From the Catwalk to the Classroom: an Introduction to Modern Italian Fashion

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Course Description

  • Course Name

    From the Catwalk to the Classroom: an Introduction to Modern Italian Fashion

  • Host University

    Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

  • Location

    Milan, Italy

  • Area of Study

    Apparel and Merchandising, Fashion, Fashion Merchandising, Italian Culture

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Modern Italian fashion, as it is internationally known and celebrated, originates in the second half of the XX century and coincides with the global diffusion of prêt à porter. Though often attributed to 1970s designers Armani, Versace, and Missoni, the Italian prêt-à-porter industry developed by mid-century from a necessity for high-end mass marketing, and thrived on late-century global overconsumption. Italian fashion relies on an adherence to the markings of a rich cultural heritage, an instinctive progression toward the globalization of fashion via various modernist aesthetics, and an ability to reinvent image ideals through advertising and promotion.
    In this course we shall try to understand what cultural, historical and social factors contributed to the development of Italian fashion; with Milan and Tuscany as saturated production centers, and art cities and natural scenery as inspirational landmarks in the evolution of the Italian aesthetic. In order to better understand the peculiarity of this style, we will engage in a comparative study of other western fashion styles, which in their turn represent different sets of cultural and social elements; in particular we?ll propose a comparison between Italy, France, Britain and America.
    The final part of the course will specifically focus on fashion in Milan: we will try to identify the main actors on the contemporary scene with special attention for the practice of cool hunting as an increasingly popular means to relate production of fashion to a plurality of consumption styles. In this part of the course, some sessions of urban observation will be carried out in order for students to engage in a real cool hunt in particular settings in the city of Milan.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.