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We pay tribute to the women (& men) throughout the past century who have left an undisputed mark on style and fashion and inspire our sartorial choices up to today. This week, we take a look at 1980s, when fashion was overly bright and characterised by vivi, outstanding accessories. It is the era of abundant and outgoing self-expression – women adorned themselves with shiny costume jewelry like large faux-gold earrings and pearl necklaces, while clothing was often covered with sequins. It was not just the clothes that were explicit – 1980s hair was big, curly, bouffant and heavily styled with high volume. Heavy and bright makeup was favoured and indeed celebrated.
Like every decade, the 1980s had its style icons – mostly singers and performers who defined the culture and entertainment of the decade, as well as its predominant style.
Aside from her incredible voice and unique blend of R&B/pop/electronic/disco music, Grace created a look that has remained as iconic to this day as it was back in the 80s. Her creative make-up and cloaks, suits, hats and costumes have always felt way ahead of their time, while her hair, often switched between shaved and angular, defined her look as much as her attire did.
Hardly known by his real name George O’Dowd, Boy George is still one of the faces of British 80s pop music. Most famous for his own work and also a lead singer of Culture Club, George was very much a part of the New Romantic movement. His unique style of dressing has remained a huge – think dreadlocks, make-up, boots and big coats were the trademarks that ensured he stood out from the crowd whenever he went.
Debbie Harry AKA Blondie
Beautiful blondes have always had lots of fun, but in the 1980s, there was only one blonde that everyone was talking about! The lead singer of the punk band, often thought to be America’s answer to The Sex Pistols, Blondie is known for her sexy look and provocative ways. Her doll-looking face was adorned with 100% peroxide blonde hair, always at mid-length. Cementing her name as probably one of the hippiest blondes ever know, ironically, Blondie never admitted if her natural hair was actually blonde or not.
It is hard to imagine a world before Madonna! We can’t. It’s too boring. Whatever your sentiments towards her nowadays, back in the 1980s Madonna stood for everything that was cool, exciting and super-mega-hot. The Italian-American performer introduced the first of many trademark looks in the early 80s and soon we were all sporting lacy fingerless gloves, ¾ length black leggings, rara skirts, eyeliner, beauty spots and statement tee’s. Probably the most copied look of all times up to date! Still nowadays, it’s safe to say Madonna finds it difficult to let go of her fashion icon status.
The style gods were feeling generous when they handed out cracking style, good looks and great hair to these boys from Birmingham. The biggest British group of the 80s rocked pretty much every trend going at some point and often all at the same time. They were boys who wore lipstick – and not only got away with it, but looked super stylish at the same time! This is hard to match.
When George went solo, he quickly defined a look that never goes out of fashion, but yet was truly his – the shades, white tee-shirt, ripped jeans and leather jackets. His hair, in 80s style, was a dominant part of his look. He rubbed shoulders with supermodels and we wished so would we too!
Michelle was the it-girl in the 80s, cementing her popularity within the major filming studios. With her blonde locks and perfect pout and a killer figure, Pfeiffer was the girl we all wanted to look like.
The late princess was probably the most photographed, scrutinized, stalked, judged and hounded woman of the decade, but all that attention didn’t distract her from turning out stunning looks day after day. Her short blonde curls and designer gowns were typical of her style in the 90s, but back in the 80s when she was still a new princess it was her flicked fringe,clip on earrings, minimal make-up and double-suits that has us all obsessed.
Follow our ‘Style Icons’ series from the beginning here
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