Introduction to Fashion History and Theory
Fashion does not exist in a vacuum. Its history is one that is intertwined with art, culture, industrial and social change and a century of revolution. To understand this is fundamental to anyone wanting to work in the contemporary fashion industry, be it as a designer, curator, stylist or writer...
Taught by: Osman Ahmed.
Fashion does not exist in a vacuum. Its history is one that is intertwined with art, culture, industrial and social change and a century of revolution. To understand this is fundamental to anyone wanting to work in the contemporary fashion industry, be it as a designer, curator, stylist or writer.
This course will provide the essentials in understanding the history and theory of fashion, from the intricate details and terminologies of Tudor and Elizabethan costume to the whirlwind of 20th century styles that inform designers working today. These historical tropes are often the references that are used by creatives working today, and will form an inspiring part of an education in fashion and the arts at large.
Making use of some of the city’s best archives, such as the Victoria & Albert museum’s costume collection, the Alexander McQueen archive, Kerry Taylor Auctions, as well as CSM’s own Archive & Museum Collection, which includes early designs of John Galliano and Hussein Chalayan, this course is ideal for those who are interested in fashion and costume design, as well as fashion writing and exhibition-making.
It will be centred on visits to some of the best institutions and galleries, including a historic Royal palace, workshops with surviving historical costume and talks on the chronology and themes of fashion in a historical and artistic context, its place in pop culture and the detailed relationship that fashion has with London as a city of trade, production and industrial revolution.
This course is part academic, in that it will include lectures at the main CSM building, and part practical in that it will be staged against the historical institutions, archives and landmarks of London.
He regularly contributes to titles including Wall Street Journal, The Daily Telegraph, Vogue.com, Financial Times, i-D, Stylist, Net-a-Porter, The Rake and Hintmag.com, and he is also currently a Contributing Writer at MatchesFashion.com, an international luxury retailer.
Osman has previously worked as Reporter on the British Fashion Council's The Daily newspaper, which runs during the course of London Fashion Week, and as Senior Fashion Editor of Sketchbook magazine, a bi-annual illustration title.
He has also consulted and created editorial content for Swarovski, British Council and The British Library, as well as developing social media and digital collaborations for brands including John Smedley, Kingly Court and various PR and marketing agencies.
He studied BA Fashion (History & Theory) at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design and has since lectured there on fashion branding and marketing.
Please bring the following on the first session:
Notebook and pen Weekly Travelcard for London Transport
HB, B or 2B pencils (not mechanical pencils)
Light blue pencils (preferably Faber-Castell "Col-Erase" light blue)
A4 photocopy paper (one pack of 500 sheets will last the whole course)
A pencil sharpener (preferably one that holds the shavings)
A number 2 or 3 size sable brush (Windsor & Newton Series 7 are best)
Dip-pen drawing nib(s) with holder
Black waterproof ink (Higgins "Black Magic" is suitable)
A 12 inch t-square
A putty/kneadable eraser
An assortment of pens suitable for drawing (black ink only).