Fashion Forward: Villanova Italian Studies Presents Annual Lecture Series on Fashion and Beauty

The Italian Catherine de' Medici was a fashion trendsetter in her time as Queen of France.
The Italian Catherine de' Medici was a fashion trendsetter in her time as Queen of France.

From the fashion-conscious Medici family who sported extravagant velvet, ribbons and jewels to 20th century icons like Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn who donned ensembles by Valentino, Italy and fashion have been nearly synonymous.

The Villanova University Italian Studies program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, directed by Luca Cottini, PhD, presents its fifth annual Italian lecture series, “Italian Fashion and the Pursuit of Beauty,” evaluating the intersection of art, fashion and beauty.

The series spans the full academic year, and the schedule is as follows:

  • Sept. 17, 2018, “Fashion and Power in Renaissance Venice”
    Ann Rosalind Jones, PhD, Smith College
    5 – 6 p.m., Idea Accelerator

Dr. Rosalind explores Venice's position as the center of Renaissance fashion and printing, by examining printed costume books and other images.

  • Oct. 29, 2018, “The Art of Objects: The Birth of Italian Industrial Culture, 1878-1928”
    Luca Cottini, PhD, Villanova University
    4:30 p.m., Speaker’s Corner, Falvey Memorial Library

Distinct from the Italian Fashion lecture series, Dr. Cottini discusses his recently published book, which explores the experimental encounter of arts and industry in Italy at the turn of the 20th century.

  • Nov. 19, 2018, “The Hair is Full of Snares: How Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli Made You Fall in Love with Italian Women”
    Emanuele Lugli, PhD, Stanford University
    4 – 5 p.m., Idea Accelerator

Dr. Lugli discusses the seductive representation of female hair in paintings and drawings of the Italian Renaissance masters Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli.  

  • Feb. 18, 2019, “The Culture of Fashion in Italy: Women Film and Media”
    Eugenia Paulicelli, PhD, Queens College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York
    5 – 6 p.m., Idea Accelerator

Dr. Paulicelli explains how fashion became an industry in Italy during the 20th century and in the post-WWII years.

  • March 19, 2018, “A Conversation About the Italian Fashion System”
    Nicola Guerini, Milano Fashion Institute
    5 – 6 p.m., Idea Accelerator

Guerini describes how and why Milan became the center of Italian fashion and how the Milan model works today.

The series is sponsored by the Richard and Mary Anne Francisco Endowed Fund, which supports the Italian Studies lecture series annually. It is co-sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Art History program and the Gender and Women’s Studies program. All lectures are free and open to the public.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.