), Simona Lombardi (restauratrice tessile, docente Fondazione Lisio), Dervla Marie Long (Corporate English Language Trainer),  Daniela Lotti (SocialDesign grafica e comunicazione visiva), Massimo Luconi (regista, autore teatrale e televisivo),  Elisa Monaco (titolare Sartoria Monaco, docente LABA Firenze), Alessio Palmieri-Marinoni (PhD candidate, University of Sussex, School of Media, Film ad Music), Lucia Miazzo (docente, esperta restauratrice e studiosa di manufatti in metallo), Lorenzo Pesci (storico del Tessuto, consulente Soprintendenze e Musei),  Elena Puliti (costumista, docente Fondazione Zeffirelli), Walter Sardonini (SocialDesign, Responsabile Comunicazione e identità visiva presso Fondazione Teatro della Toscana / Teatro della Pergola), Thessy Schoenholzer Nichols (docente Fondazione Lisio, Polimoda, ricercatore tessile e costume antico), Elena Settimini (dottore di ricerca in Museologia, University of Leicester), Vittoria Valzania (sartoria Madame Flo).

Case studies and expert reports:

Simone Bessi (C.E.O Annamode Costumes, presidente Fondazione Annamode), Gian Luca Bovenzi (esperto tessili antichi), Carlo Centolavigna (scenografo, curatore museo Fondazione Zeffirelli), Moira Brunori (docente, restauratrice di manufatti di arte tessile, Centro Restauri Tessili di Pisa), Daniele Gelsi (costumista, sartoria teatrale Gelsi Costumi d’Arte), Pierfrancesco Pieri (presidente Associazione “Sestiere Castellare”, direzione Castello di Zumelle - Belluno), Maria Teresa Pizza (direttrice responsabile MusALab Franca Rame - Dario Fo), Thessy Schoenholzer Nichols (docente Fondazione Lisio, Polimoda, ricercatore tessile e costume antico) e ulteriori in via di definizione.

Collaborations and Projects:

  • Università Cattolica di Milano;
  • Commissione Permanente dei Costumi del Palio di Legnano;
  • Associazione Culturale “Il Leoncello – Scuola e gruppo di danza storica” di Legnano (Mi)

How to enroll for Historical Tailoring, Costume for the Performing Arts (biannual course)

You can book now this course. The course will take place once it has reached the required amount of particpiants. Book now and you will be notified soon!
1. Send the application form
Please fill out the registration form and send it back to us via email to
2. Pay the deposit
After sending the enrollment form, you can choose to pay the deposit or directly the whole fee, using the same email address.
taxes incl.