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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.


Session 1: 1950s
The beginning of Youth Culture; The Space Age; The mini skirt. Featured Designer: Pierre Cardin
Session 2: 1960s
Trousers for women; Youth Culture. Featured Designer: Yves Saint-Laurent
Session 3: 1970s
Hippie and punk movements.
Session 4: 1980s
Recycling fashion; Japanese designers in Paris; Supermodels and muses; The Power suit; Consumerism. Featured Designer: Jean-Charles de Castelbajac
Session 5: 1990s
Globalization; Luxury Conglomerates; Sustainability. Featured Designer: Jean-Paul Gaultier
Session 6: 2000s
Mass-produced luxury; Star designers. Featured Designer: ‘Les Etrangers’ (The foreigners: Tom Ford, John Galliano, Marc Jacobs, Alexander Mc Queen)
Session 7: 2010s
Accessories; Independent brands. Featured Designer: Christian Louboutin

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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