Fashion and Identity in the Eighteenth Century
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Art and Design History and Theory
Department: Art and Design History
Course Number: PLFS 2005
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Fashion Design History, Theory & Criticism
This course explores the relationship between fashion (broadly defined) and identity in eighteenth-century France and England. We will examine the role of dress, hair, make-up and accessories in eighteenth-century life, as part and parcel of the social practices of the period. This period saw a shift from clothing as external signs of social position towards a modern emphasis on clothing as part of a self-constructed identity that corresponded to larger political, social, and economic changes. We will consider how conditions of manufacture and commodification of clothing, make-up, and fashionable things engaged with ideologies of class and how fashion and shopping became gendered over the course of the century. Finally, we will discuss the lasting influence of eighteenth-century fashion by studying its appropriation in the nineteenth century and by contemporary designers and pop culture. 
Course Open to: Majors Only
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
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.


Open to Undergraduate students.