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MAD : the 80’s or the great telescoping of ideas

For this retrospective in homage to the creation of the Mitterrand years, the Museum of Decorative Arts has selected 700 pieces. From graphic design to furniture, fashion or advertising, the effervescence of the 80s resounds under the nave of the Parisian museum until April 16.

The designer Adrien Rovero was entrusted with the scenography. If this decade is a symbol of freedom of expression, he symbolized it with a strange telescoping of styles, lines, colors and languages. The silhouettes of the models, dressed in Thierry Mugler, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Azzedine Alaïa or Martin Margiella are mixed with the creations of the Totem or Memphis collectives, of Mattia Bonetti, or even of Martin Szelesky. Furniture and accessories by Philippe Starck, once again in the spotlight, are very representative of this period during which the democratization of consumer goods is highlighted.

Minister Jack Lang's office at the Ministry of Culture, Andrée Putman, 1985 © Deidi von Schaewen © Adagp, Paris, 2022

Whether in fashion, with the development of ready-to-wear, or in design, the decade rhymes then hope, with the advent of socialism. The graphic design takes a considerable extent both commercially and politically, that television knows then its flagship years thanks to advertising achievements signed Jean-Paul Goude, Jean-Baptiste Mondino or Etienne Chatiliez.

Interior of the Café Costes - Paris, 1984 © Deidi Von Schaewen
Lettera Amorosa vase, 1988, Design: Sylvain Dubuisson. Blown glass, openwork titanium tube and laser engraved © Sylvain Dubuisson / CNAP © Pierre Verrier

The world of the night is obviously not in rest because who says 80s thinks of the Palace and the Bains Douches: posters, photos and other flyers punctuate the walls of the last part of the exhibition, the whole in a very eighties atmosphere. Whether you lived the era or not, it will remain mythical!

Cécile Papapietro-Matsuda