Vintage is for romantics: go back in time and imagine the history of the object in question. Wearing an early twentieth century coat makes you feel from another era, resulting in the eyes of others unique and more sensual precisely because they are different. In New York in 1965, the first boutique called Vintage chic was opened which offered a careful selection of historical and antique clothes that were actually only a few decades old. They were incredibly successful. Analyzing the situation, the New York Times newspaper wrote: "It is intelligent women who have discovered this world, made of quality, fabrics, and labor that the industry of this time is unable to offer".
That's what the point was, the same one that today leads people of all ages to take refuge in vintage fashion: quality. The possibility of spending relatively little (because used) but wearing products of excellent manufacture.
In fact, we have a kind of nostalgia for everything that has to do with the past in a way that involves our emotions. Anna Wintour and Giorgio Armani have revealed the need to rethink fashion no longer as a consumer tool but a means of expression.
In this period, then, a certain sensitivity towards the environment was born. Which leads people to want to consume less in order to pollute less.
Thus, to the purchase of a new suit, it is preferable to recycle used clothes that are still in excellent condition.
You see the effervescent style of 80s fashion with showy prints, XL shoulder pads and Dinasty drapery (American soap opera aired from 1981 to 1989 on ABC) everywhere and indeed, you no longer get scandalized by choosing an oversized shirt with print with triangles and lightning bolts, right? And what about the hyper feminine style of The Attico, Ganni and Reformation, all with ruffles, upholstery prints and puffy sleeves for a totally eighties fashion?
What the big fashion brands seem to suggest to us this time is not innovation at all costs, the quick replacement of the wardrobe, but on the contrary, it is to look back with them and regain possession of our stylistic past. Trend, this, which also recurs in beauty. A sort of symbolic autocannibalism, which only historical brands such as Gucci, Hermes, Hermes, Saint Laurent, Dior, Balenciaga, Chanel, to name a few, can do, and which generates questions. In fact, only the houses with a long tradition behind them can, in a more or less authentic way, re-propose their iconic pieces, promptly re-edited to be placed on the market, or invent new ones, coincidentally just out of the archive, with a credible story. that makes the consumer dream.
For women, the 80s style featured high-waisted jeans (maternity jeans), tight pants, ripped jeans in stretchy spandex and lycra fabrics, off-the-shoulder suits (usually with skirts), punk-style denim leather jackets .
The fashion of the 80s between Madonna, MTV and the deserved awards to women
The fashion of the 80s between Madonna, MTV and the deserved awards to women
In the 80s, more than any other decade, Made In Italy reached peaks never reached before. The names of the most famous designers spread all over the world, everyone goes crazy for Italy. Brands are becoming increasingly important: they must be flaunted, exhibited, exhibited, as a symbol of wealth and social value.
Women become managers, they can dress like men and their look becomes aggressive, exuberant. These are the years of Madonna, who will dictate fashion from the 80s to the present day. But it is also the period, also never over, of obsession with the physique, athletics, appearance.
MTV will influence the style of entire generations for decades and it will be music, very often, that dictates the law in fashion through video clips. Even the TV series, which thrill millions of viewers, do their part and change the collective imagination.
All the stylists apply their own logo to the collections, and showing it becomes a status symbol: it is the appearance, the real key to success in the 80s. Wearing haute couture garments means showing off a look to admire, but the important thing is also show off the brand and therefore, the price of the clothes you wear.

