HHIA04113U HIS/IKK, Dress and Fashion in Early Modern Europe (1500-1650)

Volume 2014/2015
Module I-VI [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
Module I-VI [MA-elective Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
BA-level [Internal BA-elective for BA students of History]
Module T4 (Subject element HHIB10501E) [BA-elective studies, 2007- and 2013-Curriculum]
Module T5 (Subject element HHIB10511E) [BA-elective studies, 2007- and 2013-Curriculum]

[Board of Studies at the Department of Arts and Cultutal Studies]
Module 12 (Subject element HMKK03251E) [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
Module 13 (Subject element HKUK03721E) [MA-elective Programme, 2008-Curriculum]

[Board of Studies at the Department of Arts and Cultutal Studies]
Module 12 (Subject element HKUK03711E) [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
Module 11 (Subject element HMKK03231E) [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
Module 13 (Subject element HMKK03341E) [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]

Elective Archaeological Topic I (Subject element HFAK03211E) [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
Elective Archaeological Topic II (Subject element HFAK03251E) [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
General Archaeological Knowledge (Subject element HFAK03261E) [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
Elective Archaeological Topic II (Subject element HFAK03251E) [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]

MA-level & MA-elective:
Classical Archaeological Topic (Subject element HKAK03211E) [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
Analysis based on catalogue of Classical Archaeological Material (Subject element HKAK03221E) [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
Academic Internship (Subject element HKAK03231E) [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
Classical Archaeology and Acculturisation (Subject element HKAK03241E) [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]
Diachronic Analysis based upon Classical Archaeology (Subject element HKAK03251E) [MA Programme, 2008-Curriculum]

Dress and Fashion in Early Modern Europe (1500-1650)
The sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries represented an important period of change in European fashions. The rapid changes in tastes and the wide circulation of new fashion innovations, popularised by European courts and promoted by flourishing cloth trade, introduced new concepts into the traditional, local ways of dressing, changing not only the way clothing was made, decorated and worn, but also bringing new values into the systems of dress. Fashionable appearance was no longer associated just with the high cost of the fabric, but the display of new styles and international fashion manufactures such as ruffs, fans, or light silk fabrics, became an important part of the dress culture. This course explores the contemporary historical international research into early modern clothing, textile trade and consumption in the Mediterranean region (mainly Italy) and Scandinavia. The objective is to study what changes were introduced in the sixteenth century into the local clothing cultures, how the lives of individuals and families were visually transformed by such changes, and, eventually, what constituted ‘fashions’ in the period, in both South and North Europe. Special attention will be given to the ‘global’ view of European fashions, in order to develop a better understanding of how international trade and the increasing presence of both European and non-European foreign products shaped the appearances and life-styles of Europeans in the sixteenth century. By providing new knowledge about fashion and cross-cultural exchanges against the global background of increasing and intensified cultural and economic networks, both from the Southern European and Scandinavian perspectives, this course provides the students a ground for a new and exciting evaluation of the European cultural past.

The course presents the on-going research and results of the Centre for Textile Research, an interdisciplinary centre of excellence located at the Saxo Institute. Research in the field is undertaken mainly by historians and archaeologists, but we will also invite guest lecturers from the National Museum to present their specialised knowledge to the students during the course.

Throughout the course, we will discuss dress and fashion in relation to the social and economic context. The special themes to be addressed include: 

  • Social and cultural meanings of dress
  • Ideas about fashion
  • Novelty in dress
  • International textile trade and fashion dissemination
  • Making and buying clothing
  • Cultural practices associated with dress

The themes are designed to provide the students, first, with a basic understanding of historical dress and its social and cultural meanings in early modern European society. Both written and visual evidence is used, then, to offer the participants the tools to evaluate the impacts that novel fashion products and global cultural encounters had on social behaviour, regulation of dress and the cultural meanings that were associated with dress and appearance, both in Italy as well as in Scandinavia.

Throughout the course, the students are encouraged to engage closely with the research and production of new knowledge.

Please note that all lectures are compulsory and that students are strongly encouraged to take part in the examinations.

The course is interdisciplinary. It aims to provide students with a methodological understanding of how to obtain new knowledge by combining sources from a variety of academic fields, including archaeology, history, social ad economic history and fashion theory. We will draw on both visual and written evidence.

Course objectives (clarification of some of the objectives stipulated in the curriculum):
• nderstand historical clothing and its multiple social and economic meanings in society
• acquire theoretical knowledge of fashion concepts and evaluate the meaning and significance of the term ‘fashion’ in historical context
• acquire knowledge of the current international fashion history research in the broad economic and social context
• explore issues of textiles and clothing in relation to identity, gender, age and international trade and apply them in material culture studies
• evaluate ‘globalism’ in historical terms
• discuss theories relating to early modern consumer culture

Group instruction / Seminar
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Total
  • 56