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Unit information: Art and Fashion in 2021/22

Unit name Art and Fashion
Unit code HART30051
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Robles
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History of Art (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

From the theatrical dress of Rembrandt and the exotic textiles and headgear of early modern Magi to the flamboyant costumes of the Ballet Russes and Rodchenko’s boiler-suit, fashion has provided a pivotal subject, source of inspiration and site for self-representation for artists. Depicted in art, fashion has been deployed as a tool for self-representation – from Frida Kahlo to Grayson Perry – and as a way to claim, subvert and reclaim power and status.

This unit takes as its starting point the complex relationship between art and fashion across a broad chronology. It will trace the ways in which art and fashion converge to open up themes that may include identity, morality and respectability and the ways in which fashion displays – both in print and in situ – blur the lines between fine art and material culture The unit will also introduce students to texts within the development of fashion theory and raise key art historical questions around fashion, taste, style and self-representation.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of the development of the relationship between art and fashion;
  2. evaluate the changing ways in which the relationship between art and fashion may be viewed over time;
  3. analyse theoretical issues presented in studying the relationship between art and fashion.
  4. identify and evaluate pertinent evidence/data in order to advance a cogent argument;
  5. demonstrate skills in evaluating, analysing, synthesising and (where apt) critiquing material and ideas appropriate to level H/6.

Teaching Information

Classes will involve a combination of long- and short-form lectures, class discussion, investigative activities, and practical activities. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis. This will be further supported with drop-in sessions and self-directed exercises with tutor and peer feedback.

Assessment Information

One 3000-word essay (50%) One timed assessment (50%). [Both elements will assess ILOs 1-5]


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. HART30051).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.