Tag: 80s

Weekly Words: May 13th 2017

“The Greatest Moments in 80s Street Style” – Lone Wolf Magazine

I stumbled across this magazine’s website randomly this week and actually really liked the articles. This one in particular features a series of images of street style photographs from the 1980s, a decade that has been hot in fashion recently both on the runways and in-stores, encroaching on the general psyche en masse. I think people often have a negative perception of the 80s in terms of fashion because they think of an over-the-top generalization of the decade. Shoulder pads and polyester aside, a lot of really cool images, music, models, designers, and trends originated during this decade. The images show a lot of regular people (and Jackie Onassis) wearing the styles of the time in the most authentic way possible that we can never really recreate now. Plus, they have a photo of Demi Moore in St Elmo’s Fire which will always be the pinnacle of cool, style-wise, for me.

“Catching up with Tommy Ton, Street Style Photography Legend” – Grailed

Continuing on the street style theme of the previous article, Grailed did a great interview with Tommy Ton, one of the most prominent street-style photographers of the past decade. I enjoyed hearing about his career and why he chose to take a step back from publishing his images on Vogue and GQ’s online platforms (his contract was up and he doesn’t enjoy it as much as before, plus he does other work with brands now). He also discusses how he became a fashion collector (goals!) and the pieces that he is looking out for. This is particularly apt considering that Grailed is a high-end resale site. I thought it was a good way for them to incorporate editorial content with their site as it was actually an interesting interview yet they managed to tie it back into their service and link products similar to what Tommy Ton mentioned in the interview which they actually had for sale.

“Missy Elliott covers Elle USA”

I have posted this cover (or the accompanying editorial shots) on every social media network I have. I’m obsessed. Not only does Missy look amazing but this is actually an eye-catching cover, styled in a super cool way, and has such good makeup. It’s a win all around. I’m excited for this to turn up in my mailbox.

Photographer – Mark Seliger, Stylists – Misa Hylton & Samira Nasr 

St Elmo’s Fire, Eighties Fashion, and Today’s Minimalism

The 80s was the decade that produced, in my opinion, some of the best films of all time. Honestly, it’s just the kitsch factor. I love the costumes, the set design, the soundtracks, the colours, the carefree characters. Think of all the amazing apartments that you’ve seen in an 80s movie or all the fun that the characters have that you wish you could be a part of. It is pure escapism into a time gone by, a time that we will never get back. This is pre-iPhone, pre-social media, pre-mass use of internet even!

St Elmo’s Fire wasn’t actually a great film. There wasn’t much going on in it and there was no real moral of the story, or reason for even making the film. However, the one thing that I really took away from it was how insanely good Demi Moore looked. Although her character was meant to be coked up throughout the entire movie she still wore some great, quintessential eighties outfits and looked damn good doing so.

I’m feeling slight Holly Golightly vibes in the top right photo

The satin strapless dress she wore dancing made the think of Hedi Slimane’s last collection for Saint Laurent. I’m currently loving the editorials that have accompanied this collection as I think they so perfectly capture a mood, a fun excessive nature that I wish we could go back to, and I find it incredible how stylists are managing to pull together so many pieces that have the same vibe and work together – Vogue Paris’ August 2016 cover and the accompanying editorial is a good example. It’s really incredible to see.

Vogue Paris August 2016 – shot by David Sims. I found the styling of this to be very 80s, right down to the slight blurring effect on the photo. Very Chris von Wangenheim (see below).

After the shift towards minimalism in the 90s until the mid-2000s when prints and colour erupted again, we have once again reached the place in the cycle where minimalism reigns. We mostly wear black and neutrals. We don’t wear shiny satin or fake pearls or crimp our hair. Where is the fun? Watching movies set in the 80s makes me wish I was a teenager during that time, or even a young graduate, so I could dress like that and not give a damn how ridiculous I looked. I want the shoulder pads, the comically oversized proportions, the satin, the hairstyles, the costume jewellery, the long gloves (or even fingerless ones), the cool attitude. Who will have the same effect on teenagers’ style nowadays as Madonna did in the 80s? Rihanna?

I’m assuming there will be a move away from minimalism fairly soon. The most recent round started in, I’m going to estimate, 2011/2012? Therefore perhaps in another few years we will be taking a walk on the wild side. All I know is that when I’m old and I look at photos of myself in my twenties, I want to be dressed in a way that I will think was so cool and exciting. Right now I just dress boring, because that’s where we are at right now. I do love the clothes I have and I love minimalism, but deep down inside I long for more. Maybe Hedi’s final collection’s influence will be real and widespread, but I think minimalism still has another few years left before it fades. Gucci is helping too, although aesthetically I don’t enjoy the clothing.

Gia Carangi shot by Chris von Wangenheim, late 1970s

There is a true connection between politics and fashion. Fashion cannot exist in a vacuum. It is a reflection on the world. When times are tough, style evolves. When times are good, normally economically, style stays stagnant. Often the most over-the-top, excessive designs come about when economies are on a downturn. It’s almost like a rebellion against it, or even merely a distraction. Balmain rose to popularity once again during the Great Recession of 2008. Christophe Decarnin’s bejewelled rocker get-ups soared in popularity. The excesses of the 80s came about at a time when Ronald Reagan was president and America was facing a series of budget cuts which affected the average citizen. The AIDS epidemic broke out and was ignored by the President, and during that time fashion became increasingly flamboyant. With the upcoming Presidential election in America and the impending exit of Obama, what will happen to fashion? Will there be a knock-on effect? Perhaps it won’t be pronounced straight away as often subtle changes take a while to become apparant, but maybe in 5 years time we will look back to 2017 (assuming changes begin after the new president is inaugurated) as the year that everything changed again. The cycle keeps on going, the world keeps on spinning.

Saint Laurent Fall 2016
Saint Laurent Fall 2016

Fashion Flashback: Prada Fall 1988

This is Prada’s first ever collection. That’s right, ever. So how is it that it looks like, in terms of quality of pieces and design, that it looks like something from a well established designer? It seems to me that Miuccia knew what she was doing from the very beginning and tried to define the Prada aesthetic right from the start. Of course, there are many downright ugly pieces in this collection but it is rare that I like everything anyway. I think this has shown that Miuccia’s taste has always been slightly different from the norm.
By that I mean, look at this compared to other fashion trends from the 80s. You would expect lots of big volume, shoulder pads, big hair, over-the-top make up and so on (I know that sounds a bit derivative but I’m just stating what has been most remembered from that time) and Miuccia has presented the opposite of that. Yes there was some heavy satin (which I predict was only as shiny as in the images because of the camera flash) and lots of suits but there was none of that eighties excess that you would imagine. I prefer this Prada collection from many of the newer ones (think FW14) and kind of wish that Miuccia would go back to this simplicity, even just for one season. I think this is much more straightforward than what she presents now but it is interesting to see how she has evolved as a designer over the years.


Note: I am beginning a new series of posts entitled Fashion Flashback which will include videos of shows that I love and want to share with people. They will obviously be older shows, ie. more than 2 years old, that I think are important. I am not going to try and over-analyse the shows because that has been done countless times, I just want to appreciate them for their beauty and aesthetics.