Silhouettes of the Time: 1980s
Power and Pluralism
The 1980s: a decade that brings to the fore neon, big hair, even bigger shoulder pads (think: Madonna) and an overall in-your-face message. Fashion designers like Katharine Hamnett started addressing political issues with graphic print t-shirts, high-end fashion was helmed by Rei Kawakubo of conceptual Comme des Garcons.
After the second wave of feminism of the ‘70s, women were dominant in the workforce and embraced more masculine silhouettes for due respect and status. What better to accompany this than powerful, symbolic eyewear to make both fashion and intellectual statements. Silhouette were at the forefront of enlightenment in terms of their eyewear design and employed a new special material called SPX plastic (S for Silhouette, P for polyamide and X stands for something we can’t tell you as it’s one of our greatest secrets to our special material).
A magazine titled The Face was the indie go-to reference of the time and the centrality of a face helped focus an interest on eyewear – with shapes, colours and decorations that were not afraid to experiment. Silhouette also toyed with earrings to match their innovative designs – including giant lenses, transparent frames, interesting set temples – a palette as broad as vivid shoulder pads!