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80s fashion redux, part 5: Male Order

Whether it is with a necktie, a brogue, a crisp big white shirt or a full-blown tuxedo, a recurring idea in fashion is borrowing from the boys. I don't think we are quite at the 80s level of boy-girl dressing, but the theme is alive and well, and in some of the same designers' hands.

Originally posted April 21, 2006:


A woman borrowing from a man's closet was certainly not a new theme in the 80s, but it reached an apex in this decade, and just as distinctly feminine clothing was often highly romanticized, so was the masculine dress (for women) counterpart.

MALE dress borrowed from a theoretical closet, dating from all eras of masculine sartorial splendor. Every woman wore a tie at least once in the 80s, and there were distinctly man/woman tuxes, tailcoats, suits, overcoats and accessories.

Gaultier, the master of the theme

Yamamoto suit, Brooks Brothers shirt, Gene Meyer tie

John Galliano

Gaultier again

and Galliano again, with antique brocade

Elle MacPherson in masculine layers

Updated August 3, 2009:

I can't get enough of this theme, and apparently neither can Gaultier. For Hermès Fall 2009 he has strutted the aviatrix, and I love every second of her old school high-flying style:

Alexander Wang explores the classic boyfriend shirt

and Dolce & Gabbana is finding chic new directions for the tux


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80s fashion redux

This is an 80s moment in fashion.

It has been coming for some time: First there was a shoulder pad or two, then some neon brights and outgoing prints. Now, for fall 2009, there is a veritable cavalcade of designers working with 80s themes. Of course, designers working in the 80s successfully mined previous eras' themes too, so even in that sense the 80s helped set the stage for current trends.

At the beginning of the 80s we were coming out of a recession and there seemed to be twin needs for classic quality and ebullient excess. Likewise, we are starting to see the first glimmer of light at the end of our current recessionary tunnel. Designers seem torn between responding to a woman's need to get and keep work, with quality work-worthy wear, and society's need to just forget about it all for a little while in a flight of sartorial fancy.

Gaultier for Hermès, 2009 and Louis Dell'Olio for Anne Klein II, 1986


80s Lacroix and 2009 Marc Jacobs

Several years ago I showed some of my clippings from the 80s and described my favorite trends of the 80s. Some of these are so relevant now that I am compelled to repost these, hoping not too many current readers of my blog will have already seen these.

I am adding a few new notes and photos to my previous posts.

Starting with my post of April 8, 2006:

I want to show you some images that I clipped as favorites in the 1980s, almost all from Elle Magazine, which had a heyday in the 80s. The black and white images are from the inspiring book Vogue Modern Style - How to Achieve It by Charlotte Du Cann, 1988.

I sorted my clippings into these topics, to be covered slowly but surely:

Athleticism
Business
The Emergence of Gaultier
Humor
Japanese style
Male
Non-traditional beauty
Opulence
Outgoing jewelry
Pattern/Color
Uniform
Vintage inspirations
Watches

ATHLETICISM was the look of well-exercised models, exuding health and fitness, even power. There was a huge uptick in stretch fabric development and use, lending an athletic fit to so many garments. Athletic looks were mixed with traditional clothing in eclectic combinations. Sporty stripes were everywhere, as were leggings and stretch pants.




July 23, 2009:

I'm sure we've all witnessed the return of leggings over the past several years, and for fall, many designers are leaning on, well, lean. A particularly 80s feel is achieved by Alexander Wang in his Ready-to-Wear collection, such as with this outfit's geared-up narrow pants and bolero jacket.




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