, English professor, Karen Steen
, Fashion Studies professor, and twenty-five Cazenovia College Fashion Design
, Fashion Merchandising
and Honors students are spending their spring break in Paris, France as part of their course "Paris During the 1920s."
After World War I, many artists, writers, poets and musicians left America to go to Paris. This migration took artists such as Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and Josephine Baker far from the culture of prohibition, discrimination and censorship prevalent in the US, and brought them to Paris where they were free to create and live without these restrictions.
At the same time that American artists were exploring their newfound freedoms, French designer Coco Chanel was driving the fashion industry with this similar desire for creative and social liberation.
Over the course of the semester, students studied Chanel's contributions to fashion, as well as the lives and works of American artists in Paris, looking at the drivers that influenced them and the role their work and lifestyles played on society and art in the 1920's.
While in Paris, students will visit the museums that display these artists' creations and the sites where they worked, lived and gathered to experience first-hand the environments that inspired and moved them.
In addition to looking at this golden age of Americans abroad, students will tour present-day art galleries and fashion boutiques to better understand how the 1920s era helped shaped these sectors into what they are today. One such visit will be to Chilean fashion designer Octavio Pizarro's studio and a few of the boutiques that sell his designs, providing Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising students direct insight into the world of Haute Couture as it thrives in the Paris of the 21st century.