Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bags 1980s ( history of fashion )

The 1980s was a decade that celebrated excess, from the outrageous fancy dress of New Romantics to the everbroadening shoulderpads fo the woman's shoulderpads.
At the new era office worksing zone, the skirt was hiked up, the stilettos donned and carried the biggest clutch bag, that the women could find, because of the hair and the shoulderpuds style.
 Dress for success was the quiding book (John T Molloy ) with styling suggestion and advices for all women in the working field.
You could feel that women of that period appeared to rival their sexuality.
The stiletto shoes was representative of this new approach to work drees/ clothes, where adding four inches to the length of the leg, the spike heel came to symbolize the power and sexuality of the 1980s woman, especially when shod the Manolo Blahnik.
Words such  must have and status has showed the need to embodied by the relaunching of classic fashion houses Channel, Dior and Louis Vuitton, all of whom capitalized on the desire of the consumer. and were reflecting their social standing among the other/ rest.

Manolo Blahnik sketch

dress for success

The suits became for men and women a requisite uniform, were the women's suit had replaced the trouser with a skirt in bright look at me fuchsia pink or red. The jacket was waist fitted and a lot of times with a pleplum  A flared hem and worn with a matching miniskirt. Totally oppossite of the 1960s era and the child like look of the clothes, 1980s version was about  power independence and freedom, were wthe spike heel was a point for domination.
the power suit

Richard Geere in Armani suit( American Gigolo )

Princess Dianna in a suit

The consumerism  was symbolized by the plethora of the lifestyle products.
The filofax, first imported in to the UK vuia Philadelphia company Lefax and a sort of mobile office gear that required a briefcase to carry it around, became extreme popular thanks to British designer and retailer Paul Smith who stocked them.
Handbags were deemed to represent female fluffiness, and women were encouraged to leave them at home or to save them for evening.
"Never carry a handbag when you can carry a briefcase" John T Molloy

Paul Smith

the form of filofax in a more gagdet way

The most powerful female politician in Britain Margaret Thatcher could safety safety enschew such rules.
She had as a "trusty companion" a  black leather Ferragamo with a rigid frame, which exuded all the virtues she held most dearconservative in style, functional and designed for longevity.
Ferragamo was famous for his footwear design innovation ( created the first wedge-heeled shoes during the exegeses of the WW2) .
Ferragamo wnet on to produce handbags using the same innovative approach to materials, while upholding traditional craft skills, as they did with their shoes.
Margaret Thatcher holding Ferragamo

Red was the colour of the decade, from eye catching big- shouldered jackets to extravagant accessories.

The wife of Ronald Reagan as President of the United States, Nancy ensured ( as first lady) that the big occasion dress accessorized with one of Judith Leiber's exquisite minaudieres, had plenty of outings in 1980s.

As designers Oscar de la Renta remarked after the dressdown informality of the Carter years, The reagan's are going to bring back the kind of style the White House should have.

Designer Oscar de la Renta and first lady Nancy

The Gucci store in Beverly Hills on one occasion in the 1980s, was closed up all other customers so that the president wife could take her pick. Her booty included a black silk egg purse, a black lizard day bag and a white evening bag accented with the double G, which she intended to carry to the inaugural balls.

Another lifestyle example of 1980s that have influenced the aesthetic of the period was Dallas and Dynasty where Joan Collins character Alexis provided the sumptuously dressed role model for the uber bitch. Bigger shoulderpuds, extreme bad behaviour, clutch bags of vibrant colours and appliqued exotic leathers played their role.

cast of Dynasty

Alexis in her biusiness suit


A different sort of fantasy was presented by the American designer Donna Karan who launched her first indepented collection in 1985, tarketing at the urban professional woman. She provide body consious, classless basics included the all in one body, wrapped skirts and tubular dresses in strech fabrics. After it huge success from all working women, Donna Karan presented  the day to night for introduce her handbags ( where a series of handbags included a small pochette to be kept inside a mathing briefcase) for the high requirements of the busy woman (filofax, calculator and a series of cosmetics).


vintage 1980s Donna Karan Black Fitted Bodycon Wrap

 Donna Karan bag


The word luxury in the 1980s meant the choice of wearing or using the right brand. Branding appeared as the idealization of the label and while Couture had shifted away for the provision of despoke clothing to the mass production , of branded items that upheld the financial position of the company.
Chanel was a ideal example of branding, when German Karl Lagerfeld was invited as artistic director in 1983, he rejuvenated the label and made it more appealing to a younger clientele.

