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Fashion as Design

The Museum of Modern Art via Coursera


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Fashion as Design focuses on a selection of garments and accessories from around the world, ranging from kente cloth and denim to turtlenecks, swimwear, and 3D-printed dresses. Through these garments, you’ll take a closer look at what we wear, why we wear it, how it’s made, and what it means. Hear directly from a range of designers, makers, historians, and others working with clothing every day—and, in some cases, reinventing it for the future. Studio visits, interviews, and other resources introduce the history and development of each garment and their changing uses, meanings, and impact over time.


  • Introduction
  • Heroes
    • Wearing certain garments can inspire heroic transformations, while heroes can elevate everyday clothing to iconic status. In this module, you will discover the relationship between aspiration, achievement, adulation, and attire through a wide range of heroes—and even imagine yourself as a space hero in the future.
  • Silhouettes
    • When we put on clothes, we change the shape and outline of our bodies—sometimes profoundly. The silhouettes we adopt are determined by everything from shifting trends in fashion to what looks and feels good. This week, we explore how clothes shape the body and how cultural constructions of the body shape clothes.
  • Coutures
    • The French word couture means "dressmaking" or "sewing,” and often refers to one-of-a-kind, primarily handmade garments intended for a specific individual. This module approaches couture from a broader perspective, exploring the complex processes—from traditional handcrafting to the use of new technologies—that go into the making of high-end and everyday garments.
  • Lifecycle
    • This module examines the lifecycle of garments, an often overlooked aspect of fashion that many individuals and companies are addressing with growing urgency. How do garments begin, how do they end, and how does the cycle of production, consumption, and disposal impact the world?
  • Modesty
    • Modesty has many varied expressions that can be informed by social, religious, or political identifications, as well as by personal choice. But whether covered up or exposed, our bodies are often battlegrounds for continually shifting societal claims around morality, agency, and etiquette.
  • Expression
    • What we wear and how we wear it can communicate messages, create group identification, borrow and remake existing styles, or subvert a garment’s traditional associations. While choosing and wearing clothes is an act of personal expression, it is also a response to many of the topics addressed in the preceding weeks of this course. In this final week, we look at the ways in which clothing allows us to feel connected to others and to stand out.

Taught by

Paola Antonelli, Michelle Millar Fisher and Stephanie Kramer


4.2 rating, based on 5 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 2847 ratings

Start your review of Fashion as Design

  • Profile image for Anna D
    Anna D
    I don't have a background in fashion and decided to use this as an introduction. The information provided was various and nicely organised, and I made use of the supplementary material to further enhance on the weekly topics. It definitely helped me…
  • Thomas Redi
    I rated this 5 stars because it's free and get free courses. Learning makes us better people and I wanted to be better. Fashions is one of my favorite . I like fashion because it will tell your personality,confidence and make you look good. That is all of my review and thank you class central for providing free online course where you can use it anywhere, anytime and anyplace .
    The end
  • Grace
    The best of all course.....and great doing helps to follow my dreams .It gives all the needed ideas to start and to end on being a fashion design student
  • Dania Salazar Ledesma
    Me parece un curso muy interesante ya que el proceso por creativo del diseño de la moda que siempre se sitúa en el contexto social en social en el que nos encontramos
  • Anonymous
    I'm Shehani.I love to create fashion.It's new to create and learn things I do not know.It's so much fun to join this course.I also hope to learn what it teaches in that video.I was introduced to this course by a friend of mine.orphan are very happy to learn about it.thanak you very much.

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