Welcome to October! I may have backdated this by a few days as it was written in September..then my internet decided to crash! But here it is: my 80s fashion special, just in time for winter. It is mostly serious, but please remember that I don’t take myself too seriously and you can still find me in Primark. ALSO, following on from last month, you can find my interview with Neon Indian for The 405 here.
Head Over Heels for the 80s
Most of the time, I wish I’d been born just a few years earlier. Of course, I mean being born into a parallel 1980s where there was the internet, and no Berlin Wall… So, I’m going to write a seasonal guide to being an 80s child in the horrible 2010s, and if you dont care then I have this to say to you:
Truly the best song of the year. But anyways, I digress:
1 – Wearing an abstract print = edgy, but not ridiculous (please don’t think/say Nathan Barley). Vintage shops, the internet, parents and Urban Outfitters provide us with such wonderfully 80s threads – perfect for a trip to the library to do something 80s like read Bret Easton Ellis novellas and drink iced lattes. This is rebellious because of the possibility of *whisper it* getting water on a book. In all seriousness, though, this is a look which works. It doesn’t just work a 9-5 job to feed it’s kids, it also works overtime and moonlights as a dancer; I say this because it can carry any look into the evening. Guys can keep the jumper and switch from jeans to chinos, but girls can invariably have more fun: swap jeans for a net tulle skirt and thick winter tights, plimsolls for smart brogues, a daytime handbag for a Chanel-esque clutch, and the vintage knit is working so hard it will indefinitely be signed off from work and prescribed some pills.
- Some blogs dedicated to the subject :
2 – Headbands = bringing hair together since ever. I know what you’re thinking. Men…wearing headbands? Since when has that been acceptable outside of European football? Then in September 2010, University Challenge brought us the University of the Arts London team, and a clever/fit guy in a headband, and suddenly all Serie A sins were forgotten.
- Band of brothers: Walker (second right) shows why a male equivalent of Claire’s Accessories would be so, so right
American Apparel’s lamé headband takes the wearer from cute-girl-next-door with a penchant for aerobics, balayage and itsy-bitsy dogs (exhibit A)…
…all the way to the Nordic poledancing lessson which is Exhibit B.
Once again, American Apparel manage to tread the line between Sweet Valley High and Richard Kern with aplomb. Unfortunately the current story apropos of the chain is the fact that shiny headbands and hedonism haven’t saved it from imminent bankruptcy
Earmuffs. It’s almost winter, and earmuffs combine a headband with a vesatile space for cold, reddening lugholes. Etsy’s collection of homemade crafts is a great place to find individual pieces like Princess Leia ones…!
3 – 80s slogan wear = acceptable. If you can’t identify phrases such as “I carried a watermelon” and ” I want my MTV”, or you don’t know a My Little Pony from a Cabbage Patch Kid; you never laughed about the “groove” which Action Man has at his crotch and you’re not sure how to spell Bueller (Bueler? Buller?) then perhaps you should stay away from slogan wear, unless your lack of pop culture knowledge is some kind of ironic, Thatcherite nod, in which case, on you go…
80s clothes are the vestments of a marriage made in heaven. However, noughties rip-offs like this ‘ironic’ Trueblood slogan tee are not quite what the Doctor (Who) had back in mind during the 80s, when varsity prep become a religion.
- Blood-y awful: HBO had more luck with the Flight of the Conchords clothing line
4 – Bouncy hair. Speaking as a curly haired girl, volume has never really been an issue. I went through a phase of wanting super-sleek hair…until I realised that a bouncy blowdry is super-flattering as well as being slightly less of a workout. AnnaLynne McCord does both 80s looks with ease; usually she carries off a super curly blonde do which is definitely a homage to bygone glamour, but a bouncy blowdry works equally well on her honeyed locks. Curlies: if you want 90, 210 ways to recreate the 80s (excuse the pun) then follow her lead.
In conclusion, don’t overdo the 80s look. Don’t try imitations, but instead go for new accessories and tees to compliment vintage outerwear. Go authentic and look for good quality and potential when buying pieces. Check boring things like the washing directions, especially on pieces which have been dyed or altered in any way from their original state, and don’t part with your cash for clothes which are truly ready for the bin.
Hallowee-ed be thy name
I’m probably too old for Halloween. However, this hasn’t stopped me pushing the 80s theme on and looking forward to the 31st…as well as compiling some great tunes to be enjoyed, whether or not your tounge is stuck firmly in your cheek:
- A Nightmare on My Street – The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff: the second Smith to feature this month, and gosh are they a talented brood. TFP and DJJJ used the same time signature for all of their collaborations, but I’m sure that it’s economical considering that Kings of Leon have made a career out of recycling. This beat makes Fruity Loops look like Mozart, but it works, and it manages to make Elm Street sound like Sesame Street. PS: this was played in the NME office two Halloweens ago, so it is definitely at the core of our culture.
- Psycho Killer – Talking Heads. This one starts off sounding like some banal driving CD and continues the weirdo-loner theme with the inclusion of some random lyrics in French and emotionless delivery courtesy of David Byrne. He was probably more psychotic when he was all wicked and lazy circa 2002, but the song is still hauntingly beautiful.
- Damien (all 3 parts) by DMX – D muses about the devil over a typically Def Jam track. Getting slowly more demented, this triptych includes his strange penchant for unneccessary narrative (see Party Up!’s religious verse), which is both comic and very, very unnerving. Here’s part one:
There are probably other Halloween songs, but none of them are as amazing as those…unless we’re including The Monster Mash or any “scary” Disney songs within these parameters.
Soooo, unless my internet decides to go loco, I will be posting just before this evil day occurs…probably from my kitchen where I’ll be dousing a crucifix in garlic and watching an 80s film.
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