Nanni Strada’s “Ethnological” Fashion
4:00 pm | 10/22/2020 | Virtual Event | Until 5:00 pm | 10/22/2020
Michele D’Aurizio, PhD candidate, UC Berkeley History of Art
In 1970s Italy, designer Nanni Strada sought to challenge sartorial traditions, seasonal fashions, and gender-specific wardrobes by developing fashion collections that considered the archetypical functions of clothing. Drawing from German ethnographer Max Tilke’s pioneering studies of garments’ construction among Asian, African, and European populations, Strada reconfigured fashion design as a practice concerned with geometric rather than organic forms, technical rather than sensorial qualities, and mass-manufacturing rather than tailoring. Her designs were futuristic in their appearance yet grounded in the simplicity of their use. Conceived in 1973, “The Cloak and the Skin,” for example, is a two-piece clothing system consisting of an elastic bodysuit (the skin) taking shape only when worn and an oversized coat (the cloak) intended to complement the bodysuit in colder climates.
In his talk, Michele D’Aurizio will explore Strada’s work, contextualizing her design program within the larger phenomenon of “Dressing Design” as well as design projects developed in 1970s Italy that embraced the methodologies of anthropological research.
This talk is co-sponsored by the Department of Art History and the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology.