Masterclass

Fashion History For Today

A critical perspective on how twelve exclusively curated moments in fashion history continue to disrupt and affect the industry today.

Colin McDowell

Colin McDowell

Fashion Writer, Journalist and Academic MBE
Questions? Please contact us at education@businessoffashion.com

Course Overview

Fashion History For Today

A deep understanding of fashion references has never been more important to survive the shifting employment landscape of the fashion industry. From Dior’s New Look, to McQueen’s Runway Robots, this Masterclass provides a critical perspective on the impact of twelve exclusively curated moments on fashion history. Understand why these moments continue to affect the fashion industry today and articulate their relevance to contemporary society. 


For Students:
  • Understand the key reference points every fashion student needs to know
  • Increase your cultural capital to improve your research skills
  • Differentiate your application when applying for jobs
For Fashion Professionals:
  • Understand why a deep knowledge of fashion’s past is critical to finding success in its future
  • Find creative inspiration and insight from 20th Century fashion
  • Enhance your contextual and critical understanding of fashion history
For those making a Career change:
  • The essential fashion course for those looking to move into the industry
  • Learn to identify designers, their iconic designs and their influence on fashion today
  • Recognise how moments in history continue to impact key functions of the industry

Your Tutor - Colin McDowell

Colin McDowell

Acclaimed fashion expert Colin McDowell is one of the most influential and internationally respected figures within the global fashion community. Through his position as Chief Fashion Writer of The Sunday Times Style and as founder the Fashion Fringe initiative, McDowell has played an integral role in the support and growth of the fashion industry. In 2008 he was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II.

Curriculum Summary

Course Overview

Understand the goals of the course and be introduced to your tutor Colin McDowell. Understand the concept of a 'fashion moment' and the definition of zeitgeist. Each module in the course then covers a particular moment in fashion, why this moment happened and why it is still relevant today.

30 minutes 4x Video 4x Pdf

1. Dior and The New Look

How Christian Dior revolutionised fashion not just through his design of the 'New Look' but also through his business strategy and vision. 

30 minutes 7x Pdf 3x Video 3x Quiz

2. Elvis Presley and Rock 'n' Roll

How Elvis brought the rock ‘n’ roll subculture to the mass market with his seminal performance of Hounddog on TV on the Milton Berle Show.

30 minutes 7x Pdf 3x Video 3x Quiz

3. The Swinging Sixties

How the directional music and fashion scenes in London in 1966 - which saw it crowned the “swinging city” by Time magazine - affected fashion. 

30 minutes 7x Pdf 3x Video 3x Quiz

4. YSL and Le Smoking

How Yves Saint Laurent shifted the perception of women wearing trousers with the presentation of his tuxedo suit for women.

30 minutes 7x Pdf 3x Video 3x Quiz

5. The Summer of Love

The emergence of the hippie, bohemian style from San Francisco, popularised by Woodstock festival. 

30 minutes 7x Pdf 3x Video 3x Quiz

6. David Bowie and Androgyny

The influence of David Bowie’s androgynous style, embodied by the cover of his album, “The Man Who Sold The World,” for which the long-haired singer posed on a chaise longue in a “man dress.” 

30 minutes 7x Pdf 3x Video 3x Quiz

7. Punk on the Kings Road

How Malcom McClaren and Vivienne Westwood created the punk fashion subculture, both through the retail store Punk which they opened on the King's Road and the pair's styling of the Sex Pistols. 

30 minutes 7x Pdf 3x Video 3x Quiz

8. Japanese Designers in Paris

How the Japanese designers Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto, who moved to Paris Fashion Week to show their ‘avant garde’ collections, created a new, deconstructed aesthetic

30 minutes 7x Pdf 3x Video 3x Quiz

9. Versace and the Supermodels

The impact of the elite group of highly paid ‘super’ models — Linda, Cindy, Naomi and Christy — who were booked by Versace to close his 1991 show, smiling and singing to George Michael’s “Freedom.”

30 minutes 7x Pdf 3x Video 3x Quiz

10. Marc Jacobs and Grunge

How Marc Jacobs courted controversy with his infamously ill-received “grunge” collection for Perry Ellis, which focused on styling rather than design. 

20 minutes 7x Pdf 3x Video 3x Quiz

11. Calvin Klein's Minimalism

The fashion minimalism moment, epitomised by the controversial Calvin Klein campaigns starring Kate Moss, whose look was dubbed “heroin chic.”

