Every designer has referenced style from the past at some point in his or her career. WWD posed the question, "Do you have a favorite fashion decade?" to designers across the fashion capitals. Here are their answers:Giorgio Armani: "Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work. In sync with my personal taste, I am extremely fascinated by the Thirties, which have often inspired me. They were years of emancipation, which defined a new concept of luxury and elegance, perhaps the most refined decade of the last century."Marc Jacobs: "I don't know what's my favorite decade. I like the Seventies, I guess, probably because I grew up in the Seventies, and it's when I started to become interested in fashion. I like the styling, and there are lots of different looks within that period. I like the Sixties, too, I like the Twenties, I like the Thirties, I like the Forties. But the Seventies are when I came into the realization that this is what I wanted to do. So I probably felt the most connected to what was going on, and I looked at clothes more than I ever did before. So it was probably within the Seventies that I learned about the other decades in fashion. And it's when I decided that this is what I wanted to be; this is what I wanted to do with my life."Donatella Versace: “It’s hard to choose, only because I would either have to say the Nineties or the 2020s.. The Nineties because it was so fun to change everything with my brother and the 2020s because the world as we know it will be completely different.”Karl Lagerfeld: “No. I hate them all except now. Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no if you start that business, you are lost.”John Galliano: "The present Decade that I navigate in calmer waters. This may sound bizarre as so much has happened on a personal level and in the World at large, but I marvel at these current connections and realizations and I am so grateful.”Pierpaolo Piccioli: "I don’t really have a favorite decade [in Valentino]. In general, it’s impossible. It depends [on when you ask]! Right now, I really like the moment between the late Seventies/early Eighties, the moment when everything was changing, even though it was a confused moment, very similar to today. What I liked about this moment is the energy, the creativity, the possibility to react to that confusing moment. I think that [ today] is kind of similar: something is changing, you don’t really know what is going to change, but reacting with creativity, with optimism and facing with awareness and lightness is the key."Michael Kors: "I’ll always have this love for the late Seventies, when the rules had loosened a bit, both for fashion and for life. The era was a great blend of high-octane glamour and laid-back ease."Alber Elbaz: "My favorite decade is the next one — the one you don't have to follow."Sarah Burton: “The amazing thing about McQueen is that there are so many decades and they kind of somehow mash together. [Spring 2018] is quite Fifties — Fifties and Victoriana mixed together. But [favorite]? I don’t know; that’s a very good question.”Tory Burch: “I have always loved the late Sixties, early Seventies. There was a nostalgia for the Twenties and Thirties — a sense of ease and freedom to experiment. It was the era when classic American sportswear came into its own.”
Anna Sui: "Yes, Sixties. This was the Youthquake, the era of optimism, the revolution of music, fashion, film and youth culture. The possibility that everything was about to change. Love is all you need, Give Peace a Chance, War Is Over. It was a beautiful moment when this all seemed possible."
