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THE HISTORY OF FASHION TAILOR-MADE ARGUMENTS. TWENTIETH-CENTURY CLOTHING

8 January -11 March 2020

THE HISTORY OF FASHION TAILOR-MADE ARGUMENTS. TWENTIETH-CENTURY CLOTHING

Opening hours: Wednesdays 7:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.

Tailor-Made Arguments follows the meandering social, economic and cultural path explored by the twentieth-century Western world through the evolution of clothing.   Throughout the century, fashion, in close relation with art, music and cinema is clearly aligned to the history of its time.

Acknowledgement is given to the impressionists for their audacity in going out onto the streets to paint, their temerity in capturing fleeting moments, their keen interest in everyday and contemporary life, and a magnificent visual record of the evolution of fashion in the second half of the nineteenth century. However, the first to conceive and brand his exclusive designs as authentic works of art, thus contributing to creating the new concept of couturier, was the English designer Charles Frederick Worth. The idea of haute couture built around his persona was popular at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. The bond between art and fashion was henceforth sealed to this present day.

Driven by his passion for the avant-garde, Paul Poiret was responsible for freeing women from their corsets. The fall of this oppressive item that moulded the female body was by no means a coincidence; the ever-present idea of progress had influenced the world of fashion. The artistic influence of couturiers proved to be promising: the stir created by the fauves contributed to emphasising the colour tone in new Parisian fashion; the re-evaluation of Greek sculpture revealed silhouettes without the slightest hint of contrivance, and the impact of the exoticism, dance and clothing associated with the Russian Ballets in Paris became hallmarks of fashion as well as attesting the incipient female yearning for freedom of movement.

Futurists exalted the dynamism of an unstoppable progress that coincided with the outbreak of World War I.  This new climate gave rise to more relaxed morals:  long skirts rose to the knees and cosmopolitan women began to sport a straight silhouette from the shoulders to the hips and to cut their hair. The eruption of the garçonne coincided with an increase in female presence in the public arena and the assumption of a more active role for women in society. These two objectives were pursued with determination by the suffragette movement. The figure of Gabrielle Chanel, the French couturier who paved the way for modern dress, emerged against this backdrop.

The cubists introduced a new bourgeois taste for flat planes and art deco added a new geometric sensitivity to clothing. The popularisation of sport and new forms of leisure required clothing to be more comfortable. The New York stock market crash of 1929 lead to a period of austerity, not only in the economy but also in behaviour. The emancipated woman disappeared.  Feminine modesty became a moral requisite in line with the harshness of the times. The arrival of sound films confirmed Hollywood as a dream factory: the stars of celluloid film portrayed glamorous women, dressed to seduce and to even instil fear. Besides zealously wearing trousers, Marlene Dietrich or Katharine Hepburn legitimised a style associated with independent women which would be welcomed in cosmopolitan circles.  

During the rise of fascism in Europe, the surreal avant-garde found a wry accomplice in fashion—Elsa Schiaparelli, who contributed her extraordinary imagination to the clothing of the period. 

From the scarcity of textiles and the militarisation of civil clothing during the Second World War to casual, individualist fashion at the end of the century, the evolution of clothing has been, and will always be, a response to the avatars of each period in history.

Besides contextualising current parameters in fashion, this course offers a chronicle in which fashion is the active narrator of significant advancements (despite occasional, obvious relapses) in achieving long-awaited collective progress in the West throughout the turbulent and equally fascinating twentieth century.

PROGRAMME

8th January. End of a Century, End of a Dress Code

15th January. The 20th Century Begins. The Avant-Garde Race

22nd January. Illusive Fashion

29th January. Carnival in Hard Times

5th February. Contention and Competition

12th February. Golden conservatism

19th February. Haute Couture on the Street - from the street to revolution

26th February. Gender Changes, Lustre and Anarchy

4th March. Plus-Size Materialism.

11th March. Modest Anti-Fashion. 

CAROLINA MUNÁIZ (Pontevedra, 1976). Illustrator and lecturer at the Formarte School of Design and Fashion in A Coruña where she teaches Art History and the History of 20th Century Fashion. Her academic career has been accompanied by her work in painting, having been involved in several different projects, such as her participation in the collective exhibition Le Reste du cabaret (Roteiros de Creación, Sargadelos Gallery, Santiago de Compostela, 2010). In 2011, she ran a painting workshop for women at Teixeiro prison (visibility project included in the 14th National Volunteering Conference). In 2015, she published Esguello, a plastic and poetic work completed in collaboration with the poet Genaro da Silva and presented at Pontevedra’s Fundación Cuña-Casasbellas. Her other activities include designing the pop-up architecture for the 2015 collection of the exclusive Galician artisan knitting brand, Knitbrary. She has given talks in collaboration with History, Art and Literature departments at different high schools and has given lectures during A Coruña’s Fórum Metropolitano programme.

TARGET GROUPS: Teachers, students and those interested in the history of fashion and art history.

REGISTRATION: Registration is open from 15 October 2019 to 7 January  2020. If you are interested, please email cgac.educacion@xunta.gal. Please include your full name, national ID card number, studies, area of work or interest, an email address and a contact telephone number.

Once their request has been accepted, registered applicants will be sent payment instructions.

PLACES: 150

REGISTRATION FEE: € 30

CERTIFICATE: CGAC will award a certificate to all those who attend at least 75 % of the sessions.

COORDINATOR: Virginia Villar

 

 

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