Why the 80’s Were an Iconic Decade for the Fashion World

Mandy Harrison European Fashions

THE 1980’S FEATURED AN ECLECTIC multitude of fashionable trends and the styling power switched from the large fashion houses to the influence of TV, movie and pop stardom. People wanted their fashion to emulate that of their icons and influence came from many genres. It seems that the 80’s is making a comeback in the “Anxious Teenies” so let’s remember what we could be about to see again.

Many of you reading this like myself have been through the iconic 80’s already and remember the giant perms, shoulder pads, neon ra-ra skirts and our love of shoulder pads and leg warmers. (I’m glad none of those pictures of me in the 80’s are on the Internet for the world to see). It’s influenced our fashion choices and changed the fashion world.

With the introduction of popular television becoming more wide spread, TV stars and shows had a bigger influence on fashion. The shoulder pads and power suits from Dynasty and Dallas being adored by the “Yuppies”. People were also crediting Margaret Thatcher and Princess Diana with being style icons to follow.

The movie industry influenced the fashion world during the 80’s with the film Pretty In Pink grieving us the preppy-and-lace look, and Flashdance adding the leggings and dance wear to our everyday wardrobes. Michael J Fox became the face of Calvin Klein.

Probably the biggest fashion trend of the 80’s was jeans. Women were wearing jeans now, not for a political statement, but instead for a comfy pair of casual trousers. Early in the 80’s they were tight, straight-legged, creased, and as blue as an evening summer sky. But denim wasn’t deemed appropriate for the night life.

With the introduction of new cable show MTV pop stars became able to influence their fans fashion choices too. Madonna and Michael Jackson were two of the most influential idols of the decade, although household names like Cyndy Lauper and Bon Jovi had their part to play introducing us to “Big Hair”. The punk and glam rock bands had their followers too; there was a lot of tight leopard print on those men!

Fond memories or not, the 80’s hugely changed the fashion world and made fashion far more individual, less dictated by the large fashion houses, and put the current trends in the hands of fashion conscious people. The 80’s are back and I can’t wait for some leggings, some neon colours and some animal print. Fashion that’s fun!


by Mandy Harrison

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