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Night photograph of Lyon's Notre Dame Cathedral which overlooks the city from its highest point.

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Lyon Study Tour - Summer 2005

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As part of UNI's Study Abroad Program, during the time span between June 20 and July 29, several UNI students (9 total) participated in a grand study of the French textile and apparel industry as well as the history of textiles. Earning 6 hours of credit, the students studied with textile and apparel professors from the Université de la Mode of the University of Lyon 2, as well as with UNI professors Annette Lynch and Mitchell Strauss.
 

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Besides being France's second largest city, Lyon is one of the great historic centers of the world textile industry. Some of the most elegant, complicated and sumptuous woven fabrics every produced were made in the famous silk district of Lyon. Lyon and its surrounding environs have had a long history of producing the fabrics, footwear and hats used in the Parisian couture enterprises. Without Lyon, the Parisian couturiers could not have created the incredible designs that they have over the past hundred years or more. As a result of its long and storied involvement in textile manufacture, the region is clustered with some of the finest textile museums in the world. Lyon is an incredible place to study the fashion industry and the history of textiles.
 

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The UNI students arrived in Lyon on June 20-21, 2005, joining other students from around the world for the initial three week program conducted by the Université de la Mode. The students were housed in attractive single rooms in a University of Lyon 2 dormitory. Classes, in both the morning and afternoon included lectures on the fashion industry, and other associated subjects such as designing a fashion collection, as well as interesting related matters such as fashion and film. Included throughout the three weeks were tours to industry sites, such as fabric formation and fabric printing operations. Besides visits to industrial/business sites there were several tours of textile museums in Lyon and surrounding cities.
 

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The final two weeks of the program were taught by Drs. Lynch and Strauss, where the focus was on the history of textiles. Classes were held in a beautifully appointed conference room within Lyon's Musees des Tissus (Textile Museum). Students spent the mornings each day in a combination of lectures and field exercises within the museum's extensive historical collection. Artifacts that students interacted with included fabrics from the museum's ancient Coptic, Persian, Byzantine, Ottoman, Italian, Spanish and French collections. Modern fabrics, such as famous print designs by Sonia Delaunay were also examined.

 


Checking in baggage at the Cedar Rapids Airport

The final bus ride from the Lyon Airport to student housing

 


A tour of the Lyon Musses des Tissus
 


Opening night reception with Director of Industry
Consortium that sponsors the Lyon 2 program

 


The bus ride to Avignon,  famous French walled city and home of the Popes
 

In an ancient French castle outside Avignon,
Countess Alexandra, program director, speaks to students.

 


UNI students posing in a castle alcove outside Avignon

 


Modeling a new sun hat

Sampling items in a French boutique at the Village of Creators

 

bulletThe city of Lyon is fully committed to the development of its textile and apparel industry. Small entrepreneurial shops where designers create and sell their apparel products exist throughout the city. Promising new design companies receive support from the city and larger industry in the Village of Creators, which is an incubator for new textile and apparel companies. Lyon also designated itself as a European hi-tech textile center during the time we were there.

 

The Village of Creators at Passage Thiaffait in the old silk district
 

UNI student on right, digging for more information
about the functioning of the Village of Creators

 


Outside Sophie Guyot's shop,
Lyon textile entrepreneur and guest lecturer

 


On tour at a museum specializing in the history of textile printing

Eight of the nine UNI students pose on the steps of a grand French Châteaux.

 


Luncheon in the yard of Countess Alexandra's Châteaux
with Dr. Lynch and young Parker Strauss

UNI students cool their heels in one of
the many textile museum stores

 


Dr. Strauss poses with students at Countess Alexandra's luncheon.

 


Dr. Lynch lectures in the Museum conference room.
 

UNI students examine Egyptian Coptic
artifacts for structural elements

 


On a warm French summer day, Dr. Lynch lectures outdoors

 

In the Museum again, sketching historic design
motifs created by Coptic and Persian weavers
 

 

bulletIn addition to their class work during the week, the students had weekends to travel around France and Europe. Included in the weekend destinations of some of the students were such locales as Paris, Nice, and Cannes in France, as well as Geneva, Switzerland. Students were excited to be on the Champs Elysees in Paris to witness American cyclist Lance Armstrong compete his seventh Tour de France victory. Also seen in Paris was director Ron Howard there to film The DaVinci Code. Rock immortal Bono was also witnessed sauntering through Paris by some of our students!
 

 


An Indian Bollywood version of Spiderman was
witnessed being filmed on streets of Lyon

Outside the Opera House, a rock and roll celebration
of Bastille Day, a major French national holiday

 


Posing outside the Textile Museum,
the entire UNI 2005 Study Abroad Group on their last day of class