Phillip Lim: “I love the Forties and the Seventies. I think what they have in common is this kind of liberation. It’s like there is this personal sensuality that started to come out and you get a lot of elegant characters.”Rick Owens: “Oh, easy, the Thirties…My aesthetic was mainly formed by black-and-white Cecil B. De Mille lurid bible epics, seen through an art deco filter.”Riccardo Tisci: "I love the Nineties for the freedom of expression, and for the street injection in luxury and design world."Joseph Altuzarra: “The Seventies. It feels like the sexiest decade to me. Probably because I missed it, but I definitely have a very romantic idea of the Seventies."Clare Waight Keller: Now I’m kind of looking much more at the Eighties, I have to say. And the thing for me, Chloé was something that was a little less my own personality, my own taste, which probably people don’t realize because it’s maybe my biggest-profile job. I started out in the Nineties wearing black for about 10 years. And so that sort of idea of who I am here in Paris is really different to who I actually am as a person and as a designer. That’s the thing that’s been really exciting coming here, is that I can put a lot more of me back into it. Eighties more [than Nineties] because that’s when I really explored fashion more, because I was growing up through it. The Nineties is when was working in fashion. So it was Eighties.”Isabel Marant: "Weirdly, I would say the Twenties. You can't really feel it in my collections, but I feel it was a period that was very joyful, where people could really express things that weren't before. Artistically, it's a very interesting period."Diane von Furstenberg: “I love the style of the Thirties for fashion, for architecture and interiors. For fashion it represents modernity and timeless freedom for women. The movement, simplicity, fluidity and glamour of the Thirties never go out of style and continue to inspire. Same thing for the Seventies — breaking rules is always inspirational!”Stella McCartney: “They were all magnificent — and all horrible. I’m truly inspired by them all. What I love is the good and the bad of every decade.”Christopher Bailey: “The Sixties were such a transformative and pivotal decade for not only fashion, but for creativity as a whole in the U.K. It is a period I go back to often when starting to think about new collections. We have the most extraordinary shots in our archive from a campaign taken at The Hayward Gallery in London when it first opened in 1968, which are so true to the spirit of that era. What I love in particular about the images is how directional they must have been at the time, but also how relevant the shapes, colors and overall attitude are today.”Angela Missoni: “The Seventies for its sense of freedom and revolutionary ideas.”Yohji Yamamoto: "The end of the Sixties because people started stopping haute couture, and they started ready-to-wear. It was a very important moment. The second moment is now."Natacha Ramsay-Levi: "For sure, I could say it’s the Seventies. But I’m born in the Eighties, I love the Nineties, I started fashion in the 2000s. I wanted to refer to the 2000s [for the debut Chloe show]…To me it was important to say, okay, this is when I started in fashion, and when I started to be open to all this world. I really like everything. I like to change. Dressing is a way to express your personality, and honestly, this depending on the day, you dress the way you want."Jonathan Saunders: “The Twenties. There was so much change, industrialization, Bauhaus, so much innovation.”Narciso Rodriguez: "That’s a tough one. I grew up obsessed with the Thirties and the Forties. Women like Dietrich and Garbo had such incredible style; Art Deco and design were so important, and everything revolved around these singular iconic things. But I also love and am obsessed with Fifties and Sixties Modernism. Two very different things."Julien Dossena: “I love the Nineties. I love Seventies for the more relaxed feeling.”Gabriela Hearst: "I have two: Early Thirties and Swinging London mid to late Sixties. There was a hedonism and freedom of thought. Swinging London was bubbling with incredible music and culture, it was in the air. They both represent freedom after dark periods with both world wars."Roland Mouret: “The Eighties because I lived it, and learned from it. It was a time when people were relevant because they were talented, when body image was irrelevant, when there was acceptance and diversity and when people’s differences were celebrated. My own life was made richer in those years.”Erdem Moralioglu: “The Thirties. I love the idea of how things were cut and the wonderful purity of design — and I love Vionnet. The era was less about the underpinnings and very much about the body and the manipulation of the silhouette.”Christopher Kane: “The Forties. Simply because it was a new beginning after the war, 1945. Everything was so new and everyone started from scratch — the silhouette, the architecture, the interiors. Everything was such a new look. I think to this day that was quite revolutionary.”
Stefano Pilati: "My favorite decade in fashion is the Sixties. It was a decade of hope, revolution, progress, equalitarian achievement, social questioning, peace and wars. Rebounding from the post-war era, there was a need for breaking barriers and experimentation — a desire to push the imagination toward the future and modernity. YSL, Courrèges, Cardin, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Chanel and Givenchy were pioneers of a fusion between male and female, innovation with classicism, elegance with a twist, a play on re-proportioning the silhouette, a decodification of the bourgeois rules. Fashion went hand-in-hand with music, and music and films with politics. People traveled more than before, and ethnic influences started to be mixed with Western clichés, and fashion photography discovered fascinating and glamorous locations and scenarios. Certain codes invented then are still relevant now."
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