Design, Style and Image: Themes in Fashion History

Kingston University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Design, Style and Image: Themes in Fashion History

  • Host University

    Kingston University

  • Location

    London, England

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Content:

    This module presents thematic approaches to the study of fashion as an historical subject
    through image-based lectures, screenings and study visits. Students will be introduced to
    the historical development of fashion and dress from the 1750s to the present day.

    Each session is intended to address particular ideas and practices that have shaped and
    constructed our contemporary understanding of fashion as both a productive profession
    and as a meaningful social and cultural activity. The module engages with critical texts to
    allow students to examine the relationship between theory and practice in fashion and
    design and to develop an understanding of the emergence of fashion design as a cultural
    response to modernity.

    Key themes relating to clothing, including changing techniques and technologies of
    production, fashion and identity, fashion and consumer culture, the development of
    fashion imagery, archiving fashion, and the display and exhibition of fashion will be
    explored. An integral part of this module is the consideration of designed objects and

    Critical debates, which have shaped theoretical discussions of fashion, are introduced and
    the importance of context to the way in which fashion is valued is a central theme for

    Topics covered may include:
    ? The historical development of fashion and dress from 1750 to the present day;
    ? The role of fashion as a response to modernity;
    ? The role of changing production technologies and techniques in the design, production and consumption of clothing;
    ? The development of fashion imagery and culture;
    ? Fashion and identity;
    ? Fashion and consumer culture;
    ? The display, exhibition and archiving of fashion;

    Autumn semester:
    ? Seriously studying fashion
    ? Fashion & Design: The role of the designer
    ? Fashion & Identity: Status symbols ? from clothing to fashion
    ? Fashion & Identity: Gendered body ? transgressions and trends in fashion
    ? Fashion & Identity: Culture and place
    ? Fashion & Politics: Dress reform and anti-fashion
    ? Fashion & Politics: Propaganda and Utopian ideals in fashion
    ? Fashion & Politics: Fair and un-fair trade
    ? Fashion & Politics: Sustainability and Environmental issues in fashion

    Spring semester:
    ? Fashion, Consumption & Industry: Couture ? past, present and future
    ? Fashion, Consumption & Industry: Street style and subcultures
    ? Fashion, Consumption & Industry: Technological futures
    ? Fashion Methodology: Object analysis
    ? Fashion & Media: Image analysis ? semiotics, fashion and advertising
    ? Study trip to research archive or museum
    ? Fashion & Media: Magazines and identity construction
    ? Fashion & Media: Fashion and photography
    ? Fashion & Image: Fashion, film and fantasy
    ? Fashion & Media: Fashion and celebrity culture

    Teaching: Image-based lectures, discussions, screenings and study visits

    ? Exhibition proposal, 1000 words (30%)
    ? Essay, 2000 words (70%)
    STUDY OPTION 2 OR 3: Assessed essay (1,500-2000 words) (tbc)

    Study Option 1 = Whole Year
    Study Option 2 = Autumn
    Study Option 3 = Spring/summer

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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