Friday, 4 February 2011

Fashioning February: I Heart the 80s

Over the next four weeks a fashionistas will be sharing their love of a particular decade in terms of style and pop cultural influences. First up is Josam Coker who is obsessed with the 80s. She is a freelance presenter and journalist and is based in Manchester.
I wish I'd had the good sense to keep my mother's fuscia, snakeskin, kitten heels. An argument for time-travel if I ever heard one. 1980s dressing was all about decadence, opulence and power. Not since the 1930s had an era celebrated wealth so audaciously. We saw the birth of yuppies, time shares in Marbella and the moblile phone. People drank champagne and ate beluga caviar like it was going out of style (which to be fair, it did). Fashion had to reflect the zeitgeist. So as they made a killing on the stockmarket, people wore their affluence on their puff sleeves. Women rocked gilt without the guilt becoming larger than life in power suits, shoulder pads and stilettos. And it was out with the natural look and in with rouge lips and smokey eyes. Who could forget the steely gaze of the girls in Robert Palmer's Addicted to Love video? The very clear message heard over the electro of The Flying Lizards' Money was, prosperity
Even TV heros needed status symbols. From Magnum P.I. to Knight Rider, Hasselhoff and Selleck were never without their supercars. While men drove fast cars, women were mean. We witnessed the rise of  bejewelled and calculating heroines, just as ruthless as the tycoons they pursued. Aaron Spelling gave birth to Joan Collins' Alexis Carrington in Dynasty and Stephanie Beacham's Sable in The Colbys. Every week these women would emerge, immaculate in diamante and rooching. Whenever I think of Scarface, the graphic, violent images subside and give way to two words. Pfieffer, Michelle. Elvira was resplendent in her white suit and oversized sunglasses. Was it her emotionally unavailable demeanour that made her role so iconic? For me it will always be her impeccable taste. The devil was in the detailing of her purses. That for me encompasses the 1980s. 

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