Monday, January 4, 2016

Clothing and Fashion Unit Study and Lesson Plan

Click any of these 3 images to enlarge—I split it into 3 parts so the writing wouldn't be so tiny!
This looks like a monstrously long unit, and it WAS. But it was so, so fun. Sam has been wanting me to do a clothing history unit with the children for a long time now, because he says when he took his costume design class in college was the first time he really understood the whole sweep of history and how different events fit together. I can see why. The history of clothing is like a measuring stick you can use through the years to see where and why other things were happening. So, while I knew there was no way we could cover ALL there was to cover, I wanted to hit all the major historical clothing periods and get that macro/overview feeling.

My truly brilliant idea came as I was putting it all together. I decided we would watch a movie from each historical period, so we could note the costuming and have easy-to-remember references. It worked so well! If we forget what, exactly, were the hallmarks of clothing in 17th century France, we just have to think "Three Musketeers" and we instantly get a picture in our heads of what that silhouette looked like, along with some of the important things happening in that time period. (It also worked out well because this unit stretched over Christmas and New Years, so we had lots of free time for watching movies.) You can read more about our movie choices in this post.

I should stress that this was a beginner's overview of costume history. I read a costuming blog sometimes which will (quite amusingly) critique period dramas—"back lacing?! In the 1420s?!"—and I know that people much more expert than I can tell clothing trends down to half-decades and even specific years. We didn't get that detailed. Hundred-year periods, and later, decades, were the divisions I worked within, and even within decades we focused much more on broad, well-known trends and iconic fashions, rather than a true overview of all countries and social classes.

To see a visual timeline overview of clothing styles, see this post.

My Pinterest page for this unit is here.

Various clothing-related links:

Futuristic clothing with LEDs

How zippers are made

How buttons are made

Loved this article on "costume design" in Animated movies---a focus that is getting more necessary all the time, as computer graphics get more realistic!

Article about costume design in the "Pride and Prejudice" miniseries

Lots of these "Horrible Histories" clips are fun and funny. This one is on clothing laws in Elizabethan times.

This article (and whole site) is good for starting discussions about cultural ideals of beauty and modesty. The article talks specifically about the use of photoshop in print media.

More on "extreme photoshop use": here and here

We got this program, "Tales from the Royal Wardrobe," (about royal clothing through history) from the library and really liked it. She gets to try on actual clothing from those eras and you can see all the farthingales, petticoats, corsets, etc. Very interesting!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...