An 80's baby born in the 90's - Guest Blog by Chloe
Hi, I'm Chloe and this is my blog about being fascinated by the 80's fashions despite being born in the 90's. Hope you enjoy. 🍓
“A bit of glamour never does any harm.” Nick Rhodes, Duran Duran Legend & my ultimate fashion icon, once said in an interview for Love Magazine.
Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran
The 1980’s is commonly referred to as ‘the decade that fashion forgot’; a statement I completely rebuke. You only need to reflect on the era with a heart full of love to realise that it was swimming in glamour, the contents of which can be easily transferred to modern day life.
The 1980’s is my thing. Was I there to experience firsthand the decade that had us all calling the Ghostbusters and obeying Frankie’s orders to relax? No. I was born in the early 90’s, just missing out.
Maybe not living in the decade allows me to view that period of history through rose tinted glasses? Or more importantly, in terms of fashion, it permits me to encapsulate the most iconic (albeit tasteful) details and turn them in to a modernised 80’s echo.
Where it began
This adoration of the past began in 2008. I was in high school and like every teenager in every decade before me, I listened to the songs everyone else was singing; wearing the same t-shirt twenty others were wearing in order to ‘fit in’. The problem was I never connected to any of it.
That was until one February evening when the first episode of BBC drama ‘Ashes to Ashes’ burst on to our screens.
Ten minutes in, the haunting notes of Ultravox’s ‘Vienna’ swelled in my brain; glossy red dresses and crisp blue shirts created a palette so vivid it was like looking at new shades on the spectrum. As that hour passed by, the colours got brighter, the hair got bigger and by the time David Bowie’s titular song entered my ears, I finally understood what it was like to connect to music, to fashion, to an era. My foot tapped as Major Tom hit that all time low; pulse quickened as Duran Duran came outside to watch the nightfall with the rain. I felt alive. I wanted more.
Life was never to be the same again.
In terms of fashion, my gateway piece was found in a local vintage shop. A white New Romantic blouse with a plentiful line of ruffles cascading down its front. It looked just like the one Nick Rhodes wears in the ‘Planet Earth’ music video.
I had to have it.
I got it (or similar)
In the 12 years which have passed my libraries have grown as my knowledge has deepened. From Japan and gaudy jumpers, to Spandau Ballet and slouch boots.
For me, this 80’s indulgence has gone from a weekly drama event to daily life.
Being enamoured by a time period that isn’t this current one does not mean you have to embody it at 100% capacity every day. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to strut about in bold make-up and even bolder jackets 24/7 but these hectic modern times make it impractical. Instead, era encapsulating nods (whether that’s a full head bang or a subtle tilt depends on the day) combined with modern day staples will display your passion whilst remaining functional.
mixing and matching
For this 80’s aficionado, it is relatively simple. A vintage, patterned shirt (shoulder pads are an absolute must) and jeggings paired with a bold waist belt (practically rugby pitch width minimum) bring the pieces together and create the ‘upside down triangle’ silhouette that was synonymous with the decade. Polish the look with a few plastic bangles, bead necklace and some calf boots. That’s an everyday look. Special occasions will call for intricately embroidered batwing jumpers, frilly shirts and an original power suit.
In the same way synth-pop made me fall in love with music, it was that ruffled blouse, and every piece of vintage I’ve brought since, that has made me fall in love with fashion. In love with my authentic self.
Just do it
One thing that will pull your outfit together better than anything, regardless of the decade you adore, is confidence.
There’s a reason we, as vintage lovers, idolise our chosen period. There’s a reason why you brought that dress or coveted that blouse.
Next time you don’t feel brave enough to wear it, think about that reason. Consume it. The pieces we wear are, most of the time, older than we are; they have had their own lives and if we don’t breathe new air in to them, who will?
So, as I pull on my favourite vintage jumper, complete with skyscraper shoulder pads and paraglide enabling batwings, I’ll leave you with a lyric from one song that started it all; a lyric that I hope you’ll remember when you’re next putting on your favourite vintage items:
‘I’m happy, hope you’re happy too.’
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