At the Glory to Columbus shirt Furthermore, I will do this same time, I started to conceptualize the 2017 exhibition in view of the gallery space available at Queens College. I also initiated new collaborations and partnerships. Since the topic is very broad, I wanted to give a special focus to the fall 2017 exhibition keeping it within a broad, inclusive and global context. For these reasons, the focus was on the Made in Italy, which for the Fabric of Cultures: Systems in the Making angle was a perfect fit. Our specific aim was to explore the new Made in Italy, which means not only the latest experiments in sustainable production, but also a new historiography of the concept, the industry, the culture of the Made in Italy and its complex and rich context in and now outside of Italy. This was also an opportunity to rethink how we study Italy and configure Italian Studies. The exhibition offered a great opportunity to involve the students who had taken my classes. Their work was also put on display. The exhibition also brought to life (literally, from a 1908 photograph) the Tanagra Dress, designed and made by Rosa Genoni (1867-1954), an Italian seamstress, a teacher, a writer and peace activist. One of my MA students is a professional pattern maker. It was she who brought the design to life, reinterpreted it in modern terms in the context of the recent debate on fashion and feminism, activism, labor and ethical issues, sustainability. The dress she made was also the result of an ongoing dialogue and collaboration with students, which is why we displayed Genoni’s dress next to the “Peace Dress” by contemporary designer Silvia Giovanardi. Genoni’s dress, with its draping and movement, as can be seen in the video we made of the dress being worn by two models, undermines the traditional boundaries of “western” and “eastern dress.” We paired it, in fact, with a Sari. This was one of the focal points of the exhibition and can be seen as a paradigm for a new way to approach fashion/the fabric of cultures/ systems in the making. There were also other important focal points in the exhibition that I wanted to highlight such as re-use/waste (Antonio Marras); re-appropriation of local traditions in a forward-looking context (Cangiari/Goel etc.); fashion/science/sustainability as in the case of “Orange Fiber” and Ferragamo, the brand that launched the first capsule collection of this new textile obtained from citrus waste in Sicily.
Glory to Columbus shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater and long sleeve t-shirt
A project of this scope requires a lot of work and labor that goes beyond the Glory to Columbus shirt Furthermore, I will do this regular teaching load and service/administrative duties. At CUNY we have a three course a semester teaching load that can sometimes be negotiated down in view of of administrative duties, thesis advising etc. So the academic system requires a lot of juggling and balancing. It has been my primary goal and plan to incorporate teaching and research, as I am sure many of my colleagues do, while developing through the study of fashion, a new pedagogical and methodological approach to free the arts and the humanities from discipline constraints and create bridges between the humanities and other disciplines. My aims and interests are in investigating the praxis aspect and linking the two concepts of knowing and making. These concepts are explored in a variety of modes in several disciplines such as history, the digital humanities, art, video-making. I would like to add Fashion Studies to this list. What I mean by this is that now, more than ever, it is crucial to add a “hands on” component to the classroom, any kind of classroom, whether foreign language, history, or literature. The novelty in my view, and a very welcome one, is that through the study of fashion, clothing and textile, we can open up new research and pedagogy initiatives in disciplinary areas that were once confined to the museum, worlds of design and fashion, and Home Economics departments. Now I think the time is ripe to interrogate these old boundaries not only in articles and books but in the making and restructuring of academic domains, programs and departments. I am, of course, aware that this is a very long shot and also requires labor intensive work, political choices and collaborations among scholars within one’s institution and beyond. However, my aim as a scholar and educator has always been and it will always continue on this path no matter what the fads and fashions demand and dictate.