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The History of Cool: Fashion & Attitude (DPSS10007)

Undergraduate level 1Points: 12.5On Campus (Southbank)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 1
Subject codeDPSS10007
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

James Dean, Marlene Dietrich, James Brown, Frida Kahlo, Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, and David Bowie. What do these people have in common? They were cool.

Cool is an elusive essence recognised in artists, musicians, actors and other icons that generations have attempted to capture.

This subject will examine the history of cool from its roots to its continuing influence through the lens of one of its most visible products – fashion. Through study of the icons of cool in mainstream Western consciousness, you will examine the history of what we have found cool, the fashions that retain the aura of cool today, and how these elements in turn reflect what we have found desirable.

Disclaimer: This subject is not guaranteed to make you cool, but it will help you understand what it is.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • identify a range of style icons considered to be 'cool'
  • recognise and articulate the attributes of a style icon considered to be 'cool';
  • analyse a 20th century movement considered as 'cool' from visual and social perspectives.

Last updated: 12 October 2019