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November 30, 2016

10 Icons That Defined the ’80s Fashion, the Decade With All the Style Statements

The 1980s birthed more fashion icons than any other decade. It was one of the most experimental periods in fashion history, with enduring style icons from Princess Diana to Madonna, Joan Collins to Boy George. Clothes were used to define personalities and make big statements. Shoulders were padded up to your ears courtesy of Lady Diana and the Dynasty cast. Meanwhile Boy George and the Blitz club crew were giving peacock punk a whirl.

With electro foil fabrics and power shoulders dominating, we’re taking a look back at the people who started the trends in the first place...

1. Madonna

There was nothing quite like Madonna in the eighties

Her Madge-sty burst onto the pop scene in 1983, working haute scrunchies, leathers and tutus like we’d never seen before. We fell in love (naturally) and the queen of pop reigned on for the rest of the decade, breaking style boundaries with her incredible physique and conical bras.

2. Lady Diana Spencer

Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles on their wedding day

It’s silly of us to even try to sum up Princess Diana’s impact on fashion and culture in one short paragraph, but if we had to, we would say this: she was the trendsetter of a generation, a champion of the power shoulder and that so 80s wedding dress has literally gone down as one of the biggest in history.

3. Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson in Thriller

This jacket is exactly what the ’80s were all about. Shall we call it eye-catching? The power jacket became a Michael Jackson style signature and one of the most copied cuts of the decade. The iconic piece went on to sell for $1.8million at auction in 2011, described by its new owner as ‘the greatest piece of rock memorabilia ever’.

4. Boy George

Boy George rocking his fluid fashion in the eighties

The leader of London’s peacock punks, Boy George saw 1980s fashion as art. With his gang of ‘Blitz kids’ including Leigh Bowery and Stephen Jones, he turned the club scene into a colorful catwalk, dressing as though their lives depended on it and partying so hard it made headlines. The only styling rule for this lot? Anything goes.

5. Joan Collins

Joan Collins in her Dynasty days

Ahhh Joan Collins. The queen of ’80s TV show Dynasty inspired thousands of big hair ‘dos and heavy make-up statements throughout the decade. Her character, the soap’s villain Alexis Colby, had a wardrobe of puff shoulder dresses and trophy jackets that was so bad, it was so so good.

6. Katharine Hamnett

Katharine Hamnett with Prime Minister, Maragret Thatche

If the 1980s were all about making style statements, then no one did it more literally than designer Katharine Hamnett. The inventor of the slogan tee, she used her design powers for good, conveying oh so subtle political messages and encouraging people to use their voices.

7. Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda getting Physical in her ’80s aerobics kit

We couldn’t do an ode to 1980s fashion without mentioning the original queen of keep fit, Jane Fonda. The award-winning actress was the first major star to do an exercise video, making leg-warmers and Lycra as important to the decade as the power shoulders.

8. Bananarama

Bananaram rocked the ’80s fashion

The hair bows, the pedal pushers, the slogan tees! This 1986 snap of Bananarama, aka Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward, was everything our school disco dreams were made of.

9. Molly Ringwald

Everyone wanted to be like Molly Ringwald in the ’80s, or at least be her best friend

From The Breakfast Club to Pretty In Pink, the Brat Pack dominated the decade’s teen movies, with one idol always stealing the show as the prettiest, most popular girl in school. Oh come on, don’t pretend you didn’t want to be her.

10. Adam Ant

Adam Ant singing at one of his concerts

New Romantic style and guyliner are two of our very favourite things to come out of the 1980s fashion scene. Adam Ant mixed punk, military, dandy and pirate references in fantastic effects – just look at that trophy jacket.

(via Marie Claire)


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