Fashion's best or worst, Care Bears or Rainbow Brite - How do you feel about the 1980s?
Posted on 12 March 2014
"I didn't like the '80s at all; it was a vulgar moment of fashion." Valentino Garavani
Why can't we let go of the 1980's? Every year, someone decides that the 80's are coming back. And I guess they usually do, a little... A pop of neon might show up on the runway, Jelly shoes might be on display at the GAP, or someone might chop off a 50's tulle prom dress to wear to a party. A pop star wears a Care Bear Tee shirt in a sort of ironic way. I get it, everyone has a tiny piece of the 80's that spoke to them.
Maybe, in your case, you miss the workout videos that urged you to "feel the burn." (Or it could just be that you long for leg-warmers).
Or you could be an 80's music junkie and secretly still put on those old Wham cassettes or do the Thriller dance (like me) when no one is looking. Or maybe you miss Cyndi Lauper or Boy George?
Maybe the 80s left you with some unresolved issues. You might still be bitter because you never got a Teddy Ruxpin, an original Cabbage Patch Doll, Rainbow Brite or that certain My Little Pony you always wanted. Maybe you never solved the Rubics cube or maybe your little brother was much better at created amazing things with the Lite Brite. Somehow, you were robbed.
Maybe you loved the Dukes, the Facts of Life, or wanted to be Sandy in Grease. Maybe you believe that Olivia Newton John was brilliant in Xanadu (it could happen). Maybe you pine to be only 1 degree away from Kevin Bacon so you watch Footloose over and over again.
Even the most hardened critics of the 1980's will admit that they watched Dynasty, at least once.
As far as fashion goes, it makes sense that some designers would want the 80's back. Some fashion labels skyrocketed to success, largely because of the 1980's - Betsey Johnson, Norma Kamali, Patrick Kelly, Escada, and Moschino Cheap and Chic. I personally loved Norma Kamali and Moschino - I once had my luggage stolen in the Miami airport in the 80's, and a year later, the suitcase was "found" and returned to me with everything inside except 2 Norma Kamali dresses. The thief had good taste.
But even established designers including Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, and yes, even Mr. Valentino himself, used those 80's staples we know so well in their designs; dramatic shoulder pads, leopard prints, bright colors, and epaulets. It was a decade of extremes.
Brooke Shields WAS the 80's - I wonder if she even misses the decade. It is responsible for making her one of the most famous fashion faces in the world, after all.
So the 80s just can't die. Even though the years are often remembered as tacky or as Valentino said, "vulgar", with excessive over the top fashions as well as lifestyles, there is something that keeps us re-visiting them. For a lot of people, the 1980's had a spirit of joy that they want to re-claim. They want to forget about trend and put a little extra make up on and wear a leopard print jumpsuit. Or maybe they want to have fun and throw sophistication to the wind.
So what do you miss about the 1980's? I'll admit it, I'm NOT a big fan of 80's fashion, but even I get a little nostalgic for Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club every now and then.
Visit my blog and read about the 80's fashion designer Patrick Kelly.
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