Van Dyke


Associate Professor
T33 Human Ecology Building (HEB)
Ithaca, New York
Fiber Science & Apparel Design



Trained in Britain as a women’s and menswear fashion designer, educated in art anthropology, Professor Van Dyk Lewis has practiced as designer, illustrator, and stylist; as Fashion course and program director he steered a lackluster program into an award winning one. Academically he works primarily as a theoretical critic, his territory and mission is to unpack fashion meaning and apply it to industrial and societal processes. Applications include all propaganda led models, especially trend forecasting and politics.

Fashion Theory
Anthropology of Fashion
Fashion Image
Fashion Criticism
Contemporary Fashion
Ethnography of Fashion Cultures (youth, music, & race)
Politics & Fashion
Art and Design Anthropology


Reviewer - The Journal of the Textile Institute

Josef Beuys grounded in his pioneering 1963 performance, “How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare”. Beuys holds a dead hare and speaks to it about works of art.  Art is an impossible concept to understand, indeed Beuys’s piece is commentary of the need to connect with art at an interminably deep level. Making such a connection is a missing element in our world. We connect the idea that humans are bereft of an understanding of art and it follows there are no longer any concerted quest for emotion or feeling within today’s world. Humanity is quickly approaching a peak, momentum provided by technology as a marker and a measure of fitness. In our prime objective to procreate and survive, sentience is being cancelled. 

All humans are becoming lifeless, emotionally dead. The job of fashion [much like art], is to resuscitate the corpses fast littering advance societies.          Fashion like art, fashion is complex and discombobulated. The explanation will require an extraordinary task of coordination if fashion in its unabridged form is to be disclosed for its decreeable potentials. At the core of this investigation a strong belief is that fashion is misunderstood, and therefore undervalued emerges. Tacitly, fashion has much to contribute to, if not lead human development in all of its facets.

Teaching fashion at it core is primarily concerned with three things; Firstly and notably, the uniting of various disciplines, that are not usually used to consider fashion theory. Second. The ambition to unpack the political universe of fashion, and third is to provide ideas of how designers of clothes might use fashion to manipulate societies, their systems and individuals.

An important subtext is supplanted; that is to raise the status and functional bar of the fashion designer as the led practitioner in the creation and motivation of adoptive themes to frivolous novelty and then to principal profession. 

Ultimately I teach students that fashion design concerns the improvement  of sociality through chaos and  disruption.


Fashion Theory FSAD 6700

Collections for the Fashion Industries FSAD 4770

Collections for the Fashion Industries FSAD 3770

Fashion Graphics FSAD 1170

Empirical Research FSAD 4010 

Doctoral Thesis FSAD 9990

Title IX Adjudicator [discidium] [under development]