Paris - City of Style

Ref: C2345516

Do you love Paris? Or the idea of the city through films, fashion, music, and art? Are you planning a trip there or have you dreamt of the city during lock down? This course, taught by a poet and writer who has loved the city and visited whenever she can, offers a personal view of Parisian history via popular culture. Answering questions such as why did the art of the Belle Epoque lead to 'twenties Deco? Who were the Zazous and why did their clothing infuriate the Nazis? And why do small memorials in the city matter? The Tutor also offers an alternative guide to well known areas and landmarks picking up and the little things that say a lot about the city's history and future.

Course aim

This course provides personal history of Parisian popular culture from the Belle Epoque, 1920s, 1940s, and then the present day and what is left to see from these periods.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers
  • All welcome - and if you have had experiences of Paris, please come ready to share them.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Discuss and define what makes Paris the remarkable city it is, deploying images from the different periods analysed.
  • Recognise and appraise differing types of artistic iconography, defining how these become part of the 'language' of a city.
  • Break down the elements which lead to Paris being defined as a 'centre of style' - such as fashion, posters, and music.
  • Express why cities such as Paris remain so locked in public imagination and discuss terms such as 'city of love', 'city of light, and 'Paris, mon Amour.'
  • Define and analyse why some people (Josephine Baker, Edith Piaf) or groups (Zazous) have become synonymous with the city.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

You may want to bring a notebook, and any books or objects that you'd like to share on screen.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Paris - City of Style


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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