Course overview

Fashion reflects the influence of politics, trade, social exchange and foreign encounter. In this course, we will explore the changing fashions of seventeenth-century Britain. Alongside sessions that consider the history of fashion are practical, hands-on sessions that explore the materials used, and construction techniques employed by makers of the period. You may not be an expert by the end, but you will have first-hand understanding of how, and with what, clothing of the 17th century was made.

Course description

"Fashion is cyclical: it moulds the bodies of men and women to the beauty standards and ideals of the age. In this course, we begin in the early years of a new century and a new dynasty, with the 1603 accession of James I. We will interrogate what English fashion was and who set the style. We will follow that thread of fashion through the extreme social and political changes of civil war, a new ruling regime, and the restoration of the monarchy.

The practical part of this course will provide material and technical context for 17th century garment construction. You will become familiar with the materials used, and construction techniques employed by makers of the period. Utilising complete and partial reproductions informed by first-hand research, learners will become familiar with fibre, cut, stitch and structure; and functional and decorative embellishments such as buttons, buttonholes, passementerie and lace. We will focus on three key garments of the period: the doublet, the shirt, and the falling band.

Learners will build a reference file of materials and techniques, through observation, tactile learning, and development of basic skills. This course is suitable for beginners, and all materials will be provided."

What financial support is available?

We don't want anything to stand in your way when it comes to bringing Adult learning within reach so if you need anything to support you to achieve your goals then speak to one of our education experts during your enrolment journey. Most of our courses are government funded but if you don't qualify or need alternative financial help to access them then let us know.

What other support is available?

All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

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