The Birkin Bag was born in 1984, the bag par excellence, specially designed for Jane Birkin by Jean-Louis Dumas, president of Hermès.
Women, who have always been at the center of attention in international fashion, have begun in recent years to obtain the first, fundamental, recognition also in the field of civil rights. This allows them to obtain a power never experienced before, which is also reflected in the choices they make on an aesthetic level.
Very famous are the reinforced shoulder pads under the jackets, which make the shoulders rise and which transmit strength, grandeur, charisma, together with the teased hair that in the 80s depopulated not only among ordinary people, but also among rock stars.
There is no rock singer who, in this period, has not let go of her hair to showy and almost leonine hairstyles. Not for nothing the Bon Jovi, one of the most famous groups of the eighties and beyond, are considered the forefathers of what is called "Hair Metal".
More than from cinema, 80s fashion copies its cornerstones from TV series, in turn ancestors of current TV series. "Fame", translated in Italy as "They will be Famous", pushes millions of teenagers to dream, for the first time, of a future in the world of art. Dance, singing, acting, become possible for everyone and this trend will continue over time, until it comes to life in the decades following the first talent shows.
Legwarmers, leotards, accessories relegated until now to the world of dance become garments to be worn every day, even if only to show them.
The frisé hair, the studded jackets, the lace gloves with cut fingers, up to the famous and conical bras signed by Jean-Paul Gaultier, which cause a sensation, all contribute to making her the undisputed queen of pop.
Madonna unhinges every rule, flaunting even religious symbols in her look that make her appear blasphemous, irreverent, sacrilegious. Despite everything, these are only the first of countless fashions that the American "material girl", but of Italian origin, will create from the 80s onwards.
In the mix of styles that mark the fashion of the 80s, another extreme is characterized by punk.
The Sex Pistols, musically, represent the quintessential punk group and shocked the masses with their aggressive look. Amphibians, studs, leather jackets, over the top lyrics and music. In addition to inspiring their fans, this style was taken up and made immortal by the young stylist Vivienne Westwood, wife of the manager of the Sex Pistols, in fact.
Westwood mixed vintage clothing, such as pin-up dresses and romantic lace, with rips, pins, straps, buckles, chains. "When in doubt, overdress!" (if in doubt, exceed!) was his motto. And it cannot be said that he did not put it into practice. A shocking mix of extremes that redesigned, once again, the female and male imagery of the moment.
Alongside the more sporty and casual clothing of the 80s fashion, the "preppy" category also makes its way, the unmistakable look of all Americans who attend the prestigious Ivy League universities.
Conservative and bon ton, the preppy style is not a fashion but more a philosophy of life: the term derives from the abbreviation of "preparatory school" precisely to indicate the uniforms of American students who were preparing to attend college. The classic polo shirt combined with a cardigan or a blazer, the capri-cut trousers and the moccasin were the men's uniform, while the women's one included skirts with checked patterns combined with tights of every color or chino trousers, V-neck sweaters and typically tennis-inspired, cardigans with buttons and, to complete the look, ballet flats or minimal heels.
As for footwear, in your free time you opt for sneakers and moccasins, while elegant shoes from the 80s fashion point to pointed shapes, thin heels and metallic finishes. The accessory that best describes the Eighties is certainly the belt: high and with a maxi buckle in the center, it is combined with dresses, sweaters or cardigans to enhance the waistline and highlight the padded shoulder straps.
The jewels are absolutely showy: yellow gold is preferred, combined as a contrast with pearls and stones of every color and nuance. Fashion earrings are button or hoop earrings. The macro versions of the hair bows also influence the rubber bands (the very famous scrunchies), the headbands and the colored hair clips that sprout between the cottoned manes.
But the fashion of the 80s also includes tennis-style terry headbands, which alternate with the decidedly more elegant and formal proposals of wide-brimmed hats, to be coordinated with the dress or suit with skirt, a style typical of Lady Diana.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Hetty Eliot
    Dec 09, 2021 @ 04:00:30

    Wow really fun and well researched article!


    • Fairy Queen
      Dec 09, 2021 @ 13:09:39

      My mother was a stylist and therefore she followed fashion a lot and as a curious child I always looked at her when she designed clothes or when she created very beautiful things as accessories for women. She has not thrown away any clothes but keeps everything in the trunks and wardrobes and every now and then takes them out, beautiful clothes and fabrics that are no longer found, and I admire her very much for her passiobe and I have inherited mine from her. creative ability.


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