Skip to main content
This research project investigates Italy's transition from a country of dressmakers, tailors and small-scale couturiers to a major producer of designer ready-to-wear in the post-war period, through an emphasis on exploring the role played by the Italian textile industry in this transformation. The project analyses social, economic and cultural changes from Italy's post-war years characterised by a dichotomy between modernity and tradition; and the 1980s, when Milan, together with Paris and New York became the third worldwide fashion centre. My PhD is the first project to analyse how Italy's textile industry was a pivotal factor in determining a shift from production of handmade garments to designer mass-produced garments. The project aims to observe the phenomenon of the post-war Italian fashion system with a different lens. My new contribution is the use of a distinctive point of view through observing the foundational materials of fashion, that is, textiles and their fibres. My approach aims to assess the intrinsic material of fashion in terms of its quality, innovation in design, type (natural, artificial, synthetics fibres), production techniques and their impact on the country's overall fashion production. As such, my research addresses a key gap in the histories of Italian textiles, design and fashion. While extensive scholarship has focused on defining Italian fashion style, its history, or reconstructing the relationship with America, existing scholarship has not made a direct link between Italy's textile production and the country's rapid evolution as a producer of "iconic" and high quality ready-to-wear. The importance of the material employed in making Italian fashion has been often quoted as a very significant characteristic of the country aesthetic, but its impact has not been yet critically assessed. My research aims to address this gap and to contribute a new approach to the object-based study, by reversing the attention from the outside (style and composition) to the inside (materials and production) and by uniting the usually separated studies of fashion, textile and design history.
My research interest lies in twentieth century textiles, fashion and design especially focusing on Italy. Currently in the third year of my PhD at Kingston University, I already have significant experience in curating and publishing activity. I worked as Research Assistant on the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibitions Shoes: Pleasure and Pain (2015/2016) (http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/shoes-pleasure-and-pain/about-the-exhibition/) and ‘The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014' (2014) (: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-the-glamour-of-italian-fashion-1945-2014/) and I contributed to the accompanying publications for both with the chapters: "La Moda In Vogue" and "Nattier: textile innovators" respectively, the latter written in collaboration with textile historian Margherita Rosina. After obtaining my MA (hons.) from the University of Milan Statale in 2008, I worked at the Courtauld Gallery on the exhibition ‘Beyond Bloomsbury: Designs of the Omega Workshop 1913-19' (:http://courtauld.ac.uk/gallery/what-on/exhibitions-displays/archive/beyond-bloomsbury-designs-of-the-omega-workshops-1913-19)(2009), and contributed to the accompanying publication.I am also steering committee member of the Fashion Research Network (FRN) a collaborative venture set up to promote and share the work of PhD and early career researchers in fashion and dress studies.
Rosina, Margherita and Savi, Lucia (2014) Nattier: textile innovators. In: Stanfill, Sonnet, (ed.) The glamour of Italian fashion since 1945. London, U.K. : V&A Publishing. pp. 255-259. ISBN 9781851777761
- Unpacking Fashion and Textile Archives', Unpacking the Archive:Methodologies and Challenges in Design History, 24 March 2017, Royal College of Art, London
- ‘Italy's Textile Production and its Influence on the Ready-to-Wear System and its Aesthetics 1945-1985', Fashion Across Boundaries, IUAV University, Venice, 14 October 2016
- ‘Objects VS Things: Mrs Abegg's wardrobe', Museums and Cultural Lanscapes ICOM Triennial Conference, Milan 3- 6 July 2016
- ‘Inside-out method', New Thinking in Design History, University of Brighton, 14 April 2016
- ‘The Rayne Archive at the V&A', Rayne Study Day, Fashion and Textile Museum, London, 15 July 2015
- ‘Italian Fashion in the Pages of British Vogue, 1945-1955', Textual Fashion Conference, University of Brighton, 8-10 Jul 2015
- ‘Italian Fashion in the Pages of British Vogue, 1945-1955', Fashion Through History Conference, La Sapienza University, Rome 20-21 May 2015
- ‘Behind the Scene', Italy & the Language of Fashion Workshop organized on the occasion of the Italian Presidency at the Council of the European Union, Europe House, London, 28 November 2014
- ‘Italy's Autarky - Fashion and Textiles during the Fascist Regime', Dress & Politics Conference, ICOM Costume Committee Meeting, Nafplio and Athens, 7-13 September 2014
- ‘La Moda Italiana, tra passato e futuro, metodologie a confronto', Moda, Arte Storia e Società. Omaggio a Grazietta Butazzi Conference, Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Como, 20 June 2014
- ‘The Italian textile firm Nattier', The Business of Fashion Italian Style Symposium organized by the Enterprise of Culture, University of Leeds at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 7 February 2014
- ‘Research in the V&A's Exhibitions', Il Maxxi incontra la Moda Symposium, MAXXI Museum, Rome, 17 September 2013