Representing Fashion: Costume and Dress in the Visual Arts
The course explores representations of fashion and costume in art and visual culture of modern and early modern Europe, focusing on the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. 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 the conventions of representation particular to each medium. 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 the visual culture of fashion shapes our understanding of the aesthetic and social roles of garments in the past.
Field trip required.
Estimated cost of materials: less than $100.
HISTART category for concentration distributions: 4. Modern and Contemporary, D. Europe and the U.S.