1980s – 1990s

During the 1980s, ostentatious glamour and self-confident fashion were manifested in a variety of extravagant styles. Those associated with “power dressing,” a hallmark of the decade, often challenged conventional notions of “good taste.” Postmodernism also precipitated a merging of sartorial styles, signs, and motifs never before attempted.

In contrast, the 1990s emphasized “invisible luxury” that eschewed the conspicuous consumption of the previous decade. A minimalist aesthetic, characterized in part by simple structures with clean lines and by understated fabrics and colors, was championed by designers such as Calvin Klein, Jil Sander, and Prada. Meanwhile, an avant-garde variant of minimalism developed, evidenced by the deconstructed designs of Martin Margiela and the detached, edgy aesthetic of Helmut Lang. Moreover, the advent of the internet brought a new optimism rooted in technology. By the close of the second millennium, Hussein Chalayan was fusing technology and fashion to contemplate a wardrobe for the future.