Fashion History: Ready to Wear

Parsons School of Design: Art and Design History

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Fashion History: Ready to Wear

Spring 2019

Taught By: Alexis Romano

Section: A

CRN: 7752

Credits: 3

This course explores the various developments of the twentieth-century readymade clothing industries in the United States, Britain, Italy and France (with a focus on womenswear) in historical and cultural frameworks via the study of a range of surviving and pictured garments. A main focus of the course will be on key periods of growth in each country between the 1920s and 1950s and the cultural circumstances that fostered this expansion. Students will be introduced to the designers, manufacturers, brands (Albert Lempereur, Frederick Starke, Basta, Bonnie Cashin, Claire McCardell), trade and design groups (Model House Group, les Trois Hirondelles, Fashion Group) as well as the shops, trade and fashion magazines that played a role in promoting the industry. The latter part of the course examines shifts in the ready-to-wear industries of the 1960s to the 1980s, and concludes with students’ reflections on the global contexts of today’s fashion system. Throughout, we will question how the growing focus on readymade production has affected shifting conceptions of fashion, and the experience of fashion by women consumers; and consider these shifts in cultural contexts, and in view of changing technologies in image and clothing production. We examine the tension between readymade production, design and haute couture; high fashion and the everyday; industrial and artisanal production; and how the aura of fashion has been repositioned alongside the increasing rationalization of manufacture. Individual classes explore the connection between ready-to-wear and modernity, modern identities, and postmodernism, and fashion’s links to industrial design, architecture and urban space. At the end of the course, students will demonstrate a critical understanding of key themes and developments pertaining to the readymade clothing industry. They will be familiar with a range of lesser-known and established designers and brands, and able to contextualize transitions in the fashion industry and stylistic trends in historical frameworks. They will be introduced to dress and cultural history approaches, and capable of engaging with object and image-based resources in their work.

Open to: University undergraduate degree students, freshman and sophomores only. Pre-requisite(s): first-year university writing course and at least one prior history or methods course in art, media, film, or visual culture.

College: Parsons School of Design (PS)

Department: Art and Design History (PLAD)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 20

Enrollment Status: Closed*

*Enrollment status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 11:57pm 4/23/2019

Meeting Info:

Days: Thursday

Times: 7:00pm - 9:40pm

Building: 6 East 16th Street

Room: 1001

Date Range: 1/24/2019 - 5/9/2019