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big-earrings-1980s

After the flower power and wide flare 1970s, it’s time for the second-last episode of the retro fashion series: back to the 1980s!

The red line of the 1980s was: “More is More”, but please No More DISCO. Big hair, more make-up, more color, more color with more make-up and even bigger hair. Anything was possible! It didn’t start out like that though. We started the 1980s quite neutral with colors like brown and tan. Probably because everyone had to catch their breath from the previous dazzling and headspinning Disco years.

There was a little revival of the 1940s in the beginning of the 1980s. You saw slightly high waistlines featuring blousons and padded shoulders. Velvet material was also extremely popular. Lace got a more robust look and feel, because it was often combined with for example leather. And then there was MTV. Remember the good old days when MTV was actually only about music? This channel had its influence in more than one way. When it comes to fashion, the youth suddenly saw their role models in the most trendy outfits. As you can understand, when “video killed the radiostar”, dressing like the popstar was born. Especially during the mid-1980s when stars like Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and Michael Jackson had a huge influence on teenagers. White gloves, sunglasses, leather jacket and BAM…get ready for a (moon)walk in the streets.

More than ever, accessories were important to finish your look. Remember hoops? No not hula hoops. I mean those large, round earrings that were a musthave to “dress” your ears. Same goes for bangles and other large and eyecatching jewelry. When I talk about eyecatching, over-the-top hairstyles need to be included. Especially in the second half of the era. Colouring your hair in every color of the rainbow and “go wild” was pretty common back then. Hairstyles of women AND men were bigger than any other decade. Rock and punk music of the late 1980s also had its influence on hairstyles: the new age style was born. For those spikes on top of your head, you needed a lot of hair glue… When it comes to beauty, the motto was: the heavier the make-up, the better the look. So women wore heavy eyeliner, heavier blush and to finish the look: intense lipstick. That popular “pure” nude look of nowadays was not even seen at the horizon of the late 1980s.

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Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel Wisdom

When we think about Coco Chanel, we think about a woman who launched the first perfume with a designer name (Chanel no. 5), which would also become one of the most popular perfumes of all time. Coco also showed women that there was more to (lingerie) life than corsets, because “fashion is a luxury and luxury should be comfortable”. Cheers to that! Especially since corsets were extremely not-comfortable in those days. She was also the first designer who believed that black could be very classy in a time where black was related to grief and mourning. Now Coco was a woman with a very strong will of her own. So in the 1920s she designed that lovely Little Black Dress that probably hangs in the (imaginary walk-in) closet of a lot of women who read this. Not only her designs, but also her appearance was always glamorous yet minimalistic. However, her life didn’t start glamorous at all…

Coco Chanel was born as Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel in 1883 in Saumur, France. Coco grew up in very poor circumstances. Her mother died when Coco was very young and her father could not raise her, so she was put in an orphanage. Here she was raised by nuns who learned her how to sew. And she could sew alright. Those sewing skills would later make her one of the most influential fashion designers of all time. Like every other person, she also had a lot of burdens to overcome in her personal life. However, whether positive or negative, experiences will always give you something valuable: wisdom. Coco didn’t let the bad times weaken her spirit. She moved forward and continued to revolutionize the fashion world with for example high-class jewelry and handbags. She was also way ahead of her times. Not just as a fashion designer, but also as a woman with a mind and opinion of her own. No matter what happened, she always stayed true to her (honest) self.
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