fashion history courses online

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

Acclaimed fashion expert Colin McDowell is one of the most influential and internationally respected figures within the global fashion community. Through his position as Chief Fashion Writer of The Sunday Times Style and as founder the Fashion Fringe initiative, McDowell has played an integral role in the support and growth of the fashion industry. In 2008 he was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II.

Fashion History Courses Online

For Students:
  • Understand the key reference points every fashion student needs to know
  • Increase your cultural capital to improve your research skills
  • Differentiate your application when applying for jobs
For Fashion Professionals:
  • Understand why a deep knowledge of fashion’s past is critical to finding success in its future
  • Find creative inspiration and insight from 20th Century fashion
  • Enhance your contextual and critical understanding of fashion history
For those making a Career change:
  • The essential fashion course for those looking to move into the industry
  • Learn to identify designers, their iconic designs and their influence on fashion today
  • Recognise how moments in history continue to impact key functions of the industry

Curriculum Summary

Course Overview 30 minutes

Understand the goals of the course and be introduced to your tutor Colin McDowell. Understand the concept of a ‘fashion moment’ and the definition of zeitgeist. Each module in the course then covers a particular moment in fashion, why this moment happened and why it is still relevant today.30 minutes4x Video4x PDF

1. Dior and The New Look 30 minutes

How Christian Dior revolutionised fashion not just through his design of the ‘New Look’ but also through his business strategy and vision. 30 minutes7x PDF3x Video3x Quiz

2. Elvis Presley and Rock ‘n’ Roll 30 minutes

How Elvis brought the rock ‘n’ roll subculture to the mass market with his seminal performance of Hounddog on TV on the Milton Berle Show.30 minutes7x PDF3x Video3x QuizShow All 15 Modules 

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On this introductory fashion history course you will discover the key moments in Western dress history and theory over 200 years from the French Revolution through to the 1990s, with a focus on the social, political and economic backdrop to fashion.

fashion history courses uk

On this Fashion History course you will discover the key moments in fashion history and theory over 200 years from the French Revolution through to the 1990s.

  • Time18:00 – 20:30
  • Duration8 weeks
  • LevelBeginners
  • LocationOnli

This course includes

  • Extravagant 18th century court fashions and the politics of clothing during the Revolution
  • 19th century haute couture and the changing silhouette, dress reform movements and mourning etiquette
  • The tailoring traditions of Savile Row
  • The modernist look of the 1920s flapper and how shifting ideas about gender have informed fashion design
  • The rise of Hollywood and the impact on fashions in the 1930s 
  • Exploring the myths of 1940s austerity styles, and the post-war romance of Dior’s ‘New Look’
  • The explosion of postwar youth culture and the legacy of street style
  • Approaches to fashion curation
  • Exploration of the cyclical nature of styles in culture and fashion history
  • Illustrated lectures, videos and discussions
  • Time for students to conduct their own historical research and present to the class

All our Online Short Courses include:

  • Live online lessons with the same tutors
  • The same course content and learning outcomes
  • Lesson recordings, for review
  • Access to VLE with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 2 weeks online access
  • Certificate upon completion

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time.

Online courses are closed to all new bookings 48 hours prior to the course starting.

Available dates

26/01/2022 – 16/03/2022Wednesdays18:00 – 20:308 weeksOnline£395.00Add20/04/2022 – 08/06/2022Wednesdays18:00 – 20:308 weeksOnline£395.00Add24/05/2022 – 27/05/2022Tuesday to Friday10:30 – 16:304 daysOnline£395.00Add19/07/2022 – 22/07/2022Tuesday to Friday10:30 – 17:004 daysOnline£395.00Add09/08/2022 – 12/08/2022Tuesday to Friday10:30 – 17:004 daysOnline£395.00

fashion history short course

In this Fashion History- The Evolution of Style course from London College of Fashion you will discover the key moments in fashion history and theory over 200 years from the French Revolution through to the 1990s.London College of FashionLondon , England , United KingdomNot rankedWorld ranking4.3(12)Read 11 reviews

Key information


  • Part-time
    • 4 days

Start dates & application deadlines

  • Starting February 2022Apply anytime.


