Course Description

Course Name

The French and their Fashion

Session: VPRS1322

Hours & Credits

42 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level

High Beginning

  • Prior to enrolling in courses at this language level, students must have completed or tested out of a minimum of one semester (or two quarters) at the college level.

Low Intermediate

  • Prior to enrolling in courses at this language level, students must have completed or tested out of a minimum of two semesters (or three quarters) at the college level.


1 / General objectives of the course:

- Discover fashion Paris.
- Study the history of women in France through the evolution of fashion in the 20th century.
- Discover the life, work and influence of the great couturiers (Paul Poiret, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint-Laurent, etc.).
- Learn to recognize and describe a style.
- Discover the richness of the artisanal heritage linked to the world of fashion in France.
- Meet with fashion professionals.

2 / Pedagogical approach of the teacher:

This course is built on a communicative approach that invites students through many types of activities (preparation of presentations, group work, observations, reports of meetings and visits, etc.). In a thematic approach we will discover In a first part the world of fashion and then in a second we will parallele the history of the French and the evolution of fashion trends.

3 / Supporting materials:

Files consisting of authentic documents, press articles (newspapers, magazines, professional magazines), songs, excerpts from films and video documents (INA archives), visits to museums or temporary exhibitions and meetings with professionals.

4 / Bibliographical references summary:

- the Galliera Museum, the Docks - Cité de la Mode and Design, foundation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint-Laurent.
- Websites of the big fashion houses.
- fashion magazines, trade magazines and exhibition catalogs.
- reference works.

5 / Evaluation:

Three production notes:
Note 1: 2 assignments on the table - terminal control
Note 2: Work at Home (Presentation)
Note 3: Visits report
Participation note: Attendance, initiative, responsiveness, relevance of interventions
Each note takes into account knowledge and expression in French.
Attendance at table controls is mandatory to obtain the certificate.

6 / Attendance, punctuality
Beyond that, neither the Certificate of Attendance nor the Certificate of Results can be awarded.
In case of absence or delay, notify the teacher and the secretariat. Provide proof upon return to class. It is up to you to inquire (with the class delegate or a fellow) about the work done and the duties requested.


Theme day
1. Session 1 What is fashion?
2. Session 2 What is haute couture?
3. Session 3 Paris, the world and fashion / Visit to the Golden Triangle
4. Session 4 Fashion Paris: department stores / Visit to the Bon Marché
5. Session 5 Accessory Essentials
6. Session 6 A short history of haute couture (test 1)
7. Session 7 Mademoiselle Chanel
8. Session 8 Portraits of Creators of the Roaring Twenties
9. Session 9 Christian Dior, dream couturier: Visit of the exhibition to the Decorative Arts
10. Session 10 The Second World War and Fashion
11. Session 11 The revolution of the 1960s
12. Session 12 Yves Saint-Laurent: Visit to the Yves Saint-Laurent Museum (test 2)
13. Session 13 The terrible children of fashion
14. Session 14 Today's Fashion
15. Session 15 Create a Collection

*Course content subject to change