Just when you thought the 80s
were gone and safely encased away in your dusty high school
annuals, along came an 80s resurgence in both fashion and
culture. The 80s fashion comeback started in 2006 with the
re-introduction of skinny jeans and leggings. Three years later,
we are still in the midst of an all-out 80s love-fest, and it
feels, well, like totally awesome.
So many subtle (and not so
subtle) 80s references are creeping into today’s culture that it
is hard to keep up. Recently observed examples include pegged
jeans on the models of the Spring 2009 J. Crew catalog (see
below), J.C. Penny’s nod to “The Breakfast Club” for their
back-to-school clothes commercial seen both on TV and at the
movies, the return of Knight Rider to TV, and the return of the
jelly shoe (I had 3 pair in the 80s!). These references are both
fun and respectful. On the other hand, one can cite the
use of the extremely cool and timeless Violent Femmes song
“Blister in the Sun” in a Wendy’s commercial to hock baked
potatoes -- really.
recent news, the 80s were very much alive and kickin’ at New York
Fashion Week this past week. In fact, Michael Kors featured for his Fall
2009 collection a neon green ensemble that was bright enough to warrant
the donning of your vintage Wayfarers (shown right).
the online 80s tribute site liketotally80s.com, the most visited
sections of the site are the fashion and costume sections. People are
clamoring for information, pictures, and how-tos on pulling the 80s look
together. One 16-year-old site user entered (and won) the “What would
you do for a banana clip?” contest by agreeing to go to her Valentine’s
dance at school decked out entirely in 80s party fashions. She has a
vintage 80s prom dress and some dyed satin shoes – perfect! Together
with 80s bangles and a bodacious 80s up-do in the banana clip, she’ll be
a total babe and ready to hit the dance floor and walk like an Egyptian.
What is clear is this – the 80s are
back. The nostalgia circle runs in 20 year cycles. That was certainly
true in the 80s when I thought everything 60s was cool – the music, the
clothes, the attitude. We are seeing that with teens today. Suddenly,
their 80s-era mom is just a little cooler than she used to be. I mean,
she was there when Madonna was just coming on the scene. She had big
hair, loud earrings, and shoulder pads that reached for the sky. These
were the days before Michael Jackson-esque dance music videos that were
like mini-movies, before Kirk Cameron had been left behind, and when it
was hard to choose your favorite Corey.
Enjoy the 80s while they are back among
us! Dig out your parachute pants and strike a pose.