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[Commlist] CFP “Italian Film, Costume Design and Fashion from the Silent Era to the Present” JICMS

Mon Jan 28 16:45:07 GMT 2019

Call for papers for a Special Issue of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies, on “Italian Film, Costume Design and Fashion from the Silent Era to the Present” to be edited by Eugenia Paulicelli and Giuliana Muscio.*


*Italian Film/Costume Design/Fashion from the Silent Era to the Present. *


Fashion and film share a highly interactive quality. As two of the most popular and widespread commercial industries to grow out of modernity, cinema and fashion have always had a synergetic relationship, both using the technology of the camera and that of the body and performance. Costume is integral both to the actor’s performance and to the cinematic rendition of visual narratives and experience. Since the birth of cinema in the late nineteenth century, the film scene has constituted a virtual shopping window for clothes, exhibiting and making desirable the newest fashions and goods available at the department stores. Film costume has not only borrowed from fashion and haute couture; it has also inspired the production of the newest fashions. Costumes in cinema have also been used as narrative tools for telling stories on screen that emphasize character identity and development while also attracting a larger audience. More recently, the digital genre of “fashion film” has become a widespread advertising and storytelling tool for fashion luxury brands as Ferragamo, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Dior amongst the others.

            Although fashion and film costume have always been vital to the totality of the cinema industry, they did not attract academic attention until the 1990s. That is not to say that the topic was completely neglected, however, as one of the first books on the relationship between fashion and cinema, /La moda e il costume nel film/, was published in 1950 in Italy, edited by the university professor and critic Mario Verdone, father of actor Carlo Verdone. The book contains a homage to the costume designer Gino Carlo Sensani, who was praised by Antonioni. Costume design only began to be recognized as a profession in the world of Italian cinema in the 1930s, but costume/cinema and fashion were soon to establish a close link with the global launch of Italian fashion in the post-war years.

            In the United States, film scholars Jane Gaines and Charlotte Herzog edited their landmark collection /Fabrications/in 1990, and in 1996 and 1997, UK-based film scholars Pam Cook and Stella Bruzzi published monographs on fashion in British cinema (Cook: 1996) and on film, gender, and identity (Bruzzi: 1997). These seminal books offered a reflection on methodology and histories (of gender and nation), and paved the way for new interpretations of film, body and performance, masculinities, fashion, popular culture, and stardom and, at the same time, challenged age-old hierarchies in the humanities.

            The intersection between fashion and film and the growing scholarship dedicated to it are now becoming a very fertile terrain. More attention is now being dedicated to the role of costume and costume design in cinema and its interrelation with fashion, Italian style and the made in Italy. Nevertheless, the combined study of fashion and film and the particular focus on Italy is still at an early stage of development within film studies and especially Italian cinema and media studies.

We invite scholars, costume and fashion designers, archivists, museum scholars and experts to participate in a special issue of the journal focusing on film/fashion/costume design with the aim of mapping the intermedial and transnational history of Italian film/costume design/fashion and screen media from the silent era until the present. All film genres are of interest.

Topics to be considered include but are not limited to are:

Silent cinema and costume

Italy and Hollywood

Hollywood in Italy

Italian actors in Hollywood

Transnational impact of cinema-mediated fashion

Italian costume designers in Hollywood and elsewhere

Fashion Houses, sartorie and archives in Italy

Film and photographic archives in Italy and elsewhere

Cities of film and cities of fashion

Branding and film/fashion/costume

Fashion film in historical perspectives

International stars in Italy

Well known and less known costume designers

The role of craftsmanship in costume and fashion

Costume drama

Women directors and the work of women whose work has been neglected

Film/Costume/Fashion and pedagogy, interdisciplinary courses; designing curriculum

Each abstract should include the following information:

a) a clear title

b) a 500-word description outlining:

-  the topic

-  the critical approach of the proposed article—whether theoretical or historical

-  a cohesive description of the proposed article’s argument and objective

-  relevant bibliography and filmography

In addition to a 500-word abstract, authors should send to the guest editors a 150-word biographical note, followed by a detailed list of their academic publications, and commitment that, if the proposal is accepted, the article will be submitted within 8 weeks from the official invitation to submit the article.

Please send your proposal with a Bio by *February 28, 2019*to the editors:

Prof. Eugenia Paulicelli, Queens College and The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, email address: (Eugenia.paulicelli /at/; and Prof. Giuliana Muscio, University of Padua, Emerita, email address: (giulianamuscio /at/

*The accepted proposals will be notified by March 15^th 2019; completed essays should be sent by May 30^th , 2019 for peer review; authors will be notified of the results of the peer-review by June 30^th 2019*

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