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Fashion Style Icons and Design History

Otis College of Art and Design via Kadenze


While the term “Fashion Icon” is relatively modern, fashion has always been defined and redefined by bold visionaries throughout history. Images of today's celebrities and fashion mavens are ever-present, but long before the selfie, sculpture and painting captured individuals and their fashion styling. Designers still look to these powerful sources for fashion elements and inspiration, and this course will trace the history of clothing and the way that themes have been interpreted over the last 500 years.

Starting in the 15th century, we will view the fashion biographies of notable individuals and examine garments and ‘looks’ for their trend-setting elements. Fashion is extremely and pointedly cyclical, and garment elements and design ideas that look ‘fresh’ to a certain generation can often be directly or indirectly traced to a prior moment or figure in history. In this course we will look at some of these times and people, and compare and contrast them to fashion that has emerged. Contemporary designs will be reviewed to identify the reuse or redefinition of many of these details. We will progressively develop the eye and skill to sketch and create our own ideas through a creative journaling process, culminating in an original design project based on historical elements.


Session 1: From Fashion’s Rich Renaissance To Going Baroque 
Style Icons and Royal Clothes from 1450-1700 Session 2: The Turn Of A Century Curves Into A Corset 
Fashions and the Fashionable from 1700 Through the Victorians Session 3: From Edward To Erte 
The Figures and Fashions that Comprised the Eras 1890-1920 Session 4: Deco Drops The Drama For Wartime And Fashion Speeds Into The Future 
Tracing the Stars and Straps from 1920 into the Present Session 5: From Research To Revelation 
Using Fashion Inspired Materials in the Creative Process

Taught by

Amy Bond


5.0 rating, based on 5 Class Central reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I really enjoyed this class. I found this class while researching about Amy Bond after her appearance on Project Runway. She is a wonderful instructor. I have had a long-time interest in fashion history and really enjoyed learning about how ideas from the past have been updated into current fashion. I really enjoyed her demonstration of how to take a design cue from a past design and re-work it into a new design. This was a wonderful course which enticed me to take other Kadenze courses of interest.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This is a well structured and enjoyable short course and if you have an interest in fashion, you'll enjoy it.

    Amy Bond is a fantastic instructor and fashion history is surprising and interesting to learn about. The course is well paced and it is not difficult to complete the activities in the recommended time. At the end you have the chance to put some of what you have learnt into practice in a capsule collection.

    The staff at Kadenze are helpful and their system is easy to use.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    Love learning about Fashion designing and have never seen resources like this. The videos of this course are amazing. I am thinking now of applying to Otis for this program. I am not a premium member so I am just auditing this course at the moment.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Very interesting and modern course. I learned a lot from it. Every week presents historical era with contemporary designs that took from it.
  • Safia Anjum

    Safia Anjum completed this course.

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