Book Review: 1980s Fashion Prints

Fogg describes the 1980s as the decade when “fashion became fashionable again,” when a cultural interest in clothes gave rise to some of the wildest, gaudiest, and morst inspired fabric prints of the century. The book’s gorgeous full-colour prints are essentially works of art. Five chapters separate the textiles into stylistic categories: artistic abstracts, yuppie-preferred trompe l’oeil, neon, jungle florals, and updates on classical styles. Each chapters identifies influential designers and explains the style in the context of other trends. Refreshingly, the blurbs that accompany each fabric swatch are equally worth reading, often explaining artistic terms or printmaking methods. Fashion Prints’ only flaw may be its reliance on the prolific printmaking team of Fuphy Simpson – although their fabrics are beautiful, greater variety would benefit a book that is meant to summarize and entire decade of prints. However, the samples are still diverse enough to show that common themes in fabric prints are certainly not arbitrary. Fashion is often a reflection of environment, and this book proves that’s true, down to the style of a printed flower.

by Marnie Fogg – Batsford Press
reviewed by Alexandra Barton (originally published in Worn Fashion Journal Issue 10)

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