Saturday, October 3, 2009

Marie Antoinette & Lost in Translation: Fashion

I usually use this activity either before or after the ones in the previous post - style - because they pretty much go together. The vocabulary is useful for both. By the way, both of the scenes are extremely attractive. Students love them both. I hope you do too.

A. Divide the class into pairs.

Student 1 asks questions 1 to 6 and student 2 asks questions 7 to 11.

1) Do you like fashion?

2) What is your opinion about the fashion industry?3) Are you a fashion victim or slave to fashion? Explain it.

3) What's your opinion about fashion models?

4) How does fashion affect your life?

5) How important is fashion today compared with the past?

6) What do you think fashion will be like 40 years from now? Will we wear any different kinds of clothes and materials?

7) What is more important? To look elegant or comfortable?

8) What are the bad aspects of fashion?

9) Is fashion only for beautiful or famous people? Explain it.

10) Do you have your own fashion style or follow the crowds?

11) What are some of the strangest fashions you have seen?

B. Watch the movie segment. It is about fashion in the Elizabethan era. Watch it and compare it to fashion nowadays. video

1) What's your opinion about the fashion in the Elizabethan period?

2) Would you like to wear those clothes? And the shoes? Why (not)?

3) Choose three positive adjectives and three negative adjectives to describe their clothes.

4) Look at the adjectives below and decide which ones apply better to fashion nowadays (N) or to the Elizabethan era (E).

a. Elegant ( )

b. Expensive ( )

c. Comfortable ( )

d. Romantic ( )

e. Ugly ( )

f. Corny ( )

g. Wearable ( )

h. Fierce ( )

i. Fresh ( )

j. Eclectic ( )

k. Luxurious ( )

l. Extravagant ( )

m. Predictable ( )

n. Boring ( )

o. Glamorous( )

C. Now watch the next segment from the movie Lost in Translation. Then discuss the questions with a partner.

1. Describe the scene.

2. Describe the TV host fashion style. What's your opinion about it?

3. How do you compare the fashion in Marie Antoinette and in Lost in Translation?

4. Which adjectives in the previous exercise apply to the TV host? And to Bob Harris?


Work in small groups. Read the sentences below and decide whether they apply to the way you see yourself and fashion. Explain why you chose or didn't choose each of them.


  1. I love this lesson idea on fashion....I'm going to try it out with my intermediate class on Monday as we've just been studying clothes. Thanks a lot for putting up these clips and activities, it's a great help and a huge time-saver for teachers when planning lessons :-)
    Una (Sicily)

  2. Ciao Una,

    Thanks for the compliment. This is motivating enough for me to keep going. See you.