Final Historicism Project


1) To demonstrate student knowledge of the influence of historic costume on contemporary fashion design.

2) To demonstrate student ability to use primary sources to determine which period of historic costume influenced a particular style of contemporary dress during the twentieth century.

3) To explain (through analysis of current themes or trends in society) why students believe the historic style was used by the contemporary designer.

Method: You will be comparing 10 current fashion items with 10 historical fashion items. For the project, you will need to create a PowerPoint presentation and upload it to Carmen.

Step 1. Choose images from primary sources of 10 current fashion items from this year or next that you believe have been influenced by historic styles of dress, meaning from ancient times through the end of the 20th century.

· The current fashion items may include men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, and jewelry.

· Do not repeat any style of clothing or accessory items. Example: You may use a necklace only once. There are many items to choose from because there are many styles and elements of dress.

· You may separate out elements of dress. For instance, you may focus on a type of sleeve, a neckline, or skirt style that was borrowed from the past.

Step 2: Capture an image of each of the 10 current clothing items. Be sure to document each image. You’ll need to cite the image later.

· Describe the clothing item in full, provide the name of the style, provide the date of the style, and provide the designer ‘s name if available.

Step 3: Determine which period or decade from costume history served as inspiration for each of the 10 current fashion items that you have chosen. For historic periods, you may use the following:

· The Ancient World 3000 BC – 300AD

· The Middle Ages 300-1500

· The Renaissance 1400-1600

· Baroque and Rococo 1600-1800

· The Nineteenth Century 1900’s

· The Twentieth Century 1900-2000 (Use decades)

Step 4: Find photographic images of historic styles from primary sources that clearly show the historic style influence. *The current style you choose needs to be similar to the historic style.

Step 5: Capture an image of each of the 10 historical styles that you found. Be sure to document each image. You’ll need to cite the image later.

· Describe the clothing item in full, provide the name of the style, provide the date of the style, and provide the designer’s name if available.

· These items should NOT be the same item made by the same designer. For instance, do not use a Chanel brand tweed jacket from the 1920s and a Chanel brand tweed jacket from 2018. Instead, use a Chanel brand tweed jacket from the 1920s and find another brand or designer who has adapted that style into his/her own for 2018. The same goes for other staple styles, such as a Burberry trench coat, a DVF wrap dress, etc.


Step 6: Create your PowerPoint.

· Each comparison slide should include an image of the current fashion and an image of the “historic” inspiration taken from a primary source. The slides should be consistently organized.

· Each comparison slide should have a title at the top of the page, including the historic period and the name of the style you are comparing. For instance, “1950s Poodle Skirt.”

· Include a title page with the project title, your name, class section, and date.

· Include clear and organized APA style citations for all images used. There should be 20 total – 1 for each image used. Do not add the APA citations in as a bibliography at the end, but place each APA citation under its corresponding fashion image.

Step 7: For each of the ten comparisons, provide an explanation of the relationship between the two images, current and historic.

· ** This is an extremely important aspect of the project that demonstrates your understanding of the material covered. Focus primarily on what was happening during the historical time periods that influenced the creation of/ popularity of the specific styles you chose. For historical information on what was happening during certain time periods, refer back to lectures and other class materials.

· What was happening that made the earlier style acceptable during its introduction? Did it correspond in some way to the current thinking of the clothing artist? Reflect current trends?

· Discuss why you believe the contemporary designer might have been inspired by the historic period.

· Briefly refer to specific elements of the clothing design using correct costume terminology for each (for example, “leg of mutton sleeve”). This should NOT be your main focus, as you’ll already be providing images of the styles.

Primary Sources: Refer back to your Week 1 Module for videos on primary sources and reliable sources. Not every source is considered a primary source. DO NOT use blogs (like Vintage Dancer), Wikipedia, personal websites, or vintage resale stores (like Ebay or Etsy).

· For current fashion items, use primary sources such as these: credible fashion magazines (Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, etc.), clear photographs of clothing items you have recently purchased, images of clothing items that are currently for sale at a retailer (online or in-store), designers’ websites, online fashion news sources (Women’s Wear Daily, Business of Fashion), and more.

· For historical fashion items, use primary sources such as these: fashion2fiber, Vogue Archive, museum collections (Victoria and Albert Museum, The Museum at FIT, The Met Museum, Kent State University Museum, etc.), designers’ websites, paintings, sculptures, your textbook images, and more.

· Example: You select a garment in Vogue that looks similar to a garment in Hogarth painting. A Hogarth portrait is a primary source for the 1750s or 60s. You may then use a photograph of the Hogarth painting that you found in a historic fashion book, a book about Hogarth, or a credible online resource

.Citations: Citation style varies from field to field. Historical costume sources are often formatted in Chicago style. However, this format is not commonly used outside of historical references, so for the purpose of this project, all sources need to be properly cited in APA format. Please visit for citation information.

Basic examples are listed below.

· Books: Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

· Magazine Article: Henry, W. A., III. (1990, April 9). Making the grade in today’s schools. Time, 135, 28-31.

· Online Lecture: Roberts, K. F. (1998). Federal regulations of chemicals in the environment [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from

· Web Article: Last, F. M. (Year, Month Date Published). Article title. Retrieved from URL

· Photograph: Photographer, F.M. (Photographer). (Year, month date of publication). Title of photograph [photograph]. City, State of publication: Publisher/museum.

· Museum Item: Artist. (Year). Title [Description]. Institution, Museum, or Collection, Location. Available from Database Name OR Retrieved from URL

The 1960s were focused on politics. The Cold War, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and John F. Kennedy’s presidential victory all impacted fashion. In particular, Jacqueline Kennedy became an instant style icon when her husband was sworn into office in 1961. At JFK’s inauguration, she wore a pillbox hat, which is a simple, circular hat with a flat top and no brim. Halston, who designed Kennedy’s inauguration hat, designed simple garments for women because he wanted them to feel free – fitting to the feminist movement at this time. When American women saw Jackie wearing her pillbox hat, they all began wearing it, too. It remained popular through JFK’s assassination in 1963. The style faded out over time, but Moschino recently introduced a 1960s themed collection featuring the same simple pillbox hat but in bold colors. He was inspired by the conspiracy theories and designed his collection around theories related to the Kennedys in the 60s.

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