London & Paris - Collecting & the Collection: Design & Fashion

June 11 – June 27, 2018 (Note: Dates Subject to Change)
United Kingdom

London Paris Badge

Collections and collecting. Who decides what makes a collection? What does creating a collection mean? How do we consume and understand collections? This trip uses the concept of the “collection” to explore the design and fashion cultures of London and Paris, focusing on the final days of decadent, imperial opulence and the rise of modern design at the turn of the twentieth century, as well as current-day practices in the design and fashion worlds. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, designers and critics debated appropriate uses of historical and global design sources at sites such as the World’s Fairs and in new public museum collections. At the same time, the department store and fashion show introduced the design “collection” as a seasonal, public event. More recently, contemporary curators, designers, and artists introduce new practices of collection and display, mixing genres, challenging boundaries, and seeking to incorporate histories previously overlooked in official archives. On this trip we will ask you to be curators and creators, keen observers and clever documentarians as we discover the hidden depths of well-known sites (Victoria & Albert Museum, Museum of London, Musee des Arts Decoratifs), details of homes grand and modern (Waddesdon Manor, Leighton House, Maison de Verre), archives curious and personal (Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature, Sir John Soane’s Museum, Jane Wildgoose Memorial Library), and collections specific and profound (Palais Galliera Costume Archive, Geffrye Museum, Hunterian Museum). Our visits will be supplemented by discussions with authorities, workshops on Victorian hair work and Lesage embroidery, and peppered with gallery and studio appointments across the cities. Who collected what and why? And how will your collection become a part of that history?

Credits: 3 credits STUDIO and / or 3 credits ARTHI (4000-level)

Instructors: Caroline Bellios, Fashion Bess Williamson, Art History, Theory & Criticism

Program fee: Approx. $2,800 (including some group meals, transport during the program, and accommodation; not including airfare).

PLUS Tuition cost per credit: Undergraduate—$1,552 per credit hour Graduate—$1,625 per credit hour.


Budget at least $1,000 for airfare if flying from the United States. (Note this is only an estimated figure. Actual fare will depend on many variables including airline, number of stopovers, exchange rate fluctuations, ports of departure and return, and date of ticket purchase).

Online registration begins: March 14, 2018

Deposit due at registration: $525

Information sessions: Tuesday, February 6,  12:10 p.m. MacLean Centre, room MC 111

Wednesday, February 28,  12:10 p.m. MacLean Centre, room MC 111

Scholarship Opportunities: Students who intend to register for this study trip are eligible to apply for  SAIC Travel & J. Field/R. Field Family Travel Scholarships to assist with expenses. Application deadline February 14, 2018.

From previous course evaluations:

  • Do the readings to prepare before you go! Plan your final before you leave the trip!
  • Be prepared for long days and a lot of learning
  • just do it
  • Plan what you want to see and do in your free time in the cities before you leave and save up some money to see a show in London or some other special activity specific to the location, it will really be worth it!
  • Learned a lot
  • Very rigorous class days, but that was nice-- got a lot of education in a short period.