The course is designed as a broad survey of the evolution of clothing styles and materials in the West through history, from early Mid-Eastern civilizations to the present day. It will demonstrate how sociological, political, economic, artistic, geographic, technological and other factors affect clothing through the ages, and how, at the same time, costume and personal adornment emerge not only as practical necessities and/or signs of social rank, but also as manifestations of human individuality, character, and personal taste. We will examine how knowledge of historic costume expands and deepens a person's understanding and enjoyment of the visual arts of the past and how, on the other hand, it is applied in professional involvement with clothing and adornment, particularly in theater and cinematography.

A student who successfully completes this course is expected to achieve the following objectives:

1. Identify the characteristic silhouette of garments from each historical period of Western costume.

2. Apply a specific set of criteria and vocabulary for identification of costumes by historical time period.

3. Demonstrate ability to search, discriminate, and choose appropriate historical costume resources for reference and study while conducting a costume design research for a historical play.

4. Compare and contrast the technological, psychological, economic, artistic and other historic developments and influences that led to changes in dress from one period to another.