Fashion Unbound

Parsons School of Design: Sch. Art and Dsgn Hist and Th

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Fashion Unbound
Spring 2024
Taught By: Francesca Granata
Section: A

CRN: 5258

Credits: 3

At the turn of the twenty-first century, experimental fashion presented grotesque bodies-out-of-bounds, which moved a critique to norms of beauty and propriety. This shift was influenced by feminism’s desire to open up and question gender and bodily norms and particularly the normative bodies of fashion, as well as by the AIDS epidemic. In the twenty-first century, fashion designers have continued this exploration, further breaking down boundaries between humans and non-humans, subjects, and objects. As the centrality of the human comes into question, in the wake of the looming climate crisis, posthumanism has increasingly come to bear on experimental fashion. This seminar will interrogate these shifts and explore: Why is the sealed and “perfect” body of classicism so forcefully challenged by contemporary designers? How can we read this proliferation of the grotesque in relation to changes in gender roles, normative sexuality, and the AIDS crisis? How do theories of the posthuman and new materialism influence contemporary fashion and performance? In the class, we look at a range of media including the video and performance work of Leigh Bowery in collaboration with Charles Atlas and Michael Clark, the dance performances by Merce Cunningham in collaboration with Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons; the experimental fashion shows staged by Alexander McQueen, Martin Margiela, and Hood by Air and the work of Iris Van Herpen. We also examine textiles’ relation to the body as a second skin, a surface on which bodily borders are negotiated. Our readings will draw from fashion studies, art and design history, feminist and queer theory, disability studies, science studies and medical anthropology. The seminar will pose a series of self-reflexive questions and exercises tying the readings to the students’ own dress and design practices.

Open to: All university undergraduate degree students. Pre-requisite(s): first-year university writing course and at least two prior history or methods course in art, media, film, or visual culture. One of these courses should be 3000-level.

College: Parsons School of Design (PS)

Department: Sch. Art and Dsgn Hist and Th (ADHT)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 20

Add/Drop Deadline: February 4, 2024 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2024 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: No

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few 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: 9:20pm EDT 5/29/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Tuesday
Times: 12:10pm - 2:50pm
Building: 6 East 16th Street
Room: 705
Date Range: 1/23/2024 - 5/7/2024