US 294 Fashion, Italian Style
Why do we immediately associate Italy with style and fashion? The course traces the origins of ideas of personal style and social grace in the courts of the Italian Renaissance and their transformation through modern history. Italy provides a perfect case study to observe the evolution of fashion from traditional handcrafting to one of main national industries, leading to the establishment of Made in Italy as a global brand, both in clothing and in industrial design. Special attention is paid to fashion advertising images, and how they reflect or problematize dominant notions of gender and nationality. An additional focus is on Italian cinema, both as it portrays the fashion industry and as it uses fashion in costume design and set decoration.
Films will be screened with English subtitles, class discussion all readings are in English; no knowledge of Italian required.