Fashion & design

Innovation of material culture in advanced industrial societies

Inquiry on the role designers play in the processes of cultural change that are peculiar of contemporary society – a society where cultural production takes place mainly through communication processes.

By using a non-standard methodology, the study aims to examine the hypothesis that, despite the preunderstandings of the common sense and much scientific literature, as well as of many designers, the role of design in contemporary society does not respond to the designer’s individual ability to give shape to his creative imagination, but to the collective need to develop the communication tools at the disposal of the social actors. The first phase of the project has been financed by the Faculty of Design and Arts of the Free University of Bolzano and led to the collection of 45 in-depth interviews.

“Creativity” within the fashion system and the role of the fashion designer

Designing new possibilities in the clothing area viewed as a process of innovation of the communication tools available for social subjects.

Under the Research Program of National Interest (PRIN) “Cross-fertilisation for innovation” financed by the MIUR (Ministry of Instruction, University and Research) in 2005/06 and conducted by the Politecnico of Milan and Università Cattolica of Milan, this vita-da-stilistasupport study takes an in-depth look, from the point of view of sociological literature, at the role played by the professional fashion designer within the fashion system. This role cannot be reduced to the mere creation of material objects in the clothing sector. By designing and producing a garment, the fashion designer introduces into the surrounding world a new tool at the disposal of consumers to dress their body. Dressing one’s body means transforming it, changing and defining its appearance in view of the interaction with other people. The designer, therefore, does not produce material objects, but tools that foster opportunities for interaction while closing others. He/She creates new possibilities in the clothing area, i.e. in the field of body communication. The study led to the book Vita da stilista (Bruno Mondadori 2008) and several papers, some of them still to be published

Functions and practices of styling in fashion

Survey on the function performed by fashion stylists in the production of semantic content of fashion proposals, with a particular reference to geographic variables of profession.


Project conducted on collaboration with Fashion Design Department of Solent University of Southampton. Using both sociological and design qualitative methodologies we mean to analyse stylist professional’s figure following two research lines. From one side reconstructing the function styling performs in fashion creation’s processes, starting from the hypothesis that its contribution is essential in the semantic content’s creation of clothes. From the other side highlighting the multiplicity of practical and conceptual forms which styling can reach in different fashion capitals, starting from the hypothesis that professions of fashion are articulated in relation to a series of geographical variables. The research takes place in Milan, London and Paris.