The Flamboyant 80s: blurred gender boundaries

Daniela Milosheska

Oversized shoulder puffs, bright colors, leather jackets, dramatic make-up and nasty women who were loud and brave enough to bring society down to its knees. That pretty much sums up the crazy vibe of the wild 80s and perhaps that’s one of the main reasons behind this decade’s appeal. Never a dull moment when it comes to fashion either, the 80s were so enthralling and enchanting that no fashionista who dares call herself one is immune to this decade’s charm.

The 80s were a pretty interesting period of time when gender boundaries got blurred and fashion was used as a way to define personality and make a statement rather than act as a show of status like it was back at the beginning of the 2000s. Being the most liberating period in fashion, today we thank those who made the 80s one of the most fascinating moments in recent history by celebrating their differences and stage personas.


Madonna, fearless 80s icon

Perhaps the greatest female performer that ever lived, Madonna was the IT girl of the 80s. The always controversial Madge has made a persona of a fearless woman whose iconic attitude ruled the 80s and the 90s and the 00s. It’s pretty impressive really. There’s not many performers out there who can brag with such a brilliant career. The queen of pop was and still is an icon when it comes to fashion. Her provocative outfits, crazy make up, red lipstick and thought provoking fashion were something people replicate even today. Remember the leather jackets, pants and skirts? Well we’ve got Madonna to thank for making them oh so pop.


Prince, 80s fashion god

The musical prodigy we today know, admire fiercely and praise, almost religiously, was equally as much of a fashion icon as he was a musical star. The extravagant luxurious ruffles on his shirts looked as if he came straight from the 1800s, a power trend he was responsible for introducing and a power trend that’s still going strong today, although a bit refined. From the way his hair curls fall on his face to his power posture, Prince was comparable to no one. He was as special, as they could get. No other man alive will ever dare to wear the outfits he did. But his confidence made people fall in love with all things luminescent and ruffly.


Boy George, 80s troublemaker

Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma, chameleon it comes and goes, but his style will remain eternal and a subject to many copycats even today. Boy George, the androgynous icon of the 80s was well known for his outrageous make up, colorful nail polishes and out-of-this-world hair styles. His fashion choices often reflected his inner state, a “I don’t give a f**k” street attitude with a touch of tribal prints complemented always with a stylish fedora hat and some sassy hair braids.


Joan Collins in her most famous role, playing Alexis in Dynasty

The dynasty that ruled the 80s was the actual Dynasty, in which Joan Collins played the vengeful Alexis, a role which brought with it some serious fashion forward outfits. The suits Alexis wore in the series are still highly popular today and still serve as an inspiration to so many working gals. Puffed oversized shoulders or simple sexy maxi dresses, this woman could nail any look. You could throw a garbage bag on her and she would still find a way to rock it and look flawless.

Grace Jones

Grace Jones, the powerhouse of the 80s

The tomboy of the 80s, Grace Jones whose striking face features and androgynous poisture made her one of the most powerful women was one of the powerhouses who ruled the 80s. A woman of many talents including singing is so brilliant that her radient and one-of-a-kind beauty is still relevant today and still a subject to the work of so many designers and contemporary artists.

What makes all of these stars so briliant and memorable is the way they celebrated their differences, came to terms with them and made the world adopt them as the new norms. Sure, the 1980s gave them a platform for celebration of their at times foolish characters, but what made them stars in their own right was the way they transcended these odd personality traits through fashion and made the world succumb to their will and not the other way around.

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