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Learning Across America Home > Learning Express: One-Weekend Courses > New York City – Express

NYC Fashion: Cinema, Costume, and Character - now held online  

In order to reflect CUNY's decision to hold distance-learning courses, Learning Across America will be continuing in an online format. All classes posted will not be held in person or on location. Online courses will be held for the same number of credits as our in-person option. Please email us with questions at

NYC: Cinema, Costume and Character

This course will encourage students to experience New York as a film set, and its fashion as costumes that tell as much of a story as a script. We will explore the interaction between fashion in New York-based films and overall society, from the 1970s to today.

Looking at the costumes in classic films like The Warriors and Do The Right Thing, as well as newer hits like Netflix’s The Get Down, you will learn how New York culture has both reflected and been imagined by Hollywood cinema.

This course is designed for students eager to discover new passions by trying something new. It is excitingly unconventional and intended to develop greater exposure to American culture and inspire newfound artistic interests.

(Times below listed in Eastern Time.
Click here for more details.)

Class meets online
October 16-18, 2020
Friday: 10am-1pm
Saturday: 10am-1pm
Sunday: 10am-1pm

Your course will consist of a pre-assignment, independent coursework and final assignment as well as live online class sessions with your teacher/other au pairs. Credit for J-1 visa students is 36 hours. Students earning J-1 visa credit must attend all sessions and complete all homework.

You will receive details on how to log-in to your online class sessions one day before the start of the course.

Once the final online class session has concluded, you will have one week to submit your independent coursework and final assignment to your teacher.

Students are required to be present during all live online class sessions. However, your independent coursework can be completed at your leisure before the deadline one week after your online class ends. We wanted to create flexibility in completion as we know many au pairs now have increased work hours due to COVID-19.

Mikaila Brown is a fashion anthropologist, who has a doctorate in Anthropology and Education from Columbia University and over 10 years of work experience with domestic and international non-profits.

During these years of working as a consultant, she honed the skill of identifying the needs of a particular community and aligning them with the services provided by their local agencies. She applied these same skills when she left the nonprofit sector to pursue a lifelong dream of working in the fashion industry.

After working for designers like Oscar de la Renta, Pamela Roland and Betsey Johnson, she launched a socially conscious fashion line in 2011. Most recently, she has further integrated her anthropological background and fashion experience to create The Common Thread Project, which highlights cultural diversities within the fashion industry by investigating the style trends of local, underrepresented fashion communities. She shares this knowledge with the public by offering cultural shopping tours through AirBnB’s new experiential arm.

She is also currently a senior lecturer in Cornell’s Fiber Science and Apparel Design department.


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