There’s a certain aesthetic I’ve been interested in for a while and never knew much about. It’s the look you see on crazy colorful 80’s textiles and in the lines, shapes colors of the 90’s Taco Bell restaurant décor. It’s something that seems delightfully retro to me, having grown up when it was still in fashion.
The style began in 1980 with architect and designer Ettore Sottsass who formed a design collaborative in Milan. The designers and architects who founded the Memphis group coined the name while listening to Bob Dylan’s “Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again”. The group drew inspiration from Art Deco and Pop Art and even 1950’s kitsch. The works of this group feature bold colors, strong lines and geometric shapes. The aesthetic dishes a delightful blend of nostalgia and kitsch futurism. The style was strange when first conceived but popular in the 90’s. The look is instantly recognizable and is seeing a resurgence as vintage design from the 80’s and 90’s is hot once again.