Documenting an Icon: SPRING 2022

Course Description

Bonnie Cashin (circa 1908-2000) is an American fashion icon and yet one of fashion’s best kept secrets. “Bonnie Cashin was brilliant, free-spirited, and unconventional in all she did. Revered for her intellectual and independent approach to fashion, Cashin changed the way women dressed with her revolutionary, forward-thinking approach to life. She designed chic, functional clothing for the modern woman “on the go”—women like herself who love to travel and live life to the fullest. One of the most successful independent fashion designers of her day, Cashin worked outside the fashion industry, off of 7th Avenue, yet is revered in the fashion world and remains a muse for designers working today” (Lake). Students who take this class  will gain a deeper understanding of history, society, culture, and design (as well as the unintended consequences of the fashion industry) through the study of Bonnie Cashin’s life and work. Students of this class learn by way of engaging mixed media, readings, group and individual projects, in-class dialogue, guest lectures, and field trips both virtual and live.

Course Objectives

Students completing this course will:

  • Learn about self-taught, fashion designer, Bonnie Cashin, in the context of her historical, social, cultural, and intellectual environment.
  • Gain general knowledge of fashion design & the fashion industry through the study of Cashin’s life and work.
  • Become familiarized with concepts of both museum and teaching collections, and documenting cultural heritage, conservation practices, and historical object preservation, handling, and storage.
  • Develop creative, research, team work, and synthesis skills through team-based and individual assignments. Students learn how to think flexibly, how to determine alternatives, and how to find new ways to accomplish a given task. Students who take this class gain a more advanced level of abstract thinking which is needed for synthesis.
  • Translate knowledge into practice through collaborative research & creative completion of assignments.

Group & individual research, assignments, & Presentations

  • Listening to Audio recordings; readings; viewing films; attending lectures and a live production;
  • In-class quizzes based on the above;
  • Team-based and individual presentations;
  • In-class and outside of class field trips;
  • Photography & storyboarding;
  • FINAL : Team-based problem solving challenge & final pitch presentations

Additional Reading

Grading & Rubric

  • Attendance
  • Quizzes
  • Team-based and individual presentations*;
  • In-class and outside of class field trips;
  • Photography & storyboarding*;
  • FINAL : Team-based problem solving challenge & final pitch presentations*


  • Synthesizes ideas in creative ways.
  • Asks new questions to build upon an idea.
  • Brainstorms multiple ideas and solutions to problem.
  • Communicates ideas in creative/innovative ways.

Evaluation and Grading Policy

Passing Grade is a D-:

The faculty’s decision is final.

A 100-94 Highest Distinction
A- 93-90 Exceptional
B+ 89-87 Remarkable
B 86-84 Good
B- 83-80 Satisfactory
C+ 79-77 Above average
C 76-74 Average
C- 73-70 Below Average
D+ 69-67 Weak
D 66-63 Unacceptable
D- 62-60 Minimum Passing Grade
F 59-0 Failure

Specific objectives and evaluation criteria for each project should be included in problem statements.

Overall evaluation will be based on careful consideration of criteria and your overall performance that include:

  • Your project/s demonstrating the University’s capstone rubrics: critical thinking
  • Knowledge synthesis
  • Meets project evaluation criteria
  • Effective communication
  • Inclusion, Impact, Innovation
  • Depth of investigation
  • Concept development
  • Visual skill development
  • Manual and technical skill development
  • Class participation
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Professionalism.

All evaluations will be assigned a letter grade between an A to an F. (See adjacent University grading scale.)

Incompletes (“I” grades): This type of grade is granted only by the instructor’s discretion, with a signed Request for Incomplete Grade form (available in the DAAP College office). It will only be granted due to extreme or unforeseen circumstances (medical emergency, judicial obligation, etc.). Extra credit or make-up projects will not be made available.


Attendance IS A KEY COMPONENT OF COLLABORATIVE STUDIO. Grades drop when attendance drops. After the first 2 absences, your grade will drop (by a grade) for each absence (plus factoring in quality of work and engagement level)

(2 absences or less  Grade will not be impacted)
3 absences = B zone
4 absences = C zone
5 absences = D zone

Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class session. Students not present for attendance will likely be counted as absent.

Please notify instructor of any upcoming absences due to either family emergency, judicial obligation or medical emergencies at least 1 day prior. Extended illness is one with a doctor’s verification.

Communicate & discuss time conflicts with professor.

Laptop Technology Classroom Use Policy

Although having a laptop in class opens up new learning possibilities for students and instructors alike, sometimes their usage can also become inappropriate, irresponsible, distracting, and simply disrespectful. During the scheduled class period, your computer and other technical devices, whether the school’s or personally owned, are to be used for that course’s assignments and activities inside the classroom. 

Acceptable Usage: includes taking notes, following along with the instructor on software demonstrations, whole class activities, working on assigned in-class exercises/projects, and discussions that do require laptop use. 

