Looking at catwalk shows for Spring/Summer 2009 you might feel like you are being transported back in time, 20 years ago to be precise back to the 1980s. But do not fear if all the lyrca, lace. Neon and acid-wash denim gives you a headache, I will be showing you how to stay on trend this season without looking like an 80s throwback.
However its not just 80s trends that have made a comeback in recent years: 70s floral prints and fringing was popular last summer making a wet and muddy Glastonbury reminiscent of Woodstock. Fashions from other eras that have been revived recently include the shift dresses in the 60s, the tailoring of the 50s, and the dropped waists of the 20s- but why are these trends back for a second time?
It could that as vintage fashion is more popular than it ever has been and high street stores such as Topshop and Zara are more accessible than trawling through dozens of charity shops for that one bargain find and the high street is sometimes a more affordable way of recreating looks from the past.
Although 80s clothing may not be seen as one of the great decades of fashion, it is probably one of the most recognisable and iconic eras of the 20th century.
Bananrama are seen as pioneers of this fashion movement and were even named as inspiration behind Topshops Spring/Summer Collection.
In 1981 the girls from Banarama were studying journalism at the London College of Fashion. This helped their eclectic style along with fellow art students designing bold and brash costumes to wear on stage and to this they mixed and matched with High street clothing and eventually designer. Sara from the band admitted to me that during the height of the girls career in the mid- 80s, she and the other girls Siobhan and Keren did make a lot of fashion faux-pas: “ We had a bizarre choice of footwear for a while: either Doc Martens, Brothel Creepers or wrestling boots worn with thick black or Stripey tights. In fact John Galliano said he would lend us clothes for our royal variety performance if we promised not to wear those shoes”.
Ironically the fashion choices Banarama made back then may have made designers squirm with embarrassment- now however it is a much different story.
The key pieces for this season include lace leggings reminiscent of Madonna in her early years, oversized or cropped T-shirts in bright colours or with slogans on and high-waisted skinny jeans and for the more daring amongst you acid-wash denim. However these are just a few aspects of 80s fashion that are now seen as “on-trend”, shoulder pads, shell suits, mullets and perms are a trend which will hopefully, for our sake. Never be revived.
The high street is a great place to pick up items that coincide with this trend and it is also affordable. Topshop have a “Sport Nouveau” range, which is inspired by gymwear i.e. leggings and oversized T-shirts. Of course you could wear the whole collection to the gym but it is probably better to wear pieces one at a time. Topshop also do a range of slogan T-shirts costing no more than £20 this will update any outfit instantly. Aswell as this they also have a lot of Acid wash denim in store ranging from Mini skirts all the way to high-waisted skinny jeans – for the more brave. Topshop also have multi-coloured bright tailored trousers pair these up with a plain T-shirt and a boyfriend blazer for a more Low-key look.
Miss Selfridge and Zara are also the same but there styles are probably for the less adventurous and more wearable. A good investment piece would be pencil skirts as they would be wearable season to season.
Primark for those of you with a smaller budget have a great range of 80s inspired prom dresses in an assortment of colours and patterns ranging from Polka Dot to zebra print. Team these with a clutch bag, maybe some ray-bans and lots of chunky jewellery and you will have achieved the look for next to nothing.
Other than this you could search through various charity shops in your area trying to find that one- off piece, headscarves and lots of jewellery are also key for this season so charity shops are a good and cheap way to find the pieces to complete your outfit.
Whatever your budget the most important thing is to have fun with this look and experiment.
Author: Rebecca Forster