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Why Elton John Is This Season's Unlikely Style Icon

(Last Updated On: December 1, 2017)

As occasion season kicks off, we are able to all the time anticipate a bit of additional sparkle in our wardrobes. But over the previous few months, you might have seen that glitter has swept trend right into a flurry of extra.

It could also be true that developments are recycled each 20 years, however the grunge perspective and minimalism of the ’90s has dominated the trade for therefore lengthy. So why has the colour, camp, and extroversion of the ’80s lastly made it is approach again into the zeitgeist?

“At a time when the global political climate is fractious, there’s comfort in a certain kind of nostalgia,” Katie Smith, retail analysis and insights director at Edited, a fashion and retail technology company, explains. “The ’80s were a time of economic boom, when fashion and lifestyles were fast and frivolous. With millennials delaying home purchases and starting families, they have disposable income which revisits some of that ’80s hedonism. The ’80s are somewhat akin to pure escapism from the harsher realities of life.”

And actually, who embodies the maximalism of the last decade greater than Elton John? Since the ’70s, the singer has taken stage costumes to new heights, with legendary costume designer Bob Mackie (a.okay.a. The Sultan of Sequins) behind a lot of his most memorable items. Whether it’s the fringed rhinestone jacket and pink geometric sun shades he wore when acting at Madison Square Garden in 1986, the star-spangled velvet jacket (with matching earrings) when on stage in Sydney the identical 12 months, or the wide-lapeled brocade duster coat he wore round Hollywood in ‘87, John championed outlandish and extraordinary dressing all through the period.

Photo: WWD/REX/Shutterstock
Photo: WWD/REX/Shutterstock

But how does the musician’s vivacity translate right now? One look by Gucci’s spring 2018 providing and also you’ll see how inventive director Alessandro Michele has made the last decade’s euphoric aesthetic each nostalgic and modern. The model’s iridescent jumpsuit emblazoned with color-pop musical notes? It’s Elton John on stage 30 years in the past. According to Vogue, Michele drew inspiration from his good friend Elton’s costume archives, with multiple look a reference to recognizable items worn by the icon. The designer even embroidered John’s initials onto the again of jackets and T-shirts. Sequins dominated the 108-look assortment, with a kaleidoscope of shade glistening down the catwalk — ‘80s hedonism certainly.

Gucci is not the one delivering the exuberance of the ‘80s sequin into 2017, both. Michael Halpern, the London-based Central Saint Martins graduate, has been championed by everybody from Donatella Versace to Sarah Mower for his shimmery items. Sure, he might draw inspiration from Studio 54’s ‘70s heyday, but styled with a pink satin jacket with razor-sharp shoulders (as it is in his fall ’17 lookbook, it’s the ‘80s by and thru.

“We’ve seen a real return to glamour with a revival of sequins and sparkle from brands such as Halpern, Attico, Osman, and DVF,” Natalie Kingham, shopping for director at MatchesFashion.com, notes. “There has also been an emergence of luxurious fabrics such as jacquard and brocade in metallic, or with lustrous accents from designers such as Gucci, Peter Pilotto, Carl Kapp, and Rochas.” Reiterating Smith’s level about escapism, Kingham advises shopping for into the fantasy and frivolity of the last decade: “Investing in luxurious clothing doesn’t always need to be about simple timeless pieces. There is something decadent and glamorous about investing in a strong sequin look from Michael Halpern to cheer yourself up and add some flamboyance to your wardrobe.”

Fast-fashion is tapping into the last decade of decadence, too. By analyzing retail developments, Smith can measure the expansion in demand for ‘80s items: “Ruffled items are up a stunning 181% this fall compared to last, whether it’s down the sleeves of a sweater or blouse, across the hem of a skirt, or on the neckline of a jumpsuit. One-sleeved and asymmetric ruffled styles pack the most ’80s punch,” she says. “Exaggerated sleeves were popular through the summer and returned during autumn on statement jumpers in bold poster paint palettes. We’re seeing dolman, batwing, and lantern sleeves, which, when paired with an oversized silhouette or a dramatic turtleneck, look like they stepped straight out of the ’80s.”

ASOS, for instance, has embraced the return of the last decade, and goes all-out for occasion season. “Chandelier earrings, power shoulders and cocktail dresses are the perfect way to celebrate the holidays,” ASOS womenswear head of design, Sian Ryan, says. “The ’80s oozes glamour and decadence…exaggerated shoulders and sleeves, metallic fabrications, dramatic embellishments and silhouettes — all of these elements encompass the party.” Her recommendation on styling the pattern? “Mix it up, don’t be too literal, and have fun with luxe fabrics and elaborate silhouettes. Enjoy the opulence, it’s the holiday season, after all!”

Photo: Courtesy of ASOS

And whereas sparkles could also be completely suited to vacation season, the ’80s aren’t going away as soon as the festivities have come and gone. “While the ’80s trend has had a strong impact over the last couple of years, it’s too strong an aesthetic to have an enduring influence on fashion,” Smith notes. “However, next season will certainly still be influenced by the ’80s, as the spring ’18 collections have attested.” Whether you go for Princess Diana-inspired sports activities informal with pearls and biking shorts on the prepared, or go all-out-Elton John with glitzy and glamorous hedonism, both approach, it’s time to flash again to the ’80s.

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