Fashion, Technology, and the Sensible (Session D)
In this course, we will widely explore fashion, art, and society, while focusing on the problem of clothing. We will embark on a journey in search of the objects that the contemporary luxury industry seems to have buried under piles of glossy magazines, social media pages of so-called influencers, and fashion weeks’s calendars: clothing. What is a piece of clothing? How is it made? Who makes it? And for whom? To answer these questions, we will look at a variety of case-studies from modern and contemporary art, cinema, design, and, of course, fashion. On the one hand, we will research how fashion production is technological by situating it at the intersection of the histories of industrialization (the machine-made) and craftsmanship (the hand-made). On the other hand, we will never lose sight of the politics of fashion and the substance that gives clothing shape: the body. Articles of clothing are modeled after the body; yet, we can ask: for which bodies are they designed? Is there an ideal body? How has the mass-production of clothing contributed to strengthening the gender binary, and how can contemporary fashion address gender fluidity? If the garment is a second skin, what tools can fashion offer to confront racial violence? And how can one reconcile fashion consumption with ecological and ethical agendas?
This course is open to students from the History of Art department as well as other disciplines. There are no prerequisites to take this course.
This course fulfills the following Major requirements: Geographical area (E) and Chronological period (III).
**This course will be online.