1. ’80s power dressing. Bold shoulders and cinched waists were the uniform du jour of women in the ’80s, signifying women’s new place in the previously male-dominated workplace. Over the next three decades, the shoulder pad would make its way back into mainstream fashion.
2. Madonna. The Material Girl defined the quintessential ’80s style. Everything she wore—minis with fishnet stockings or leggings, outsize ear rings, scrunchies, fingerless gloves, crucifix jewelry—was copied.
3. Princess Diana. On the opposite end of the spectrum was the royal glamour of the Princess of Wales. From her elaborate David and Elizabeth Emanuel wedding dress to her sporty haircut, the late royal would set style trends throughout her short life.
4. ’80s male pop and TV stars. The flamboyance of the era was reflected in men’s fashion. Think boxy, double-breasted blazers in pop colors; longish, massive manes; leather and spandex pants; androgynous style in the form of hoop earrings, blousy shirts and eyeliner on New Wave musicians like Duran Duran, Wham!, Prince and Michael Jackson.
5. Big hair. This was huge in the ’80s, the decade of Aqua Net aerosol hairspray. Men and women alike sported poufy, teased, sometimes permed hair.
Style icons for this trend were Bananarama, The Bangles, Cyndi Lauper, Christie Brinkley, Jon Bon Jovi and George Michael.
6. Neon. There have been some attempts to revive the fluorescent trend, and thankfully, they never really picked up.
7. Celebrity makeup and fragrances. This trend has proven to be quite profitable for both celebrities and cosmetics companies. In the Philippines, actors Anne Curtis and Vice Ganda recently joined the bandwagon with their respective makeup brands.
8. Full brows, skinny brows, then full again. Dark, natural brows were key in the decadent ’80s. Poster girls were Brooke Shields and Phoebe Cates. In the minimalist ’90, brows got skinnier (think Drew Barrymore’s pencil-thin brows).
At the moment, it’s back to the fuller look (Cara Delevigne, Lily Collins).
9. Winona Ryder. Millennials know her as the distraught and unglamorous mom Joyce Byers on “Stranger Things.” To ’90s kids, however, she was a sartorial icon—from her grunge-cool and goth rock-’n’- roll period to her gamine red-carpet style.
10. Kate Moss. The waifish Brit model was another ’90s symbol, the ultimate cool-girl icon of the decade. In the stark minimalism of the 1990s, she put edge into the most basic clothing, often seen in off-duty jeans and tees, and her ’90s signature—the slip dress.
11. The Pixie Cut, then The Rachel. The big hair of the ’80s made way for blunt buzz cuts for ’90s women. Think Winona Ryder and Demi Moore (circa “Ghost”). The popularity of “Friends” also made way for the choppy layers of The Rachel, which TV star Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green on the sitcom) reportedly hated, but was copied the world over anyway.
12. Grunge. Many remember Marc Jacobs only from his stint at Louis Vuitton. But before that, he was head designer of Perry Ellis, where he sent out a grunge collection in Spring 1993. Critics hated it. It got him fired. It was, however, a revolutionary and career-defining move. The renegade style was representative of the era. Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain and wife Courtney Love of the band Hole embodied grunge. Style elements: Doc Martens boots, beanies and lumberjack shirts.
13. Bubblegum pop. Bubblegum pop was the mood of the ’90s, and the flashy styles of the Brit group The Spice Girls— platform shoes, skintight catsuits—and Britney Spears’ cropped tops and super low-rise jeans were representative of the era.
14. “Clueless.” Then here was Alicia Silverstone’s preppy, Beverly Hills rich-girl Cher’s style in the 1995 teen flick.
15. 1990s hip-hop. Oversize tees, baggy jeans and trousers, bandanas, cropped tops, super low-slung pants.
16. The Supers. Before there were Kendall and Gigi, there were Naomi, Christy, Cindy, Claudia, Linda, Kate—the ’90s catwalk queens for whom the term “supermodel” was coined.
17. Velour tracksuit. This trend gave birth to brands like Juicy Couture. Velour tracksuits were worn by hip-hop moguls, reality TV stars and Hollywood soccer moms.
18. Low-rise jeans, thong undies. You get the picture. It’s hard to unsee even after many years.
19. Side ponytail and scrunchies. Aerobics outfit, white Reeboks, leg warmers, big plastic earrings and stack of bangles, side ponytail with scrunchies, and you’re back in ’85.
20. Rebonded hair. The idealized long, reed-straight hair on shampoo commercials in the 2000s spawned chemically straightened manes. Women with wavy or curly hair endured up to eight hours in a salon chair for the process. The effect, however, lasted a few months.
21. Luxury/designer logos. It’s unclear exactly when designer logos became the symbol of cool. But in the last three decades, we saw how recognizable emblems like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, among many, were the most coveted. The appetite for such hasn’t cooled, especially with the aspirational market.
22. Premium denim jeans. This trend in the early 2000s gave rise to such brands as 7 For All Mankind, Citizens For Humanity, Lucky Brand, Joe’s Jeans, True Religion. A pair cost upwards of $200.
23. “Sex and the City” and Manolo Blahnik. The cult HBO show was bold and daring in so many ways, not least among them for its fashion’s influence on pop culture. Carrie Bradshaw also made Manolo Blahnik a household name.
24. “It” bags. They’re modern-day currency—desired, coveted, lusted over. Women in certain countries are said to subsist on instant noodles for months to save up for them, Hermès Birkins fetch record figures at Christie’s auctions.
25. Athleisure. The casualization of fashion has made it acceptable to wear gym clothes and trainers to the office.
26. Fast fashion. The last two decades saw the rise of brands like H&M and Zara. Their ability to serve up styles mere weeks after they hit the runways—at cheap prices—have made such brands the new kings of fashion retail.
27. Sustainable fashion. Eco or ethical fashion was a response to what critics called disposable fast fashion. Proponents of eco fashion believe fast fashion is detrimental to the environment as they produce huge volumes, and workers are not paid fairly, or work in unsafe conditions.
28. “It” girl. The “It” girl was the hot figure of the moment, paid by brands to wear their clothes and shoes and carry their bags. In the digital era, she’s also called the influencer.
29. The fashion blogger. The disruptor of fashion coverage. The rise of the fashion blogger rattled established hierarchy in traditional fashion media. It made global front-page news the first time Filipino blogger Bryanboy sat front row with fashion’s old guards like Anna Wintour and Suzy Menkes.
30. Celebrity designers. Outside their accomplishments in entertainment, many celebrities have also found success as fashion designers and entrepreneurs. There’s Victoria Beckham, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Rihanna, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Simpson. But remember when Lindsay Lohan was named artistic advisor of Ungaro? Thought not.
31. Design collaborations. H&M x Alexander Wang, Vans x Karl Lagerfeld, Tommy Hilfiger x Gigi Hadid, Target x Proenza Schouler, Uniqlo x JW Anderson… we could go on. Brand collaborations with big-name designers or celebrities have become commonplace.
32. Mall culture; e-commerce. The rise of shopping malls has revolutionized the Filipino fashion customer’s access to brands. Many global brands have made their way into the country. As road traffic worsens in the metro, however, the advent of e-commerce is fast becoming a welcome alternative for the fashion and beauty consumer.
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