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  • Faculty

  • Francesca Granata

    Associate Professor of Fashion Studies


    Office Location
    L - Sheila C. Johnson Design Center - 2 West 13th Street

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    Francesca Granata


    Francesca Granata is Associate Professor in the School of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons School of Design. Her research centers on modern and contemporary visual and material culture with a particular focus on fashion history and theory, gender and performance studies. Her monograph Experimental Fashion, Performance Art, Carnival and the Grotesque Body (Bloomsbury & I.B. Tauris, 2017) examines the way experimental fashion at the turn of the twenty-first century mediated shifting gender norms and the AIDS crisis. 

    She has published in the journals Fashion Theory, The Journal of Design History and Fashion Practice, in magazines such The Atlantic, as well as in a number of book collections and exhibition catalogues. She is the editor and founder of the non-profit journal Fashion Projects (, a fiscally sponspored project by the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has been invited to lecture in museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA PS1, the Benaki Museum, Athens, and the Somerset House, as well as universities and design schools, such as Cornell University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and  IUAV Venezia, 

    She co-curated "Ethics + Aesthetics" the first American exhibition exploring the interconnection between fashion and sustainability and co-wrote the  accompanying exhibition catogue.  Prior to coming to Parsons she taught in the Visual Arts Department at Goldsmiths College and at NYU’s Visual Arts department, and was a Polaire-Weissman fellow at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts. She has received grant from the University of the Arts London, the Coby Foundation, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.   


    Degrees Held

    PhD, Visual and Material Culture, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London

    MA, Cinema and Media Studies, Tisch , NYU

    BA Art History, Tufts University

    BFA Visual Arts, Tufts University 

    Recent Publications

    Single-Authored Books 

    Experimental Fashion:  Performance Art, Carnival and the Grotesque Body, London and New York: Bloomsbury/I.B. Tauris, February 2017

    Shortlisted for the Costume Society of America Millia Davenport Publication Award  

    Edited Books 

    An Anthology of Fashion Criticism (in contract), London and New York: Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2019  

    Exhibition Catalogue

    Ethics + Aesthetics = Sustainable Fashion with Sarah Scaturro. Pratt Manhattan Gallery: New York, 2010

     Journal Articles 

    • “Fashioning Cultural Criticism: An Inquiry into Fashion Criticism and its Delay in Legitimization,” reviewed and accepted, published online April 2018, forthcoming in print Fashion Theory, 2019  

    • “Deconstruction Fashion: Carnival and the Grotesque,” The Journal of Design History, volume 26, number 2 (May 2013): 182-198  

    • “Fashion Studies In-Between: A Methodological Case Study and an Inquiry into the State of Fashion Studies” Fashion Theory, volume 16, number 1 (March 2012): 67-82.

    o Reprinted in Fashion Theory - Russia number 32 (Summer, 2014)

      • “Multiple Systems and Composite Identities in New York Fashion: An Interview with Mary Ping” Fashion Practice, volume 1, number 2 (November 2009): 227-237  

    • “Subverting Assumptions of Female Beauty: An Interview with Ann-Sofie Back,” in Fashion Theory, volume 11, number 4 (December 2007) 

    o Reprinted in Contributor Magazine issue 6 (2012): 391-401  

      Articles in Books 

    • “Between Performance and Performativity: Leigh Bowery’s collaboration with Michael Clark and Charles Atlas,” in Fashion Performance and Performativity edited by Andrea Kollnitz and Marco Pecorari, forthcoming from Bloomsbury  

    • “Afterward” to Scot D. Ryersson and Michael Orlando Yaccarino’s Marchesa Casati: Infinite Variety The Life and Legend of the Marchesa Casati, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, November 2017

      • “Fitting Sources – Tailoring Methods: A Case-Study of Martin Margiela and the Temporalities of Fashion” in Fashion Studies: Research Methods, Sites and Practices, in Heike Jenss ed., London: Bloomsbury, 2016  

    • “Mikhail Bakhtin: Fashioning the Grotesque Body” in Thinking Through Fashion: A Guide to the Key Theorists, in Agnes Rocamora and Anneke Smelik ed., London: I.B. Tauris, 2015  

    Edited Journals 

    Fashion Projects, number 5 (2018), on Fashion Curation

    Fashion Projects, number 4 (2013), on Fashion Criticism 

    Fashion Projects, number 3 (2010), on Fashion and Memory

    Fashion Projects, number 2  (2008), on Art and Fashion Collectives, and Collaboration 

    Fashion Projects, number 1 (2005), on Authenticity and Forgery  

    Articles in Exhibition Catalogues 

    • Fashion Unbound” in Clash: Counterculture in Fashion, Denmark: Horning Museum of Contemporary Art, 2014

    • Decentering Fashion: Carnival, Performance and the Grotesque Body,” Not a Toy: Radical Character Design in Fashion and Costume, in Vasisilis Zidianakis ed., Berlin and Athens: Atopos Contemporary Visual Culture and Pictoplasma, October 2011

    Bernhard Willhelm and Jutta Kraus, co-authored with Ingeborg Hams and Sue-an Van der Zijpp accompanying Willhelm and Krauss’ retrospective at the Groninger Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. NAI Publishers: Amsterdam, 2010  

    • “Fashion of Inversions: The Grotesque and the Carnivalesque in Contemporary Belgian Fashion” in Modus Operandi: State of Affairs in Current Research on Belgian Fashion, ModeMuseum: Antwerp, 2009  

    Articles in Magazines  (selected)

    • “The Alienating Garments of Rei Kawakubo,” The Atlantic, May 7, 2017   

    • “Consider the Garment” An Interview with Paola Antonelli, Disegno, number 16, 2017  

    • “Why Fashion Criticism Matters,” Form Magazine for Nordic Architecture and Design, 2013  

    • “Women’s Work”: An Interview with Judith Thurman,” Fashion Projects, number 4, 2013.

      o Reprinted in Design Observer, 2013  

    • Transdisciplinary Practices: An Interview with Stefano Tonchi.” Fashion Projects, number 4, 2013  


    Research Interests

    fashion history, fashion theory, gender studies, performance studies, curation, sustainability

    Awards And Honors

    • The  Coby Foundation 
    • Polaire Weissman Art History Fellowship, the Metropolitan Museum of Art,
    • Belgian-American Education Foundation
    • New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council 
    • University of the Arts London


    Fashion Projects

    Current Courses

    Advanced Thesis Preparation

    Experimental Fashion

    Experimental Fashion (Spring 2020)

    Fashion Unbound

    Fashion Unbound (Spring 2020)

    Professional Internship

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