Lecture “Counter-design. New laws of attractiveness”

19 февраля 2018

The Palisander gallery has concluded its exhibition project devoted to 1980s era with the Counterdesign. New laws of attractiveness lecture. Fashion historian Andrey Abolenkin and gallerist Alina Pinskaya gave an account on the relationship between radical design and fashion industry. 

Anti-design of the 1980s was in focus of the Counterdesign: 70s, 80s exhibition held from November 16, 2017 until February 10, 2018. The famous Memphis design group challenged the middle-class consumerist society and material culture itself. New materials, forms and ideas became extremely relevant. The 2010s have witnessed a rise in interest in this striking era. 

It is considered that design is a barometer of social changes. The same can be applied to fashion. In the 1980-s a true revolution of tastes and aesthetics happened: Karl Lagerfeld became Chanel art director and reformed the brand, street art started to be perceived as an up-market field instead of a marginal one, rap made a claim about itself in music, eclectic genres and approaches in pop cultures became common, and finally, the world wide web was established. The last strongholds of the middle-class ‘good taste’ were ruined, materials were no longer classified as noble or raw, colours were no longer divided into vulgar and neutral, proportions and forms didn’t have to be regular any more. Today, alongside interest in radical design of the 1970s and 1980s, ugly chic is becoming fashionable once again. Andrey Abolenkin’s lecture was devoted to the connection between counterdesign and the era of disco and synthpop and showed how they affect the newest trends. 

Andrey Abolenkin is a fashion analyst and one of the leading Russian fashion experts. He collaborates with multiple Russian fashion brands and consults major retailers and producers. He has collaborated with several glossy editions. For several years Abolenkin has been working as consultant-in-chief of the Moscow Fashion Week. He organizes and produces fashion shows, is a well-known author and lecturer.