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SS19 trend to go: Back to the 80s

Sandra Halliday
23 September 2018

When you’ve lived through a particular decade, then any attempt to revive is sartorial codes can either be a jolly amble down memory lane or a dark vault that you want to remain firmly under lock and key.

So there must be plenty of people either celebrating or wincing at the current designer obsession with the 80s. At its most extreme, on the Marc Jacobs or Moschino catwalks, it channelled vintage YSL and Joan Collins in Dynasty with shoulder pads on steroids, pussy bow blouses, cinched-in waists, killer heels, knee-length pencil skirts, pumped up satins and power peplums.

In its more subtle incarnation (say at Max Mara), it was more about statement wide-cut-but-structured blazers, cinched-in waists, pleat-top tapered pants, tucked-in knits and tops, and even puffball hems.

Either way, the models even seemed to be feeling the vibe, striding along the runway, Cindy, Linda or Naomi-style, hands on hips, with the defiant look that was popular pre-Kate Moss.

So what are the key pieces that anyone adopting this look needs to have in their wardrobe?

A coat (pictured above) - no, not the puffer, parka or other-casual coat that has dominated the outerwear sector for so long, Instead it’s in soft wool (remember that?) or waterproofed material with some kind of shoulder emphasis, even if American footballer shoulders aren’t quite the way to go. Instead, the shoulder can slope to play up a wider-than-usual cut. It could be a trench or wrap, and if it is, prepare to pull it in at the waist with a belt (the deeper the better).

80s trend

Marc Jacobs, Max Mara, Marc Jacobs, Versace

A statement top - a tie-neck blouse or, off-the-shoulder frills, a one-shoulder top in sheers or high-shine materials like leather or lamé, or a skinny knit, all of which need to be tucked firmly into the skirt or pants. And over that can go a wide-cut blazer or a cropped jacket in power prints.

80s trend

Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Moschino

A knee-length skirt - think pencil slim or with gathers or pleats at the waistband to emphasise the curve of the hips. Alternatives include the puffball to really ram home the 80s message or silky pleated skirts to play up the faux-conservative theme.

80s trend

Burberry, Max Mara, Marc Jacobs

Pleat-top pants - the tailored pant with plenty of material up top, either eases gently down to the ankle or tapers strongly. They look best with a tight belt and a pair of heels but don’t expect them to work with a pair of trainers.

80s trend

Burberry, Max Mara, Marc Jacobs

A peplum belt - a deep, cinched-in belt is a must-have to set the seal on an 80s dress or a skirt-blouse combo, and to add an on-trend edge to a coat. Make it even more of-the-moment with the addition of a peplum or frill.

80s trend

Victoria Beckham, Max Mara, Prada

A bodycon pant - cycle shorts (or almost-cycle shorts) have reared their oh-so-unflattering heads again but for those who would run a mile from them, there are other bodycon pants from the 80s to play with. Think back to Rifat Ozbek with high waist capris, or legging-style pants that borrow from the more modern athleisure trend but also channel 80s Alaïa.

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