Twentieth-Century Fashion


Spring 2012


5th Floor Classroom


Michele Majer

This seminar presents a cultural study of European and American women’s dress from the Belle Époque through the 1970s. Within a chrono­logical framework that traces the evolution of the silhouette and the work of major design­ers, we explore the changing forces impacting fashion during this period.  Along with theoretical reading that offer theoretical inter­pretations of fashion, issues to be examined include changing ideals of feminine beauty as manifested by the use of cosmetics and understructure; the influence of film, histori­cism, contemporary art, and sport culture on style; the advent and significance of fashion photography; developments in clothing manufacture and the introduction of synthetics; the rise of the American designer and the ready-to-wear industry in the mid-century;  the “youthquake” phenomenon and counterculture clothing in the 1960s and 1970s,  and the demise of French fashion leadership. 3 credits.