From Catherine de Medici to Mary Quant: A Historical Overview of Fashion Identity and Politics

A six week course on Fashion, focusing on the expression of social, cultural and individual identity, and the place of politics in relation to it, as very strong influences which shape the phenomenon. Through a historic survey of the subject, it will aim to build a perspective on how the contemporary condition of Fashion developed.


  • On Identity – An introduction on what individual and social identity is and how it finds its place in our everyday lives, also putting an emphasis on how it is related to politics and sociocultural phenomena. The subject will be perpetrated within the concept of fashion and the semantic language fashion proposes.
  • From the 15th to 18th Centuries – Times of global exploration and what the Renaissance did: The first steps towards modern society and how it “fashioned” our lives. An overview on the changing western individual and her/his attires.
  • The Industrial Revolution is also a Social Revolution – Mass production and the emergence of the first prototypes of modern society : How it reshaped our lives and how it brought in the basic concepts of today’s design and fashion.
  • Fashion in The Roaring 30’s and the Groovy 60’s : Or from women’s rights to the sexual revolution : Fashion in the times that set the definitions of the modern individual as well as consumer culture, media, entertainment and art.
  • Contemporary Times : From the 80’s to September 11 – The “styling up” of Globalisation and the post pop-culture era.
  • Contemporary Times : The dawn of a new revolution – The post information age and innovation. Climate change, High-tech and a brand new society : bacteria that make fabrics or printed clothes. A complete change in all codes of Fashion coming up.

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Understand the close relations of Fashion with identity, culture and politics.
  2. Grasp the importance of semantics and/or cultural readings in design and the concept of Identity.
  3. Understand the close ties between design, Identity and historic evolution of society.
  4. Discuss on a Fashion and/or design object as a cultural signifier.
  5. Adopt culture, identity and political expression into commercial thinking.

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.