Chanel 1980's CC gold logo earrings studded with cut glass

The most significant contribution to sexing up the label was Karl Lagerfeld's interpretation of the original 2.55 gilt and quilt bag, where he put the double Cs of the logo, shamelessly and placed them on the front of the bag, creating by this way the most status symbol of the decade.
 It has the wonderful gilt tassled bobble stamped CC

This success inspired many other major brands to relaunch their products and exploit the desire for identifiable status handbags. Christian Dior (logo patterned from 1950) reinvented for the 1980s through the quilted best selling Dior bag that was first introduced in 1989 (in a variation of three sizes, 20 types of material and 53 colours) with a cluster of logo letters dangle from the handle like a charm bracellet spelling D I O R. The bag was presented to Diana Princess of Wales, during her visit to Paris in 1995 by the French president's wife Madame Chirac from which date it become known as the Lady Dior.



the black Lady Dior bag

Lady Dianna holding Lady Dior

The birth of Birkin handbag from the house of Hermes, was an evolution of the Kelly bag for a more unformal, hipper and younger audience, without losing the reputation for quality and elegance. A special account of the British actress Jane Birkin (who was sitting on a plane with the president of Hermes Jean Louis Dumas) while she asked from the company a new version of the Kelly bag because it was so small for all her needs. The name Birkin was labelled by her demand and the bag is still in production with a waiting time to vary between eight months to six years ( but the original Birkin bags from the 1980s are rare and tend to be passed down from mother to daughter).

herms vintage black shiny alligator kelly sport bag

The avant garde in fashion design rejects traditional categories and crossies boundaries between art, politics and gender.

Vivienne Westwood first fashion collection under her own name in 1981 was called Clothes for Heroes,were other cultures surfaced in further collection ( Aztec and Mexican patterns). This practice ultimately presaged the pirating of ideas by the followers of the New Romatic movement., when the students from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London alevated dressing up into a spectacular fashion culture.
John Galliano gratueated St. Martins in 1982 and made an immediate impact on the fashion world by the use of innovative techniques derived from the past (cutting technique inspired by Madaleine Vionnet and the bias cut) and presenting theatrical clothes with attention to many historical details. Following a period as an independed designer before becoming the principal director at Givenchy house.


John Galianno

Galliano's inspiration for his gratuation show at
Central Saint Martins

The London club scene was witness to these extravagant sartorial excesses and fuelled the need for more extreme dress codes with Culture Club and Boy George as a leading example.


Boy George


Culture Club

Graffiti, once the subversile activity of disaffected youth in 1960s, became accepted as a legitimate form of art and alongside practitionners Jean Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring and Sprouse, who approppriate the tags and stencils of the street and added Day Glo colours in rayon, velvet  and satin, while he was also using custom dyed and screen printed fabrics and personally designed the graffiti patterns.
In 2001 we was invited by Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton to produce a much copied version of iconic Louis Vuitton graffiti bag.


Louis Vuitton graffiti bag.


 Louis Vuitton Graffiti & Rose Collection

Jean Michel Basquiat

Keith Haring

Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons and Yohji Yamamoto who established themselves in Paris in 1982 and characterized by the American press as "bag lady chic", presented clothes in unprepossessing on the hangers, but once worn by the eccentric cutting and assymmetrical seams provided a new mysteriou silhouette that questioned the attitude of fashion itself  using colours as indigo, black and occasional touches of red.


Rei Kawakubo design

Yohji Yamamoto design

from the book indicated below

The photos and the texts on this blog are sourced from books and by various sites from the internet (apart from the ones taken by me). Original source is always mentioned. If you feel your photorights have been violated or they have been presented in a negative way, please send me mail. I´ll remove them from my blog immediately.
Thank you

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