The Fashion History- The Evolution of Style course is offered at London College of Fashion.


All our Online Short Courses include:

  • Live online lessons with the same tutors
  • The same course content and learning outcomes
  • Lesson recordings, for review
  • Access to VLE with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 2 weeks online access
  • Certificate upon completion

Fashion History Courses Uk

If you have a keen interest in fashion and design in a global context, this course will develop your understanding of the changing significance of what we wear, from designer items to everyday objects.

Taught by experts in fashion and history, you will learn about the making and use of clothing and design in the past and present. Engaging with a range of images, objects and texts, you will explore how fashion and design relate to social, political and cultural identities and meanings.

You will be encouraged to work individually and in groups, and will graduate equipped with a wide range of written, oral and exhibition-based presentation skills. You will develop as a critical thinker, researcher and communicator ready for work in fashion, the museum sector or any number of industries.

You will have access to resources including our Teaching Collection, as well as our world-renowned Design Archives and Screen Archive South East, all based at the university.

You will work with important local collections at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and Worthing Museum, and there will be opportunities for field trips beyond Brighton.


Location Brighton: City campus

UCAS code V371

Full-time 3 years

Our history of art and design courses are joint 2nd in the UK for graduate prospects.

Complete University Guide 2022

Brighton has given me unique opportunities that have led to paid work and a fellowship. The course, which is one of the only dress history courses in the country, has given me the confidence to believe in myself and strive for a successful academic career.

Milly Westbrook 

Course Content

Year 1

In the first year of study, you will learn about the ways in which the movement of people, materials, and ideas across geographies, spaces and time periods have an impact on the production, reproduction, and appropriation of fashion and design.

You will learn about how designers and makers produce design and fashion in a global context and how their use is shaped by and reflects the social and cultural issues of the time. Most of your teaching will take place in small groups. The first year familiarises you with good study practices and introduces you to the different kinds of assessment used on the course, including essays, seminar presentations, display projects and exams.


  • Local and Global: Cross Cultural Histories of Art and Design
  • Art and Design History in Brighton: Places and Processes
  • Artist, Designer and the Prosumer
  • Material Matters

Our courses are reviewed and enhanced on an ongoing basis in order to make sure that what you learn with us is relevant and that your course enables you to develop appropriate skills. When you apply to study with us, we will inform you of any new developments in your chosen programme through Student View.

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Fashion students

How This Course Is Delivered

How will my course be taught?
For the academic year that starts in September 2022 we’re planning for all students to be taught face-to-face on campus, enhanced by some online learning.

Students who started their course with us in 2021 are on campus for some face-to-face learning including tutorials, workshops, laboratory classes and studio sessions. They are also taking part in off-campus learning activities such as placements, field trips and study visits. And all of our campus facilities – libraries, learning spaces, restaurants, gyms and more are open.

Like all universities we are following government guidance and we are monitoring the pandemic very closely. Should Public Health advise it we have robust plans in place for additional safety measures to be introduced to enable everyone to continue learning on campus, and, as a last resort, for students to continue their learning remotely.

We will update you regularly on our teaching plans for the next academic year as you progress your application with us.

When does my course start?
The 2022 academic year begins on Monday 26 September 2022. Teaching for most courses starts the following week.

Many education courses, some health science courses including Medicine, and some postgraduate business courses have an earlier start date. Check your offer letter for the start date of your course.


  • Prepare for your career 
  • Placements 
  • Showcasing your talent 
  • Graduate destinations 
  • Further study 
  • Professional advice and support 
  • Employment demand for humanities graduates 

Prepare for your career 

In your career you need a combination of knowledge, skills, personal qualities and relevant experiences – and you’ll get all of this from your degree. 

  • You’ll develop your capacity for critical inquiry and hone your research skills.
  • You’ll learn to analyse objects and source materials which will equip you for careers in archives, galleries, museums, heritage sites and auction houses.
  • You have the chance to undertake a work placement and gain experience for your CV.
  • There are opportunities for activity outside of the curriculum including conferences with world-leading experts and publication in the student blogs.
  • Your final major project will be displayed at the graduate show.

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