Italian Style in Context

Brought to you by Hopkins at Home

Thursday, April 23 – Thursday, May 21
Live Lecture
5 weeks

“Italian style” has become a synonym of exquisite taste, class, and elegance thanks to its quality and craftsmanship. This mini-course will explore some of the major factors that contributed to the rise of the Made in Italy as an iconic design all around the world. In each meeting will analyze trends, clothing, and style not only in a historical context, but also through a critical apparatus that will include themes related to gender, the culture of power, and politics. The topics explored in class will range from Renaissance to the rise of Milan as one of the capitals of Fashion, including a look into the fascinating path of designers like Elsa Schiaparelli and her relationship with Surrealism.

Each week, Leo will share a short lecture followed by class discussion. Recommended readings will sometimes be shared by email with students the week prior to class.

Week 1 (4.23.20). Dressing the Renaissance

Week 2 (4.30.20). Rosa Genoni –feminist pioneer

Week 3 (5.7.20). Elsa Schiaparelli & Surrealism –“Fetishizing the Feminine”

Week 4 (5.14.20). Made in Italy: Florence capital of fashion

Week 5 (5.21.20). Giorgio Armani: Deconstructing gender identity


Leonardo Proietti received his Masters of Arts in Italian in 2013 from the University of California, Los Angles (UCLA) with a thesis on the Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni analyzed through the visual language of Modern art. 

His primary interests are in Italian cultural studies, with a particular focus on visual culture, including film, art, and fashion.

At Johns Hopkins he teaches courses in Italian language and culture. The latter explores themes like Italian food culture, Italian travel through the experience of the Grand Tour, and the history of fashion “Made in Italy.”  The classes are designed to approach cultural material critically, including visual culture at the intersection of power, gender, and politics. 

Before beginning his career as a teacher, he worked in public relations and in the art world, including as an independent art curator and as curatorial assistant both in private galleries and a museum (Santa Monica Museum of Art). He also has contributed for years to the Italian art magazines Exibart and Artribune, where he writes art reviews primarily as a correspondent from the United States.


 Event Date
Thursday, April 23, 2020
Start Time: 12:00pm
End Time: 1:15pm


Online via Zoom
Baltimore, MD

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