Lookbook #2: Excess: Fashion And The Underground In The 80s

Look Book #1: Things We Love by Kate Spade

Lookbook: Excess

In 2004, I was walking through Powell’s Books and spotted Excess: Fashion And The Underground In The 80s. I bought it on the spot.

Lookbook: Excess

The book features a tightly edited collection of hundreds of fashion photos ranging from the runway to the club scene along with countless essays on the role fashion played in 80s culture, from music to movies (with coverage of everything from Blade Runner to Wall Street).

Lookbook: Excess

The interesting slant is that while 80s fashion as a whole is covered in depth, there is a particular focus on Italian fashion (the publisher is Italian). Italian designers played a huge role in the transition to a more structured, sculptural look and a lot of their work is woven throughout the book across many obscure ads and magazine covers.

Lookbook: Excess

Lookbook: Excess

It’s always fascinating to see the key trends of a decade and how art, politics, movies and music intersected to influence it all.

This book does a great job of navigating the complicated world of 80s fashion (with everything from Armani powersuits to New Romantic looks getting starring roles) while retaining a diplomatic tone — there are no clichés, only a realistic glance back at how things were.

Lookbook: Excess


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