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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Undergraduate Course: Fashion Studies: Theory and Method (DESI10094)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course challenges students to consider fashion in relation to design, production, consumption, representation, and body practice. It aims to introduce students to the field of fashion studies, a relatively young subject within the humanities, with profound roots in art history. In studying key issues and paradigm shifts in the discourse of the field, students will become familiar with scholars who have influenced theoretical studies about fashion, such as Elizabeth Wilson, Valerie Steele, Caroline Evans, Christopher Breward, Patrizia Calefato as well as the ideas of some of the precursors of the recurrent methodologies used to study fashion today: Ferdinand de Saussure, Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault and Deleuze.
Course description The course explores the phenomenology of dress through the manifestations of fashion which the body assumes, especially in contemporary times. It is divided in two parts: Theory & Method. The first part of the course provides a critical review of definitions of fashion as well as of the theoretical concepts and debates that have shaped the development of fashion and fashion studies as scholarly fields. This part of the course will specifically address discourses on the relationship of fashion, body and identity, problematized by complex variables such as gender, class, ethnicity, trans/nationality. The second part of the course will seek to apply this body of knowledge to specific case studies, in order to show different ways in which fashion can be studied as object, practice, representation, industry, and concept. This part of the course challenges students to apply a variety of methodologies and to integrate a range of disciplines - fashion history and theory, design studies, history, historiography, film studies and cultural studies. Students come to this course from very different university backgrounds and levels of knowledge of fashion practice. This will be viewed as a resource and students will be encouraged to apply methodologies and approaches learnt in their degree programmes.

The course will also include 2 visits at the National Museum of Scotland, to visit and discuss the fashion gallery and to engage in conversation with their contemporary fashion curator.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand a range of key industrial, ideological and creative contexts and debates underpinning fashion cultures.
  2. Discuss fashion as a transdisciplinary subject in writing and orally.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of contemporary theories related to the perception and interpretation of fashion representation.
  4. Fashion and Costume students will be able to problematize their own practice in relation to key social, ideological, and theoretical issues.
Reading List
Barnard, M., 2007. Fashion Theory: A Reader, New Ed edition. ed. Routledge, London; New York.

Barthes, R., 2013. The Language of Fashion, Reprint edition. ed. Bloomsbury Academic, New York.

Breward, C., 2003. Fashion, Oxford history of art. Oxford University Press, Oxford; New York.

Bruzzi, S., Gibson, P.C., 2000. Fashion cultures: theories, explorations, and analysis. Routledge, New York.

Calefato, P., 2004. The clothed body, Dress, body, culture. Berg, Oxford.

Entwistle, J., 2015. The Fashioned Body, 2nd Revised edition edition. ed. Polity Press, Cambridge, UK; Malden, USA.

Evans, C., 2007. Fashion at the Edge: Spectacle, Modernity, and Deathliness, 2 edition. ed. Yale University Press.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Verbal and visual communication skills; the acquisition of specialist knowledge and skills; creativity in undertaking basic research.
KeywordsFashion studies,fashion history,critical analysis,visual literacy,research
Course organiserDr Jonathan Murray
Course secretaryMs Jane Thomson
Tel: (0131 6)51 5713
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