Let’s face it: when people talk about something being “straight out of the ‘80s”, it isn’t always complementary. Whether they’re referring to your mobile phone or home décor, the decade so often conjures up images of ill-advised brashness and excess. The same has often been said of the fashion of the time – not for no reason was the ‘80s described as the decade that style forgot. In theory, then, does this period offer much hope as a source of inspiration for your fashion makeover, even if you are getting help from Shikkuu Guides?
Actually, our answer would be a resounding yes. This is, after all, a pretty fascinating, if tumultuous decade for prospective clients of stylists in London to study. With Margaret Thatcher in power on this side of the pond and Ronald Reagan seizing the American presidency in ‘81, the free love of the ‘70s was firmly over – hastened by the emergence of AIDS/HIV. Economic policies in major Western nations became laissez-faire once more, while the widespread famine in Ethiopia led to high profile fundraising efforts like the Live Aid concert in 1985.
Indeed, any prospective client of our fashion stylists in London only needs to look at the guest list of that concert to identify a few of the bona fide style icons that emerged in that decade. Among those on stage was Madonna, whose explosion to prominence with hits like “Material Girl” and “Like a Virgin” drew attention to what would become enduring motifs of ‘80s style – from her pink, dyed hair and torn stockings to string vest and multiple bangles. Neon brights, studded jewellery and denim pencil skirts are among the Queen of Pop’s ‘80s fashion staples which have come back into fashion in recent years, albeit withn a suitably early 21st century twist.
Few women could come near Madonna for outrageousness as the ‘80s progressed, but one undoubted rival on that front was Jamaican singer, actress and supermodel Grace Jones, who complemented her prodigious height of almost six feet and razor-sharp cheekbones with a power dressing, giant shoulder pad look that seemed to scream ‘80s. Grace completely fit the bill of the stronger, edgier woman who was emerging at this time, collaborating with some of the greats of art and fashion such as Andy Warhol and Jean Paul Goude, as well as being a suitably villainous Bond girl in A View to a Kill.
Demi Moore, Christy Turlington, Princess Diana and Stephanie Seymour were just some of the many other women proving that the ‘80s were far from a fashion wilderness, and that’s before you consider men like Rick James, Morrissey and the suitably ‘blinged’ BA Baracus, better known as the A-Team’s Mr T. Thankfully, recent reinterpretations of ‘80s styles do tend to be more tasteful than the originals, but the period is nonetheless a rich mine of inspiration for major fashion labels.