20 minutes 7x Pdf 3x Video 3x Quiz

12. McQueen's Runway Robots

The impact of Alexander McQueen combining technology and performance art for his No. 13 show, which saw model Shalom Harlow’s tulle dress spray painted by two robots arms.

20 minutes 7x Pdf 3x Video 3x Quiz

13. Summary

Colin McDowell offers his key insights from his Masterclass and offers invaluable advice to those hoping to succeed in the fashion industry today. 

10 minutes 1x Video 1x Pdf 1x Quiz

References

1x Pdf

BoF Certification

Upon the successful completion of their selected BoF course, students will be granted access to their digital certification, which can be shared across all social networks and will identify their accomplishment to the international industry.

Join BoF Careers

Sign up to the largest global community of highly informed fashion professionals and access exclusive job opportunities. Create and receive personalised job alerts, quickly apply for jobs within the platform and track your applications, all in one place.

Boost your CV

Completing a BoF course demonstrates your dedication to enhance your fashion career. Include the course content and your level of achievement on your CV as employers actively seek candidates who demonstrate a commitment to knowledge development.

Add to Linkedin

Demonstrate your updated professional knowledge on LinkedIn by taking advantage of our seamless integration with LinkedIn - add your BoF course certification to your profile with the click of a button.

Questions? Please contact us at education@businessoffashion.com

FAQs

Do you have a question about BoF Education? If so, please refer to our FAQs below. If you need further support, please contact us at education@businessoffashion.com.

1. Eligibility, Enrolment and Registration

In order for us to deliver you the course securely, you do need to have a registered account with BoF. It will also help you to stay abreast of industry movements and current fashion affairs. You can register with our community here.

There is no age limit, though courses are self-directed so users must be able to take themselves through the process independently.

As many as you wish!

Not at the moment, but we are looking into this for the future.

Simple Select your course and follow steps to payment. Once you have purchased, you are immediately enrolled and have access to the course. You must be registered in order to buy a course. Register here.

2. Courses and Certification

E-learning is when all the course material is presented online for you. BoF courses allow you to learn at your own leisure and work studies into your own schedule.

No set skills are required, though we encourage beginners to enrol in our Masterclass courses and those with a foundation of experience and understanding to enrol in our Immersion courses.

Masterclass courses are entry-level, where no previous knowledge of the topic is required. Immersion is for those who are more educated in the topic and are looking to further develop their knowledge and understanding.

Each course varies, though you will learn through video tutorials, academic presentations, essential readings, learning activities, key references and fashion terms.

Once you have received your payment confirmation and completed enrolment, you will be able to access your course online. You can visit your course easily at any time — either access the course via the BoF website, where you will be directly rerouted to it, or use the email link you were sent after enrolling.

You are able to download the written course materials, but not the video tutorials.

At any stage you wish throughout the year — there are no limitations as all courses are self-directed to allow you to work around your schedules.

On completing the course, you will receive a BoF certificate that will be globally recognised by leading players in the industry. You will be able to download and share your certificate upon successful completion of your course.

If you do have questions please reach out to us education@businessoffashion.com.

There are no time limitation, so you can learn at your own leisure.

Courses vary in length. Please look at each course overview page in order to better understand timings. You can view our full range of courses here.

BoF has carefully selected industry leaders and experts to teach each different course, according to their knowledge and experience.

All courses are self-directed, but we are here to help should you need support. Reach out to us at education@businessoffashion.com.

We have designed these courses to be self-directed, so you can fit them around your schedules and work on them at any time, day or night.

Of course! We would encourage you to do so in order to develop your learnings and boost your skill set to stand out from others.

You will receive a BoF certificate which will be globally recognised by leading players in the industry.

You can view all available courses, or help influence future courses we produce here.

There are no exams in any of the courses. Instead, we assess your learnings with course relevant questions throughout each module, to make experience more useful.

3. Payment

Prices vary from course to course. Click here to view full range of courses and prices.

Payment is taken before you can begin your selected course.

Each course varies and some are led by industry leaders, though you will learn from video tutorials, academic presentations, essential reading, learning activities and fashion terms. BoF has also carefully selected industry leaders and experts to teach each different course, according to their knowledge and experience. You shall also be able to add your course certification to your Linkedin profile with a click of a button and of course include your level of achievement and course content on your CV.

After purchasing a course, we do not issue refunds. If you have further questions please reach out to us at education@businessoffashion.com.

All major credit and debit cards are accepted via STRIPE, our payment provider.

If you are within the UK or EU and require a VAT receipt please contact us at education@businessoffashion.com.