Thirty years ago, the number of women occupying higher ranks in the political and business spheres was slowly but surely growing and the need arose to reinterpret their looks by giving them an extra appeal while still being worthy of authority, in an environment still dominated by men. This bossy attitude in women’s dressing took shape in form of masculine-inspired tops like shoulder-padded blazers and jackets and bottoms such as knee-length skirts to emphasize femininity.
At Paris Fashion Week SS17, Mashama’s collection delivered a similar body silhouette to those of the ‘80s power dressing style with shoulder-padded suits unlocking femininity through black mesh tops. DROMe’s sartorial pinstripe jacket with open sleeves was also reminiscent of the former look.
But power dressing wasn’t the only nod to the decade of Margaret Thatcher’s administration and Madonna’s breakthrough. Balenciaga’s new collection by creative director Demna Gvasalia (visible head of designer collective Vetements) was a perfect mix'n match of ‘80s trends: checkered shoulder-padded blazers and asymmetrical skirts paired with fluor-colored spandex tights. Beyond Gvasalia’s twist with the built-in pointy stiletto heels, the stretchy tights were nothing different to what one was accustomed to see in aerobics’ tv shows back in the (gaudy) days.
Saint Laurent’s new creative director Anthony Vaccarello hailed the decade revival with black leather shirts with puffed sleeves and gold plunging neckline dresses, while Louis Vuitton brings back the shiny side of the period with Lurex sweaters and other garments covered with sequins and diamonds.