Back to The New School
Registration for Summer Intensives 2020 is open. Registration for Spring 2020 courses is open.

Worth to Westwood: Fashion History

In this course, we explore fashion beginning with the father of haute couture and concluding with the designer who brought punk and new wave fashion into the mainstream. We discuss fashion in its historical context, examining economic and technological influences, as well as those from the world of arts and artists. Broad thematic considerations include the nature of fashion (what it is and what it does) and its relationship to modernity, production and consumption, art, and globalization and customization, as well as identity and the body. We assess the relationship of key designers, events, and movements to these broad themes, covering fashion and art from Charles Worth’s haute couture to the designs of the woman who dressed the Sex Pistols, Vivienne Westwood. Prerequisites: none.

Jan 21 - Mar 29
Spring 2020
CRN 4212
What you will learn
  • Upon completion of this course, students should be able to identify specific aesthetic qualities associated with each decade, style, movement, designer, and/or origin of design. Tools to ‘read’ fashion and definitions of fashion history terminology will be discussed. Reading, analysis, and writing are essential components of the course.
  • Recognize the iconic looks associated with eras and movements in Western Costume history.
  • How to analyze the influence of cultural, social, and political evolution on dress.
  • How to identify the unique cultural, technological, and political forces at work in global dress today and apply them to contemporary design concepts.
  • How to look at contemporary fashion through the lens of historical context.
  • How to form a point of view for the current moment of fashion in a historical continuum.
  • How to identify personal concepts and aesthetics in fashion with historical references.
  • About the rise of the fashion designer.
  • Specific periods in fashion history: The Belle Epoque and WWI, The Jazz Age, Hollywood Glamour, WWII and what happened to fashion, the birth of The New Look.
  • Parisian Couture and the American fashion conscious woman.
  • The Youthquake in fashion, 1961 – 1967.
  • AntiFashion, 1968 - 1979
  • The rise of the “Celebrity” Fashion Designer, 1980 - 1990
  • Globalization and Postmodernism, 1990’s
  • The New Millennium, 2000’s
  • The ability to identify and understand historical influences and references in today’s fashion.
  • Identify major eras and movements in 19th-21st century Western History and their impact on the evolution of Western Fashion.
  • Associate geographical locations, technological evolutions, key historical figures, groups, and dates with the fashion looks that represent them.
  • Transfer historical knowledge into contemporary design thinking and analysis.
  • Support views on fashion and history in class discussions and in written work using correct terminology including knowledge of materials, patterns, silhouettes, fabrication, and use of a garment.
  • Identifying what characteristics about a garment make it particular to the time in which it was made (technological advances, materials, pop culture, economy, political climate, etc.
Back to top