Gymnastic suits, leggings and a lot of neon colors – the eighties were a defining period in fashion. Suddenly, women wore shoulder pads, a lot of strappy glitter tops and of course it was the time of color blocking. So you guessed it, those trends are back in the current collections and high fashion designers like Demna Gvasalia reinterpreted the trends according to today’s zeitgeist. However, if you compare the vibes of the eighties with the ones of today, they are actually not that different at all.
Neon back then
So here is a little quiz of three situations and you can decide whether they describe the eighties or nowadays: 1. A tense relationship between Europe and America? – 80s and today. 2. Gender blur? – 80s and today. 3. Fitness and cult of the body? – 80s and today. That quiz was not that difficult to solve right? So due to those similarities, it’s no surprise that today’s fashion trends are inspired from the outfits which were worn by the icons of the eighties like Grace Jones, David Bowie, Madonna or Lady Diana – yes, even the princess knew how to style those shoulder pads. Apart from the new silhouettes, there was this obsession of workout gear because of the gym sessions which came up at this time. Back then, neon leggings were a must to hit the fitness centers.
Let’s switch back to 2017. While a lot of designers brought back the enhanced shoulder silhouettes, power suits and metallic glam tops, Demna Gvasalia incorporated the neon spandex pants into his spring/summer collection for Balenciaga. However, he did not copy the looks of the former gym girls but he showed how those leggings can be very high-fashion and avant-garde.
To style the pants your own, it’s important to stay true to your very own style. The tight-fitted key pieces might be quite daring but with the right combination, they are cool eye-catchers for sure. For example, a blazer makes the total outfit look more classy and chic. Instead of sneakers, you might go for some silver kitten heels which increase the level of elegance right away. To get another 80s inspired piece into the ensemble, choose a (glittering) camisole top.
Are you ready to rock your neon must-haves? While wearing them, try to remember the mood of the eighties and what it has in common with the current situations worldwide. In the end, the leggings can be a motivation to change something – otherwise those issues of the eighties might come up repetitive.
Photographed by Daniel