How to decode the most unexpected outfits at Met Gala? What are the stories behind the extravagant gowns of kings and queens? What do costume say about the sitter in portraitures? What are some of the most iconic dresses sold at auction? What factors determine the value of high end fashion.
This 6-week online course will take participants on a journey through the wardrobes of some of the most prolific people from western Europe and America, from Charles I and Queen Victoria to Audrey Hepburn and Blake Lively. It will unravel the meanings behind the most luxurious and lavish garments from the 1600s right up to present day by unpicking the significance of dress in paintings, television and film, and extant dress objects. The most exclusive, secretive, annual fashion event The Met Gala will also be a key component of the course, determining how celebrities’ fashion themselves.
Luxury fashionable garments will be studied and understood through their wider cultural meanings. They will also be considered in connection with art history and globalization. Participants will be introduced to some of the most extravagant garments of the last six decades, consider why they were fashionable and what influences style. Market value of these fashion items will also be considered. This course will delve into the world of fashion held in the limelight and its everlasting impact.
Curator and Researcher of dress and textile histories
Leeds Museums and Galleries
Vanessa Jones is a curator and researcher of dress and textile histories. She is the assistant curator of dress and textiles at Leeds Museums and Galleries and was the lead curator of the Fast x Slow Fashion exhibition in 2020. Vanessa is the north representative for the Dress and Textile Specialists network as well as being a freelance historic dress and textile consultant. Vanessa has previous experience at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Charleston Trust and National Trust.
What you will learn
- You will learn how to read dress objects in portraits, paintings, and film.
- You will understand how celebrities form their own identity.
- You will learn how to read extant dress objects that were worn by wealthy individuals.
- You will be able to recite key terminologies that relate to different fashionable objects and periods.
- You will understand the wider cultural meaning behind fashionable dress objects.