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.
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).
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.
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.
Featured book: Excess: Fashion And The Underground In The 80s
There are some books I repeatedly come back to no matter how many times I’ve flipped through their pages — this new column, Lookbook, is dedicated to them. Even though I spend most of my days absorbed in everything digital, I’ve always loved books and the escape they provide. While everyone else is adding titles to their iPads and Kindles, I’m surfing Amazon, looking for a new print fix.
Kate Spade’s Things We Love was released earlier this year as a nod to the brand’s 20th anniversary. In the year following up to its release, I’d seen the super-limited teaser online many times but sadly, this mini book wasn’t available to the public.
Then, in January, the full length edition was released and at 240 pages, was much more extensive than the mini version had let on. Six months after its arrival in my office, I’m still reaching for it constantly.
Brimming with 20 chapters of things the creative team at Kate Spade adores (including the color red and handwritten notes), this visual diary perfectly sums up the quirkiness of the brand through quotes, photos, film stills and curated layouts of knick-knacks.
Things We Love is bound to get your creative juices flowing and remind you that even the smallest things in life are worthwhile of a celebration.
Images: Scanned from Things We Love.