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Columns : Style Drama - Edward Quan Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 - 1:45:37 AM

The 80’s Fashion Trends Love Affair for 2017 Has Begun
By Edward Quan, StyleDrama
Feb 8, 2017 - 9:16:24 PM

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If you lived through it, you’ll probably remember the 80’s as a decade when fashion was larger-than-life. The 80’s fashion trends introduced us to bold female silhouettes defined by colorful oversize blazers with shoulder pads, big permed hair with heavy makeup and risqué low cut sequin dresses with thigh-high slits. Needless to say, it was one of the more influential style periods in recent memory.

Many fashion designers look to the past for inspiration and their love affair with 80’s fashion trends is everywhere for spring 2017. Watch for the following 80s style influences, some which we may soon see on our city streets.

80’s Fashion Trends Power Blazers

Made famous by 80’s big screen stars like Michelle Pfeiffer and Grace Jones, the boardroom look is back albeit with a slightly softer shoulder. In keeping with its 80s inspiration, the power blazer is matched with wide-leg pant or a short skirt. The sophisticated well-tailored looks in black, many with pin stripes, from Yanina Couture, Jil Sander, Celine and Balenciaga will appeal to the new generation of working girls.


Spanish and Caribbean influences reign this spring, with Gucci, Isa Arfen, Jonathan Simkhai and Louis Vuitton showing ruffles in their collections. From big flounces covering a whole dress to smaller frills providing just a touch of easiness to a blouse or skirt, ruffles are everywhere. My favorite looks, such as an off-the-shoulder ruffle top with a pair of shorts, balance simplicity with femininity.

V-Neck Dresses

The low cut dresses with thigh-high slits that were all the rage during the 80’s have returned. From Versace to Emanuel Ungaro to Marchesa, spring collections offer dresses in sensual sheer neutral toned fabric and – my favorite – metallic golds and silvers.

Fanny Packs

The one accessory from the 80’s that just won’t go away is back on the runways at Chanel, Kenzo, and Jil Sander this spring. Now renamed the belt bags, the Jil Sander bucket version is made from fine leather, rather than the vinyl of the 80’s, to match a high-end outfit. On the runways, models donned belt bags ranging in size from a clutch purse to a small apron. To my mind, despite the rebrand, the belt bag doesn’t have luxury appeal and it will never replace a classic no-logo handbag.

The recycling of old ideas from bygone eras, such as we’re seeing now with this 80s fashion obsession, lacks the innovation and creativity we have come to expect from the luxury houses. There was a time not long ago when some designers were able to add a unique twist – color, texture, and finishing – to an old idea. While this may have been common in the past, I’m sorry to say the current 80s throwback styles involve less innovation and more imitation.

This may sell well with the fast fashion set but I not confident that it will get high-end buyers to open their purses this season. In my opinion, it’s unlikely that this rehash of the 80’s fashion trends will be as loved by the luxury set as it is by the fashion designers themselves.

Read all articles by Edward Quan

About the Author: Experienced luxury fashion buyer
Edward Quan has worked with the most prestigious designer brands across Europe and America and shares his inspiration for effortless style on his website, StyleDrama.com. He has a passionate, yet intelligent way of describing his subject and has a keen eye for detail. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.

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