Fashion in the 1980s was more than just shoulderpads and giant hair, despite what some may purport. As fashion often goes, the dominant styles of the 1980s emerged both in stark contrast to, and in conversation with the sartorial inclinations immediately preceding. The 1970s saw long hemlines, wide-leg trousers, large lapels, and predominantly unfussy silhouettes. With the economic boom of the 1980s, however, came an embrace of over-the-topness of every kind. The mass-production of cheap fabrics like spandex and polyester meant more of everything stretchy and strange. The influx of women into the white-collar business world meant more inventive iterations of the skirt suit (and pantsuit) than ever before. The emergence of post-punk and new-wave styles meant more plaid, more combat boots and more hair gel - on bodies all across the gender spectrum. Costume jewelry, ruched skirts, bare shoulders, big shoulders, asymmetry, androgyny, hairspray and kitten heels all came to the fore of the sartorial consciousness in the 1980s. Some of the more obvious major style icons of the day include Madonna (cone bras, curls and kitschy Christian iconography) and Prince (silk, marabou, flamboyant blazers, and Elizabethan-esque ruffles).
Nov 28 2017