Art, Fashion, and Gender in the Modern Age

Course Description

How do fashion designers test their ideas and develop their craft? How do new design concepts have the power to change society? How has fashion contributed to the construction of modern gender identities? This course explores artists and designers of fashion at the dawn of the modern age and their work across the diverse disciplines of painting, textile design, set design, performance, and film to view their continued influence today.

During this two-week course, you will learn to:

• Formulate and strengthen a fundamental understanding of interdisciplinary design, creative methods, and techniques to enable the diverse connections of fashion and our society today.
• Learn and identify pivotal designers and moments in history contributing to the emancipatory clothing created to match the new lifestyles and freedoms in the early twentieth century; the ways in which politics and society were developed alongside fashion; the forgotten legacies of the innovative designers; the ways in which fashion revolutionized concepts and roles of gender; and consider notions of cultural stereotyping in fashion to rediscover their origins.
• Apply your investigations within the RISD Museum of Art to view the trends visible throughout art history in the objects, paintings, and media. You will hear from curators about how a museum’s fashion and textile collections are created and their diverse methods of display.
• Develop critical thinking tools to analyze the contemporary fashion scene and how new generations of designers are pushing the boundaries of form, design, technology, and identity.

This art history course acts as an introduction to the cross-disciplinary analysis that will be required of them in a college setting. You are expected to bring curiosity to class discussions and participate collectively, including returning to the RISD museum outside of class to work on their individual projects and class presentations.


No specific prior experience or knowledge is required, however students should be excited to explore the development of design history. The course will appeal to those interested in history and culture, becoming designers or artists themselves, and learning about museum collections.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: July 25, 2022 - August 05, 2022
Duration: 2 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 8:30A-11:20A
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Holly Gaboriault
Course Number: 10074