In Italian culture, fashion plays a vital role: it allows individuals to construct and express their identities, connects people with their communities and cultural roots, and promotes historical research. In Dickinson Wears Prada, an undergraduate Italian culture course at Dickinson College, we examined Italian fashion as a cultural dimension, an industry, and an indicator of social change. We discussed fashion “texts,” such as ads, pictures, documentaries, television shows, fashion shows, magazines, and literary pieces to investigate the fashion universe from multiple critical perspectives, including history, semiotics, culture, ethnicity, and gender. A specific section was devoted to the exploration of sustainable fashion. Elena Giulia Dall’Acqua, from the Dickinson Italian Program in Bologna, Italy, collaborated to support students’ projects on five organizations located in Bologna: Fashion Research Italy, Furla, Social Chic, Vicini D'Istanti, and Gomito a Gomito. We thank wholeheartedly all the organizations, their directors, employees, and interviewees for kindly offering their time, patience, personal stories, and thoughtful reflections on their precious work.
This website showcases the students' projects on the five organizations.
- Fashion Research Italy provides archival conservation, education, and research in the field of fashion. See the students' project here.
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