Students choose an individual character and provide research for clothing that character would wear in each of ten separate time periods.
Students new to costuming attempt to describe the clothing worn by a person in an image so that the instructor can accurately draw the clothing on a figure. I do this in real time on the white or chalkboard on the first day of class.
The style tribe project is the cumulative project in a combined undergraduate/graduate Costume History course. The project asks students to connect modern fashion movements to past styles. A style tribe is a social counterculture that has a defined style of dress that differs from societal norms. An example of a style tribe would be the Teddy Boys in 1950s Britain. For this project, students are asked to pick a modern style tribe and define the characteristics of the group’s dress. Once the students have a clear understanding of the style they pick three garments associated with the group and connect those garments to earlier style trends throughout costume history. The students then present their findings in a short paper and visual presentation. The learning outcome for this project is to help students draw connections between modern styles and the clothing of the past. Through tying the garments to a specific subculture with a clearly defined style attitude, the students learn how the garments have signified different things to specific cultures throughout history.
As an overview of costume history, students spend a week in class recreating historic silhouettes out of tissue paper and other inexpensive materials to create a life size timeline. Students trace each other to create the initial body shapes.