Fashion in the 1980s and Its' Return

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  • Topic: Fashion week, Fashion, Milan
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  • Published : April 24, 2013
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Kembi, Adeyemi
English 102

The 1980s Fashion Scene on A Rapid Comeback

The 1980’s fashion is back, and its success is rooted in the similar economy we have with the 1980s. As a society we are deciding to “wear our personality”, rather than our pocket books and the fashion industry is staying alive by following this trend. With the de-regulation of multiple government policies on industries, a failing economy, record setting recession and the booming crack-cocaine sales on the streets with Hip-Hop music employing all the facets of larger than life model of life styles, fashion sense became more of a headline than the issues that plagued the ’80s era. People simply wanted to live outside of what their day to day experience was. It was an era where what you wore, watched on TV, listened to on the radio, how you danced and pretty much all your actions was fed to through the mainstream media to the trending youth. Fashion Cycles

Just like most things we are exposed to or experience there’s a beginning, middle, and an end. Same goes for our opinions on how we dress and the lifestyles we sometimes choose to portray. The variance however is the range in occurrences we experience, and it sticks out more when the time difference from one instance draws closer to the other. It wasn’t quite the time for the 1980’s fashion to make such a strong comeback into our culture, hip-hop didn’t quite disappear yet, neither did its portrayal of a larger than life lifestyle either. So if the fashion cycles in the 1980’s were so hideous and treacherous? What brought it back and back so soon? In “How do fashion trends cycle?” by Eleisha she pointed out majorly that we usually would have a fashion cycle occur and that designers seem to all follow the same trends because they are mostly exposed to similar influences and are searching for inspiration for their designs around the same time. Winterman in “The Life of a Fashion Trend” gives a rather interesting perspective on trending fashion cycles by highlighting a highly respected fashion historian by the name of James Laver. She pointed out how “Laver” in 1937 composed a timeline of how a style is viewed over the years, which later became “Laver’s Law”. Laver’s Law suggested that a particular fashion look becomes more appealing only fifty (50) years after it’s time. For more on Laver’s Law see table below: | LAVER'S LAW10 years before - indecentFive years before - shamelessOne year before - daringIn fashion - smartOne year after - dowdy10 years after - hideous20 years after - ridiculous30 years after - amusing50 years after - quaint70 years after - charming100 years after - romantic150 years after - beautifulSource: Fashion-era.com|

In contrast to “Lavers Law”, Winterman also noticed in the recent years fashion trends were cycling back much often which she attributed a part of this to three main theories: a. The emerging trend which by the American Marketing Association refers to the distinctiveness of the fashion cycle where trendiness is highly sought after. b. Secondly an “emulation phase”, a term coined by the American Marketing Association is a trend where everyday person wants a piece of the trend and causing it’s widespread and features in the mainstream media. c. Lastly, a saturation phase which is usually how trending fashion ends up in low priced outlets and subject to fake reproductions. Her conclusion included facts such as people quickly becoming wary of looking alike and causing a feeling that their fashion sense is no longer unique which in turn influences the change in fashion trend. The information age surely plays a major role not only in the rapid cycle of fashion but also how fashion is viewed and interpreted. In the words of Andrew Groves, a course director for fashion at the University of Westminster; “ We now live in a fast paced consumer society. Pictures of what’s on the catwalks of London Fashion week today will be on the internet...
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