Big shoulders, fitness gear. California blondes and "out of this world" suits. Philosophy as avant-garde fashion. What did the 1980's mean to you? Many decades in fashion, a consistent theme comes to mind... The 1930's, bias-cut gowns, the 1920's, flappers. The eighties on the other hand, had several iconic directions which were all very different from each other.
What set the climate for this many looks? Was it the rise of the power-woman and finance that brought rise to big-shouldered suits? Did Wall Street's "Greed is Good" atmosphere inspire people to dress in more excessive ways? Did the gender equality climate help fuel androgyny? Did all of the excess then cause fashion fans to ponder clothing in a more philosophical way like Comme Des Garcons?
The Powerhouse museum in Sydney, Australia is exploring all the themes of the Fabulous decade in their current exhibit, "The 80's are Back!" Expect to see everything from Katherine Hamnett's big slogan t-shirts to Margaret Thatcher's bow blouses. The museum investigates music, politics, fashion, fads, video games, the AIDS crisis, subcultures and film to determine what was deep within behind the big hair.
If you can't make it Down Under, check out the exhibit's microsite for essays, photos and resources.