1980's Fashion

Defined by bold style, bright colors and exaggerated silhouettes, the 1980s embraced maximalist fashion over the minimalistic air of previous decades. From punk wear, power suits, shoulder pads, and ruffles, the statement styles of the 80’s infused cultural and societal nuances into statement pieces that heralded an eclectic sense of self-expression. 

Pop stars such as Madonna, and characters like Alexis Colby and Dominique Devereux from television drama Dynasty, helped to solidify this era of fashion as one that epitomized self-expression and decadence.  

This exhibit reflects the style of the decade through garments such as Fe Zandi Beverly Hills strong gray wool striped jacket and skirt, Bob Mackie’s opulent fuchsia silk velvet gown, and Oscar de la Renta’s glamorous silk floral dress. The 80’s also saw the use of a wide array of textiles including fur which is showcased in the Harold Russek Department Store lambskin coat, to the elegant and playful Donna Karen lace bustier and skirt, a gift from donor, Julia Frankel.  

The accessories featured from this decade also showcase a wide spectrum of styles including the playful pink jelly shoes made popular by teenagers of the era, the business focused Spiegel black and white spectator pumps, purple satin YSL pumps, and Bruno Magli leather high heel boots.  

Reed, Paula. 2013. Design Museum Fifty Fashion Looks That Changed the 1980s. London, UK: Conran Octopus.