Fashion and Culture in France and Italy

This course considers style, fashion and dress in France and Italy from a cultural studies perspective. Key to the cultural studies approach is the idea that gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, class, and other subject positions organize identities, social relations and the objects and images that culture produces.  After a general introduction to these conceptual terms, our course surveys French and Italian fashion history from the 1500s to the present day. Students grapple with key questions of cultural history, beginning with an analysis of the reasons why Paris has been regarded for so long as "the capital of fashion". In recent decades, since the age of globalization, the geography of fashion has become more competitive with Milan, New York and London all vying for fashion capital status. However, the myth of Paris remains with us. To describe this magical mythical Paris is to imagine the place where all the refinements of civilized life reach their fullest expression from avant-garde art to elegant fashion.

*Sections of this course offered as fully online sections in main campus programs will be charged a $50 iCourse Fee.  This fee does not apply to In person or Hybrid sections of this course, or to students in fully online programs.  Please check the Schedule of Classes for up-to-date information on the mode of instruction for individual sections of this course as offerings may change from semester to semester. 

Class Number: 

ITAL 231


Regular grades are awarded for this course: A, B, C, D, E.

Pre requisite(s): 

Two courses from Tier One, Individuals & Societies

Usually Offered: 

Fall, Spring



Identical To: 

FREN 231

Approved As: 

General Education Tier Two - Individuals and Societies
General Education - Diversity Emphasis