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Cardin to Castelbajac: Style in French Fashion

Paris College of Art via Kadenze


This 4-session survey course covers the main designers in Parisian Fashion from the 1950s to the 1990s, focusing closely on one iconic creative individual for each decade. Their work is discussed in light of the cultural and political context of the time, which students learn about through video lectures, assigned readings and discussions. In addition to learning about specific designers and key sartorial techniques and trends, students learn about the main phenomena in the fashion business for each decade.

The first session will be devoted to the 1950s and the beginning of post-war changes in dress codes for both men and women. Pierre Cardin is the featured designer. The second session will be devoted to the 1960s and the culture of youth that it brought about. Yves Saint Laurent is the featured designer. The third session is devoted to the 1970s, with Kenzo and Sonia Rykiel in the limelight. The fourth session covers the 1980s culture of power, money, and excess with Jean Charles de Castelbajac, Rei Kawakubo and Yoshi Yamamoto as the highlighted designers.


  • 1980s and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac
    • This session will go into the 80s which brought cultural changes into the profession of fashion models to androgynous and feminine designs from various designers. We’ll also look into the work of Jean-Charles de Castelbajac.
  • 1970s and Kenzo (Takada)
    • In this session, we’ll take a look at two prominent figures from the 70s, Sonia Rykiel and Kenzo. We’ll also explore the evolution of fashion shows and the history of denim.
  • 1960s and Yves Saint Laurent
    • This session will move on to the youth revolts of the 60s and early 70s, along with the life of Yves Saint Laurent.
  • 1950s and Pierre Cardin
    • In this session we'll discuss French fashion from a social and economic context in post-war Paris. We'll also look at why Paris was considered the fashion capital throughout the 40s and 50s.

Taught by

Donald Potard


5.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

Start your review of Cardin to Castelbajac: Style in French Fashion

  • was a very informative yet interesting course, re-imagining history of fashion with regards to iconic fashion gurus till reaching the contemporary fashion divas of our times.

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