2016 Sunset Report

OLG & DCRT Strategic Plan
2020-21 through 2024-25


Did you know?
Introduction Belle Epoque Jazz Age Hollywood Goes
To War
Modern Century Anything Goes Power And Opulence

The casual bent of the 1970s took a sharp turnabout for the "power look" of the 1980s. Opulent displays mirrored the success and wealth of the decade. Some women spent thousands of dollars on gowns for Carnival balls. However, styles in Louisiana became more restrained in the mid-1980s after a major downturn in the state's economy due to the sharp decline of the oil and gas industries. Women bought fewer new gowns and recycled old ones. Some even turned to 1950s vintage gowns, which had the double attraction of bargain-basement prices and a strapless "retro" look. These trends segued into the 1990s, when understated styles ruled.

Evening gown and coat
Nolan Miller
ca. 1980
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Evening pantsuit
SAZ by Surjit and Adarsh Gill, India
Roger Johns, New Orleans, retailer
ca. 1983
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Evening dress
Saks Fifth Avenue
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Into the 90s

Conspicuous consumption characterized the styles of the 1980s with particular emphasis on fashionable labels. Most designers began to manufacture every component of an outfit, from undergarments to accessories. Department stores reorganized their displays to include designer boutiques where shoppers could focus on one collection at a time. Clothing took on a more grown-up look. The broad shoulders that were the mark of the aggressive business suit for women also appeared on form-fitting evening dresses. Sequins, beads and embroidery were popular accents. In the 1990s a tremendous range of styles, shapes and lengths continued to be acceptable, including reinterpretations of fashions of earlier periods.

Evening gown
Rebecca Rothschild, New Orleans
Spring 1995
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Sketch for evening gown
Rebecca Rothschild, New Orleans
Spring 1995
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