The Evolution of Fashion: A Six-Part Course with Estela Mendes

The Evolution of Fashion: A Six-Part Course with Estela Mendes


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after each event.
Description

For centuries fashion has been a key expression of society and civilization. Through clothes, people distinguished social class, gender freedom, wealth, and even political opinions. The concept of beauty, for women, as the concept of masculinity for men, has changed through the centuries. The transformation of the world from local to global has introduced a diverse range of materials, resulting in changing tastes, as technological developments have democratized fashion and made it a global industry.
In this six-part course, we will delve into nine centuries of fashion evolution, from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. We will focus on the western world and both men’s and women’s wear. In each lecture, we will identify fashion trends, the materials used, the differences in attire between social classes, and from different countries, and the technological advancements of each period.
Lectures

Lecture 1:  From Local to Global - 12th to 16th century
From the 12th century, the way of life and taste began to change from local regions to broader areas. The crusades and new commercial routes have an impact on these changes. The Renaissance period with the expansion into “New Worlds” brings new colors, materials, and an extraordinary exchange of culture that influences lifestyle and fashion.
Lecture 2:  Extravagance and Modesty - 17th to 19th century
The first fashion victims in history emerged during the Baroque period. This is the moment of fabulous extravagance. In France, fashion is used as a political tool by Louis the XIV. But by the 19th century, Victorian society imposed modesty and romanticism bloomed.
Lecture 3:  The Beginning of Everything - 1900s to 1920s
From a corseted existence to freedom. The beginning of the twentieth century is the beginning of everything we now take for granted. This is the moment of great technological development and deep social change, fashion mirrors this transformation. Finally, fashion becomes democratic.
Lecture 4:  From the Outside into the Inside World - the 1930s to 1950s
Two World Wars dramatically affect society. We will look at how women’s lives are transformed by newly achieved freedom in the 1930s and 1940s, and how they return home, back to the corset in the pursuit of idealized beauty.
Lecture 5:  Rebellion and Consumerism - 1960s to 1990s 
Youth culture, social movements, streetwear - the 1960s and 1970s broke with strict 1950’s fashion and made everything about freedom. But by the 1980s, fashion became exuberant, expressing the new pursuit of personal wealth and success. The last decade of the 20th century was about the consolidation of a global and powerful fashion Industry and the cult of the Brand.
Lecture 6:  Where are we going from here? - 2000s to Present
The internet, the influencer, social media, and the cult of Personal Brand. From fast fashion to luxury brands, is this the new democratization of fashion? This present moment is one of great transformation. We will discuss how we got to where we are now and how fashion became such a powerful industry. We will reflect on the future of this industry and how consumer habits might change from this moment on.

About Your Expert

Estela Mendes is an art historian with a MA in Museum Studies. Her research background is in Costume Design. Born and raised in Lisbon, she has been teaching about the beauty of the world for many years. After working in national palaces in Portugal, Estela moved to London where she spent 5 years working at museums like Buckingham Palace, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the British Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery, where she has delivered gallery talks focusing on Fashion. In Portugal she created a company of Costume Hiring and Historical Re-enactments working with Museums, Opera Companies, Theatre, and Film.

FAQ

How does it work?
This is a six-part series held weekly and hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule for the specific dates and times for each lecture.
Is there a reading list in advance?
Though the course is open to participants with no background in the history of fashion and design, there are suggested readings for further investigation. You will receive this soon after course registration.
How long are the lectures?
Each lecture is 60 minutes long with time for Q&A.
How much is the course?
The course is $210 for 6 lectures.
Is a recording available?
Yes! You will receive a recording link shortly following each course day. The recording will be good to be viewed for 30 days. 
Audience

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

Duration

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 33 reviews
97%
(32)
3%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
J
Jeff K. (Laguna Niguel, US)
Great and Fascinating Course

I loved this course. The professor was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic and I learned so much!

S
Sandra S -- Boston (Saugus, US)
A Lovely Examination of Decades of Fashion

Wow, Estela related so much amazing information about the industry over so many years during this 6 part series. All visuals were fantastic. I am not a fashionista but this really enlightened me about the myriad of factors that go into couture, ready-to-wear, the designers and their history, and also the perspective of the times that fashion changes occurred. I loved watching each of the sessions. Shows a lot of work to pull this together. I also loved her candid comments and answers to questions. Hope to see some sessions in the future with the new on-demand option.

S
Shari Kurita (Oakland, US)
Fun and informative

It is very evident that Estela has invested a lot of time in the research behind this retrospective course. The topic is expansive and impactful, something many of us consider everyday. The fashion industry has a huge footprint on global health and finance, and it also produces some of the most iconic representations of each era. I appreciate how Estela presents several perspectives, including her own personal experiences of fashion influences and favorites. Thought-provoking and entertaining!

M
M. (Hampton, US)
Another fabulous Estela lecture series

I honestly think I'd be down for anything Estela wants to talk about. Her sense of historical context with regard to fashion is enlightening.

C
C.B. (Bethesda, US)
Fascinating Ride Through Fashion History

Estela provided great insight into how fashion was shaped by and reflected the events of each time period. Each lecture was extremely well organized and illustrated. I learned so much and enjoyed each lecture over the six weeks.

Customer Reviews

Based on 33 reviews
97%
(32)
3%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
J
Jeff K. (Laguna Niguel, US)
Great and Fascinating Course

I loved this course. The professor was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic and I learned so much!

S
Sandra S -- Boston (Saugus, US)
A Lovely Examination of Decades of Fashion

Wow, Estela related so much amazing information about the industry over so many years during this 6 part series. All visuals were fantastic. I am not a fashionista but this really enlightened me about the myriad of factors that go into couture, ready-to-wear, the designers and their history, and also the perspective of the times that fashion changes occurred. I loved watching each of the sessions. Shows a lot of work to pull this together. I also loved her candid comments and answers to questions. Hope to see some sessions in the future with the new on-demand option.

S
Shari Kurita (Oakland, US)
Fun and informative

It is very evident that Estela has invested a lot of time in the research behind this retrospective course. The topic is expansive and impactful, something many of us consider everyday. The fashion industry has a huge footprint on global health and finance, and it also produces some of the most iconic representations of each era. I appreciate how Estela presents several perspectives, including her own personal experiences of fashion influences and favorites. Thought-provoking and entertaining!

M
M. (Hampton, US)
Another fabulous Estela lecture series

I honestly think I'd be down for anything Estela wants to talk about. Her sense of historical context with regard to fashion is enlightening.

C
C.B. (Bethesda, US)
Fascinating Ride Through Fashion History

Estela provided great insight into how fashion was shaped by and reflected the events of each time period. Each lecture was extremely well organized and illustrated. I learned so much and enjoyed each lecture over the six weeks.