Inappropriate Usage: includes instant messaging, e-mailing, surfing the Internet, playing games, chatting, writing papers, doing homework (for other courses), etc. during class time. Also, do not display any material on computer screens that may distract or offend classmates and instructor. When classroom activities require sound, please use headphones and do so at an appropriate volume level.

Monitoring Policy: For the first or second inappropriate usage, instructor will politely request observance of the technology policy. Continued inappropriate usage thereafter will be noted and will lead to reducing your final course grade by at least 1/2 letter grade. So, during our scheduled class session remember…please turn off cell/smart phones, pagers and instant messaging. Use your laptop appropriately and responsibly.

Workshop/materials policy

Code of Conduct

The University Rules, including the Student Code of Conduct, and other documented policies of the department, college, and university related to academic integrity will be enforced. Any violation of these regulations, including acts of plagiarism or cheating, will be dealt with on an individual basis according to the severity of the misconduct. It is assumed that students legitimately own all software used to complete projects, and that projects consist solely of work created by the student, unless otherwise noted in writing.

Special Needs Policy

If you have any special needs related to your participation in this course, including visual impairment, hearing impairment, physical impairment, communication disorder. And/or kind of learning disability that may influence your performance in this course, it is important to meet with the instructor to arrange for reasonable provisions to ensure an equitable opportunity to meet all the requirements of this course. At the discretion of instructor some accommodations may require prior approval by Disability Services.


  • The UC Student Code of Conduct defines plagiarism as:
  • Submitting another’s published or unpublished work, in whole, in part, or in paraphrase, as one’s own without fully and properly crediting the author with footnotes, citations or bibliographic reference.
  • Submitting as one’s own, original work, material obtained from an individual or agency without reference to the person or agency as the source of the material.
  • Submitting as one’s own, original work, material that has been produced through unacknowledged collaboration with others without release in writing from collaborators.
    What are the penalties for plagiarism?
  • Formal report of academic misconduct.  (UC student disciplinary records are maintained for 6 years with access limited to those with an educational need to know and those who receive permission from the student – law school admissions, government employers, etc.)
  • Reduced or failing grade on the exercise.
  • Reduced or failing grade for the course.
  • Recommendation to the College Hearing Panel/Dean/Provost for probation, suspension, dismissal.


Week 1

January 11: Welcome, Introductions, History of the course & collection, syllabus, course website. Break course into teams of three.

Assignment: READ Putting American Fashion on the Map/in class quiz on the 18th


Week 2

January 18: In class quiz on reading 10%

Give prompts to each team/develop lightning lectures/present/student>student quiz

Assignment: LISTEN to all the Cashin interviews/in class quiz on Jan 25th

Week 3

January 25th: In class quiz re: the interviews 30%

Watch Anna and the King of Siam (1946) Amazon Prime

Assignment: READ & watch 1956 version of the original screen play

Week 4

February 1: In class quiz re: 1946 vs. 1956 Anna and the King 20%

Field trip: Walk to CCM Costume Collection and CCM faculty-led discussion: Regina Truhart


Week 5

No class Tues Feb 8: Go see live production of Blue Stockings at CCM w/team if possible

Assignment: Group create presentation re: observations & “effectiveness” of the costumes

history, culture & society– who wore what and why


Location: CCM Patricia Corbett Theater
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10 (3 teams of 3) **
2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13 (4 teams of 3)

Week 7

Feb 22: ZOOM CLASS: Meet up w/your team and join the zoom as a team for the virtual field trip to the MET Costume Collection in NYC – Guest lecture – Former UC student Adam Hayes

Assignment: Team visit to Hotel 21c downtown Cincinnati. Do the “Dress up Speak Up” Scavenger Hunt: Take photos re: Document your team’s journey & create a brief presentation using photos from team visit to 21c

Week 8

March 1: Team presentations of each team’s journey 10%

Guest lecture: Arch & Fashion (Mara Marcu – Prof of Arch / DAAP)

Assignment: READ “The Essay”


Week 9

March 8: Field Trip – Cinci Art Museum Field Trip > Cashin & COACH / Cynthia & Obie

Assignment: Visit COACH in Kenwood and/or outlets. Develop visual storyboard w/the Cashin sketches/garments (then) & Coach (now). Visual storytelling means: telling a story through visual media. Use images from website (garments/sketches) and photos taken at COACH and images from the web, books, etc..

Week 10


Week 11

March 22: Presentations of Cashin/COACH storyboards 10%

Guest Lecture: Dr. Steve Lange – Leather

Assignment: READ Leather & Fashion. Select one garment from online collection that has COACH qualities. Send selection to prof via email by Friday, March 25  (subject line: FASH2099 CASHIN/COACH SELECTION-your last name)

Week 12

March 29: Visit to physical collection – gather selections – conduct formal analysis

Recycling fashion: Visit w/Bonnie Cashin enthusiast & collector

Assignment: READ


Week 14

April 12: Team challenge kick-off & working day


Week 15

April 19: Team working day

Week 16

April 26: FINAL Team pitch day 10%

Jennifer Krivickas

Office: 540 University Hall
c: 513.203.2679

Office Hours:

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