Made in Italy. Italian Design and Fashion in the 20th and 21st Century

Module code: IT3146

In this module, we will explore the history and evolution of Italian design and fashion, two of the most important industries and major sources of Italian soft power. The module aims to acquaint students with some of the most iconic objects of Italian design (from the Bialetti Moka Express of 1933 to the Vespa and the Fiat 500 in the post-WW2 decades) and with the work of some of the most renowned Italian fashion designers (from Armani, to Versace, Gucci and Prada, to give some examples). Particular attention will be paid to the economic and cultural significance of these designs, how they connect with Italian history and society and how they have contributed to shape contemporary Italian identity, touching on issues of sustainability and globalisation. These themes will be explored through the analysis of visual and multimedia materials. 

Topics covered

  • The concept and history of Made in Italy; the Design and Fashion industries in Italy.
  • The origins of Italian design. 
  • Italian Design in the Interwar years. 
  • Italian fashion in the early 20th century.
  • Fashion under Fascism. Postwar fashion
  • Design for reconstruction. The postwar years. 
  • Fashion case studies: Armani, Versace, Prada, Gucci
  • The 21st century: globalisation and sustainability.
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