Fashion Anthropology

Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Fashion Anthropology

  • Host University

    Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti

  • Location

    Milan, Italy

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

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

    The course surveys the impact of non-Western ideas, material culture, art, music, architecture and fashion on the development of Western civilizations from classical antiquity to the present.  Students develop an understanding of the process of assimilation and learn to identify non-Western elements erroneously taken for granted as being ‘of the West’. Ideas and innovations from abroad filtered into Europe over the course of history and led to further advancements in Western civilization. The West took ideas, foods and beverages, clothing and furniture styles, art and architecture and a plethora of inventions of the non-Western world and adapted them to their own needs and tastes.

    Students will be introduced to a variety of cultural movements and styles such as Turquerie, Hindoo Style, Chinoiserie, Orientalism, Empire Style, Japonisme, Primitivism, etc., and the theories of Post-colonialism and Transorientalism in fashion.  A special focus will be dedicated to the influence of China on Western culture: from the travels of Marco Polo to recent fashion collections. More specifically, a monographic section will highlight the history of porcelain and the 18th-century artist Geminiano Cozzi.  Eventually, students will be provided with information regarding the phenomenon of cultural appropriation by contemporary fashion designers and brands.


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