Fashion and Language
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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 3010
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Fashion Studies
While some say a picture is worth a thousand words, words undoubtedly impact and shape our understanding of the designed world around us. This course takes as its starting point the interlinked nature of text and image, combining theories drawn from linguistics and fashion studies to critically examine design. Tracing the historical foundations of linguistic thought applied to dress, we begin by considering semiotics and signs as ways to describe the fashion system, moving to sociolinguistic theories designed to consider gender, consumption, status, prestige, social difference, cross-cultural communication, and stylistic variation. We consider cultural documents combining graphics and text – magazines, textiles, branded clothing, logos, films, and advertisements – paying particular attention to the interplay of graphics and text in fashion magazine layouts. Students explore specific aspects of fashion through both written and visual means, culminating in a final creative project examining a specific aspect of language, fashion, and culture.
Course Open to: Degree Students
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: All university degree students. Pre-requisites: first-year university writing course and at least one prior history or methods course in art, media, film, or visual culture.