Touted as the decade responsible for more fashion icons than any other, the 1980s spawned fashion which was used to define personalities and make a statement. From Princess Diana to Joan Collins, this decade’s fashion icons flaunted shoulder pads and glam in excess with pride and confidence.
Exploding onto the pop scene in 1983, Madonna’s style was characterised by big hair, scrunchies, leather, and tutus. Besides the now-iconic conical bra, Madonna reigned supreme for the remainder of the decade and broke plenty of style boundaries.
Trying to sum up Princess Diana’s influence on 1980s fashion is almost impossible, but who could forget her wedding dress which absolutely exemplified 80s fashion? Lady Di, as she was affectionately known, was the trendsetter of a generation and rocked power shoulders like no other.
The jacket Michael Jackson wore in the music video for his hit single Thriller became his style signature and one of the most copied cuts of the decade. Going on to sell for $1.8million on auction in 2011, it’s been described as the greatest piece of rock memorabilia ever.
Boy George and the Peacock Punks
Along with his gang of ‘Blitz kids’ which included Leigh Bower and Stephen Jones, Boy George approached 1980s fashion with artistic flare. As the leader of London’s peacock punks, Boy George changed the club scene into a colourful catwalk and their approach to fashion is best described as ‘anything goes’ – much like the attitude of online pokies NZ fans!
While some were breaking all the rules, Joan Collins was becoming the queen of the power suit. Owing to her role in the TV series Dynasty, Collins inspired women all over the world with her big hair, heavy make-up, oversized should pads, and trophy jackets.
As the originator of the slogan tee, Katharine Hamnett literally made a statement with her style during the 1980s. Her designs were used for powers of good, encouraging people to speak out, and making not-so-subtle political statements.
While Jane Fonda first made fashion waves in the 1960s for her role in Barbarella, we would be remiss if we failed to mention the original queen of fitness. As the first A-lister to make a fitness video, Fonda made Lycra and leg-warmers as iconic to the 80s as power shoulders.
Of all the 1980s men fashion, the New Romantics style and guyliner has to be two of our favourites. British musician Adam Ant, leader of the new wave group Adam and the Ants, created the perfect combination of punk, dandy, pirate, and military style effects to magnificent success.
The Supermodels of the 1980s
Heralding the first wave of true supermodels, the 1980s brought us Lauren Hutton, Janice Dickinson, and Iman – with style and attitude in bucket loads. The demand for only the very best models skyrocketed and contract fees increased to the level of superstardom as fashion designer giants such as Chanel started signing exclusive contracts with models.