French culture and fashion have been synonymous since the age of Louis XIV. This is not only because Paris traditionally occupied the center of the global fashion industry. It’s also because fashion has a respected place in French culture. This seminar investigates what fashion has meant to French-speaking writers, artists, and philosophers through the centuries. We will explore key episodes in the history of French fashion from the emergence of the idea of fashion in the seventeenth century, to Marie-Antoinette’s role as fashion icon, to the birth of haute couture in the 20th century, to contemporary debates about fashion’s impact on the environment and global economy. Along the way, we will discover how French thinkers have interpreted the allure and significance of fashion from multiple perspectives. In short, we will consider what it means to take fashion seriously. This seminar will take place in English. No knowledge of French is required (although French speakers are very welcome!).