A Fashion Manifesto

The 1980s were a challenging but fascinating period in the history of Polish fashion.

The economic crisis that set in towards the end of the 1970s, coupled with the introduction of Martial Law on December 13th, 1981, made life in Poland incredibly difficult. The military took over the nation’s production facilities and halted imports, so resources were scarce. Shop shelves were empty. 

For the first time in its history, Moda Polska wasn’t able to show a collection in the spring of 1982 and many other cultural events were cancelled.

The feeling of hopelessness pervaded every aspect of life. And yet people still tried to make do with what they had. And in this spirit, street fashion thrived. The best way to describe what was going on is to quote Barbara Hoff in one of her essays in Przekrój weekly: ‘There aren’t any magazines, there are no fabrics, there’s no mood, but we still walk around fashionably dressed. And that’s that.’ (1982, issue 1918, p. 21). It just so happened that the punk style which was taking over the world fit in perfectly with the rebellious spirit of Polish streets in the ‘80s.