Dr Lesley Stevenson

Studio 7: Fashioning culture: clothing and the shaping of identity

Studio 7: Fashioning culture.

This studio aims to examine critically the links between fashion, clothing and identity. In particular, it will focus on approaches to studying clothing that look beyond the catwalk and consider dress as a lived experience, shaped by social class, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, and politics. In particular, it will consider how fashion is mediated by photography, cinema, advertising, style magazines and social media.

For the first five weeks, an hour will be given over to a tutor-led presentation where we will consider what skills are needed for the successful completion of a dissertation. Then we will discuss one or two texts, which you will have prepared in advance of the class, in order to highlight a particular issue in fashion history and theory. You will also begin working on ideas for your own dissertation, drawing on the readings and the research methods and methodologies that we will discuss in the workshops.

From the first week, you are encouraged to come to class with notes and ideas for dissertation topics, which we will consider at the end of each session and which you will eventually be required to present in poster form to the rest of the group.

Teaching

Week 1
Tutor-led: Introduction to the studio: What is a dissertation? What is research?

Week 2
Tutor-led: Choosing a topic.
Student-led: Clothing and identity.

Week 3 
Tutor-led: Research skills.
Student-led: Oppositional style and subcultures.

Week 4
Tutor-led: Methodological approaches.
Student-led: Fashion and fetishism.

Week 5
Tutor-led: Referencing / plagiarism.
Student-led: The mediation of fashion i: fashion photography / cinema.

Week 6
V&A visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), but you are strongly encouraged to visit other museums and recommended exhibitions throughout the academic year. Please try to see the following exhibition on the fashion photographer Terence Donovan: Speed of Light, Photographers’ Gallery 15 July – 25 September.

Week 7:
Student-led: The mediation of fashion ii: style magazines / social media.

Brief reading

  • Ash, J. & Wilson, E (1993) Chic Thrills: A Fashion Reader. University of California Press
  • Barnard, M (2002)  Fashion as Communication. Routledge
  • Barnard, M (2007) Fashion Theory: A Reader. Routledge
  • Breward, C (1995)  The Culture of Fashion. Manchester University Press
  • Breward, C (2003) Fashion. Oxford University Press
  • Bruzzi, S and Church, PM (Eds.) (2000) Fashion Cultures: Theories, Explorations and Analysis. Routledge
  • Craik, J (1999) The Face of Fashion. Routledge
  • Craik, J (2009) Fashion: The Key Concepts. Berg
  • Eicher, J (1995) Dress and Ethnicity. Oxford: Berg
  • Mcneil, P and Karaminas, V (2009) The Men’s Fashion Reader. Berg
  • Potvin, J (2009) The Places and Spaces of Fashion, 1800-2007. Routledge
  • Purdy, DI (2004) The Rise of Fashion: A Reader. University of Minnesota Press
  • Riello, M and Mcneil, P (2010) The Fashion History Reader: Global Perspectives. Routledge
  • Steele, V (2013) A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk. Yale University Press

Biography

Dr Lesley Stevenson
Lesley has taught critical and contextual studies in a number of universities in the UK. In particular, she has tutored students to become successful independent learners in the completion of dissertations and theses at BA, MA and PhD levels. 

She has an MA in Art History and Philosophy from Glasgow University and a PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art and has written a number of books, articles and exhibition catalogues on visual and material cultures, photography and cultures of consumption. Currently, she is working on a book on still life and death.


Details

Tutor Dr Lesley Stevenson

Dissertation Studios

Studio 1: Another India

Harriet McKay

Studio 1: Another India will examine, reflect upon and critique the historic use of "exotic" motifs in design.

Studio 3: Music is the Weapon: Performance, Culture and the Music Industry

Christina Paine

Studio 3: Music is the Weapon: Performance, Culture and the Music Industry is an exploration of race, gender, class and more in music.

Studio 4: What Not to Wear?

Emma Davenport

Studio 4: What Not to Wear? will investigate the roles that dress and fashion play in our workplaces.

Studio 5: Imperfect Theories

Ektoras Arkomanis

Studio 5: Imperfect Theories allows you to critically examine any work that can be seen as theory or presents an interesting relationship with theory.

Studio 6: Curating Contemporary Art: From the Wunderkammer to Installation art

Nico de Oliveira

Studio 6: Curating Contemporary Art examines the impact of curatorial practice on art.

Studio 7: Fashioning culture: clothing and the shaping of identity

Dr Lesley Stevenson

Studio 7: Fashioning culture will examine critically the links between fashion, clothing and identity.

Studio 8: Pleasure, Excess and Dirt

Edwina Attlee

Studio 8 explores ideas of category, definition, identification and belonging through the examination of a series of objects and behaviours that appear to be in the wrong place instead of the right place.

Studio 9: The Continuing Lives of Objects

Danielle Hewitt

Studio 9: The Continuing Lives of Objects uses debates about change and preservation explore ideas within architecture.

Studio 10: Critical Theory and Critical Design. Artefacts, Images, Sites, Processes in Graphics and Illustration

Dipti Bhagat with Christopher Emmett

Studio 10 requires deep commitment and completion of critical theory and design for graphic design and illustration.

Studio 12: London Walking

Clare Qualmann

Studio 12: London Walking looks at walking as a mode of creatively appropriating the city, with particular attention to our own city, London.

Studio 14: All in the best possible Taste

Dr John Cross

Studio 14: 'All in the best possible Taste' examines the historical influencers of taste, style and fashion.

Studio 15: Music, Technology and Ideas

Lewis Jones

Studio 15: Music, Technology and Ideas encourages you to explore how and why we make music, including its origin, relationship to technology and more.

Studio 16: Narrative and Storytelling

Jon Baldwin

Studio 16: Narrative and Storytelling will see you produce storygraphs, storyboards and various forms of narrative analysis in the seminars.

Studio 17: Knowing Audiences

Jeremy Collins

Studio 17: Knowing Audiences will encourage you to study an audience group using qualitative research methods in your investigations.

Studio 19: Material in Motion

Heidi Yeo

Studio 19: Material in Motion will explore why an audience will put time, money and thought into acquiring an object.

Studio 20: Image ethics: Form, meaning and context

Dr Nick Haeffner

Studio 20: Image ethics: Form, meaning and context explores the aesthetics of the image and its role within fantasy, desire and social memory.

Studio 21: The Nonsensical Realm III

Joseph Kohlmaier

Studio 21: The Nonsensical Realm is a cross-disciplinary studio. This year it will engage with the idea of metaphor in art, architecture, design and music.

Studio 22: Meaningful work

Paul Harper

Studio 22: Meaningful work explores the value of making and the idea of craft as meaningful work.

Studio 23: A Common Thread

Gina Pierce

Studio 23: A Common Thread examines the relationship between textiles and everyday life, including its design, trade, sustainability and more.

Studio 24: Words in Space

David Price

Studio 24: Words in Space reflects on the role that words play in our visual world, performative spaces and the urban environment.

Cass Studios archive by year