How do you remember the look and feel of the 80s? It’s probably an overload of bright colours and patterns. Everything, including the hairstyles, seemed to be just so loud and big! Why did the exaggerated style of 80s look like that, though?
The origins of ‘the essential 80s look’ go back to the Memphis Group founded by the Italian designer Ettore Sottsass. The reason behind their colourful, bold art is most likely defiance against the modern style. The Memphis Group decided to follow postmodernism instead: a rebellious attitude towards authority, preconceived ideals and aesthetics. The Memphis Design became synonymous with the style of the 80s: putting together patterns, geometrical shapes and colours that were so far considered clumsy, awkward and wrong.
Since it became incredibly popular, the style of excess seeped into fashion, entertainment, architecture, as well as any product design you could imagine. Patterns on top of patterns, exaggerated shapes, even the settings were in conflict with the objects.
Surprisingly enough, it even found its way into human emotion! The popular thing to do was to exaggerate everything. From sports (I mean, this workout video is crazy, right?) to portrayals of people on the TV screen. I’m sure you’re all familiar with over the top scenes so popular in the 80s:
And then the 90s rolled in and the Memphis Style became awkward and silly. As it usually happens with going against the stream, the style of the 80s did a complete 180 turn against modern art. And then another turn happened and minimalism became a thing. Now, as we step into the world of Internet and individual expression, the 80s is making a comeback. After all, what better way to show your individuality than to scream with your hair, your outfit and your attitude? And that is exactly what the 80s were so good at and why we love them so much today.