HAD-467 Gender and Sexuality in Interior and Fashion Design History
This course provides a historical understanding of the interplay between fashion and interiors as they have interacted with and influenced each other throughout time. Furniture makers around the world produced wide chairs mindful of ladies' spatially-expanding attires, while lower-back seats were designed to accommodate the towering hairdos often sported at the court of Marie Antoinette. Colorful robes were preferred to better set off their wearers against one particular background or another, while late nineteenth-century Gesamtkunstwerk theories dictated that female inhabitants - through their clothes and posture - become one with their interiors. Twentieth-century fashion designers are known for their interior decoration schemes, and many couture houses are now incorporating interior design offices. The course attempts to understand the central role that style and glamor have played in every-day life from the Renaissance to today and to question long-held beliefs that have held decoration and physical adornment as 'minor arts,' subservient to architecture.