Representing Fashion: Costume and Dress in the Visual Arts

180 Tappan
MW 2:30 - 4:00pm
3 Credit Lecture

The course explores representations of fashion and costume in art and visual culture of early modern and modern Europe, focusing on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Our point of departure will be an examination of the distinctive words used to define costume and fashion and to describe the dressed body and their changes over time. Drawing on this vocabulary, we will then explore the relationship between garments and their representations in fine art painting, journal illustration, and photography, in order to better understand how such garments and images operated in everyday life. This course will also consider how conditions of manufacture and commodification have engaged with ideologies of class and gender in the production of garments that encourage the performance of fantasy through dress. We will pay particular attention to the ways in which such fantasies are mediated by and manifested in the arts, seeking to understand how conventions of visual representation shape our analysis of the aesthetic and social roles of garments in the past and present.

Estimated cost of materials: less than $50. D. 4