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Indiana University Bloomington

Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design College of Arts and Sciences

Fashion Design

Faculty » Deborah Christiansen, Ph.D.


Phone: (812) 855-5223

Deborah Christiansen, Ph.D.Dr. Christiansen’s work focuses on aspects of design and their application in solving creative and technical design problems. Through both introductory and advanced courses, she challenges students to explore design and its many functions in the material world, including the world of apparel and textiles. Through researching, exploring and analyzing problems and their varied solutions, students make connections between sometimes-unrelated areas of their academic, personal and professional lives. Learning about the design process, fashion theory and fashion history helps students better understand core concepts that help them dissect and navigate the apparel and textile industry, and related retail businesses, in today’s global economy. 

In addition to teaching fashion design, theory, history, and culture courses, Christiansen has worked with several apparel companies from Polo-Ralph Lauren to vendors at the Chicago Apparel Mart, and with several opera, theater and film production companies nationwide as a costumer and designer. Her other areas of academic expertise and interest include textile and museum studies research, archaeological textile history and conservation, and pre-Columbian Peruvian textile iconography and history. She received her bachelor’s degree in fashion design at Indiana University, and an associate's degree in costuming from IU's School of Music, before earning her doctorate in clothing and textiles from Florida State University.

Dr. Christiansen also works with the department’s Retail Student Organization, the Individualized Major Program, and the Intensive Freshman Seminar program. She teaches a freshman introductory course for merchandising and design majors, basic courses for the fashion design major, and a variety of upper-level fashion design requirements and electives, such as pattern drafting and draping.


C103 -Through the Looking Glass: Theory, Identity, and Dress [Critical Approaches] Summer
R100 -Introduction to Retail, Design & Merchandising Fall/Spring
F207 -Fashion Studio I Fall
F303 -Fashion Studio II Spring
F305 -Fashion Studio III Fall
F408 -Experimental Fashion Design: Draping Spring

fdcg - Fashion Design + Culture Group