Sunday, April 30, 2006

Gold, silver, ethnic, flash, glitter and knockout extravagance

This is too easy! It is actually a bit hard to find 80s fashion photos without strong jewelry!

Large earrings and brooches, clusters of pins and bracelets, Chanel-like (better yet actual Chanel) multiple ropes of chains and pearls, big ethnic beads, flashy bejeweled crosses...To call it the decade of OUTGOING JEWELRY is a positive understatement! Watches were so important that I'll give them their own time later.
Brooch, Verdura. Cuff, John Iversen

David Millman bracelets and earrings

Earrings and necklace by Alan MacDonald for Ozbek. Jacket, Ozbek

Pins, Sentimento. Bracelet, The Franklin Mint. Outfit, Jean Paul Gaultier

Star pins by Anni & Co., and Richard Lindsay. Shirt, OMO Norma Kamali. Jacket, Malisy. Pants, Plein Sud by Fayal Amor.

Earrings, Fabrice. Blazer and sweater by Charvet

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Opulent 80s

It almost goes without saying that 80s fashion experienced a renaissance of glamour and OPULENCE. It allowed the nouveau riche to feather themselves finely, even conspicuously. Party clothes were most spectacular, and couture looks permeated all the clothing markets.

In the atelier of Christian Lacroix, exquisite embroidery and beading were hand sewn--a return to traditional workmanship fit for a queen.


Victor Edelstein gown

Shoes, Antologia for Callaghan

Glove, Christian Lacroix for Diego Della Valle. Silk parasol by A. Sanoma

Dress, Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. Purse, Pellegrino for Linda Dresner. Shoes, Stuart Weitzman

Sunday, April 23, 2006

New Beauty in the 80s

Every fashion era has new beauty ideals, and perhaps this topic had best be called NEW BEAUTY.

At first, all these ideals seemed unconventional, but only in the context of what had transpired before. As you can see from my previous posts here, there were some exaggerated looks in hair, makeup and clothing in the 80s, and here are just several of many more. Extremes were part of the fashion currency.

Outfit by Rifat Ozbek

Coat by Nigel Preston, shirt by Yohji Yamamoto and skirt by Comme des Garcons

In addition, there were more women of mixed, or non-European ethnic and racial backgrounds portrayed in the media than ever before, although still not nearly in proportion to the population or to the viewer/readership.

Givenchy by John Galliano worn by Naomi Campbell

Friday, April 21, 2006

Male order 80s

A woman borrowing from a man's closet was certainly not a new theme in the 80s, but it reached an apex in this decade, and just as distinctly feminine clothing was often highly romanticized, so was the masculine dress (for women) counterpart.

MALE dress borrowed from a theoretical closet, dating from all eras of masculine sartorial splendor. Every woman wore a tie at least once in the 80s, and there were distinctly man/woman tuxes, tailcoats, suits, overcoats and accessories.

Gaultier, the master of the theme

Yamamoto suit, Brooks Brothers shirt, Gene Meyer tie

John Galliano

Gaultier again

and Galliano again, with antique brocade

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The 80s Japantheon

Many think of 80s style as being ultimately romantic, with Princess Diana's wedding gown the icon of the era. In this context, the most surprising, refreshing, and least romantic clothing came from JAPANESE designers, with asymmetry, unusual colors, origami-like folds, and abstract shapes giving the wearer a look bordering on kinetic modern sculpture.

The Japantheon included Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garcons, Yohji Yamamoto, Matsuda and Kenzo.

Issey Miyake in the late 80s

Matsuda, mid 80s

Yamamoto, mid 80s

Kawakubo in the late 80s

Thursday, April 13, 2006

80s style to make you smile

Out of alphabetical order here because in many ways Gaultier symbolizes and summarizes other 80s trends while pointing to the 90s. He gets the last word.

HUMOR As in the 1950s, the 80s were just manicured and fashionable enough to allow humor. In the Depression and War years fashion was molded (and often made more beautiful) by the constraints imposed by rationing and lack of materials. Humor would be over the top in that atmosphere. In the 80s, as in the 50s, there was room for a laugh in personal appearance, even in exquisitely made designer clothing. Francisco Moschino was the great master of whimsy in my book (last two photos).

Bolero by Rachel London

Scarf by Steven Jones for Claude Montana. Shoe by Comme des Garcons by Rei Kawakubo

Outfit by Bazar de Christian Lacroix. Paper hat by Tracy Watts

Monday, April 10, 2006

The 80s? We had to have business wear!

BUSINESS Although high fashion magazines didn't dwell on business fashion (some would call it anti-fashion), they couldn't completely ignore the throngs of women in the work force...more than ever before in history. Here are some wonderfully accessorized takes on male dress, work wear and traditional clothing. As you can see, if it is from the 80s, it quite likely has polka dots or stripes!

Skirt and jacket by Agnes B.

Dress by Valentino Miss V. Glasses, Anglo American Eyewear

Saturday, April 8, 2006

My pick of the 80s

I want to show you some images that I clipped as favorites in the 1980s, almost all from Elle Magazine, which had its heyday in the 80s. The black and white images are from the inspiring book Vogue Modern Style - How to Achieve It by Charlotte Du Cann, 1988.

I sorted my clippings into these topics, to be covered slowly but surely:

The Emergence of Gaultier
Japanese style
Non-traditional beauty
Outgoing jewelry
Vintage inspirations

ATHLETICISM was the look of well-exercised models, exuding health and fitness, even power. There was a huge uptick in stretch fabric development and use, lending an athletic fit to so many garments. Athletic looks were mixed with traditional clothing in eclectic combinations. Sporty stripes were everywhere, as were leggings and stretch pants.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Save the umbrella!

It's April and a girl's heart turns to umbrellas. Or perhaps not. So often I see people walking in the rain sans brolly now, and getting drenched in the process. Why not use an umbrella, which is after all an interesting, practical and many times lovely invention? Slugs adore rain au naturel, but you know better, don't you!

Gene Kelly made not using an umbrella look fabulous in Singing in the Rain, but he has his in is his dance partner. Without it, he'd just be wet.

And where would Mary Poppins be without hers?

Some of the most interesting and cool vintage accessories come with J-shaped handle:

Please don't let umbrellas go the way of hats! Stay dry and beautiful!

Love, M.