The underlying theme behind fashion in the 1980s was intensity and overstatement. Everything was exaggerated. Power suits for women had shoulder pads to make them appear more compelling. Colours were bright. Outfits were created to mismatch. It was the era of the side ponytail. And the fashion photographers of the 1980s were equally intense. Fashion photography legends were born in the 1980s; it was a definitive decade for fashion.
Arthur Elgort is one of the most renowned of the "Vogue" photographers. He photographed some of the top supermodels of the 1980s, including Gia Carangi, Gail Elliot and Patty Owen. Arthur Elgort's style is natural and casual. He is influenced stylistically by dance, including jazz and ballet.
Richard Avedon was active in the world of fashion photography for approximately 50 years. He was revolutionary, and his photographs were formative for fashion. Before he entered the scene, models were photographed as dispassionate, uninvolved figures. Avedon was the innovative force that shaped fashion photography today. The models he posed were active, and they emoted. Avedon worked with 1980s fashion icons such as Brooke Shields, Janice Dickinson and Jerry Hall.
Dennis Piel is iconic of fashion photography in the 1980s. He shot '80s fashion eidolons such as Rosmary McGrotha, Isabella Rossellini, Anette Stai and Gia Carangi. He has received numerous awards for his work in the fashion industry, including the Leica Award, an award for photographic excellence.
Irving Penn began working with "Vogue" shooting editorial spreads in the early 1940s. His career there lasted for more than half a decade. He was a foil to Richard Avedon; his models were rarely seen in action. His photographs were characterised by precision. Everything in them was very exact and fixed, down to the finest details.