Lifestyle and fashion in Mario Camerini’s romantic comedies Il Signor Max and I Grandi Magazzini

  • Chiara Faggella Stockholm University
Keywords: Lifestyle, Fascism, Comedy, Film, Fashion


Between the years 1922 and 1943, Italian Fascism revealed quite an ambivalent attitude towards lifestyle.[1] While the regime tried to impose standards of nationalistic moderation, popular entertainment of the time reveals that different aspects of culture never surrendered completely to the diktats of the regime. This article discusses the ways in which two films, Il Signor Max (Astra Film, 1937) and I Grandi Magazzini (Amato-Era Film, 1939) can provide a perspective into the consumer culture of Fascist Italy and its ambivalences. By presenting recurrent references to lifestyle commodities and fashion, the experiences of consumption in the two films take center stage in spite of the regime’s campaigns for modesty.


[1] The use of the capital ‘f’ is employed to specifically indicate the totalitarian regime led by Benito Mussolini, which occurred in Italy between the years 1922 and 1943, and to distinguish it from additional national variations (e.g. Spanish Falangism).

Author Biography

Chiara Faggella, Stockholm University

Chiara Faggella is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University, Sweden. She holds an MA in Fashion Studies from Stockholm University and graduated summa cum laude from Università degli Studi di Pisa with a BA in Communication Studies. Her soon-to-be discussed doctoral thesis is a historical project on the postwar promotion of Italian fashion for export in the international market. Chiara's additional research interests include oral histories of postwar Italian dressmakers and their consumers; history of costume departments of the interwar Italian film industry; and the developments of trade agencies for the promotion of Italian fashion merchandise.

April 30, 2018
How to Cite
Faggella, C. (2018). Lifestyle and fashion in Mario Camerini’s romantic comedies Il Signor Max and I Grandi Magazzini. Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network, 11(1), 56-66.