Great 80s Trends
The trends of the 80s are fondly remembered due to the bum bags, neon colours, high-waisted jeans, leg warmers, bright interior design, and sci-fi films with special effects. In fashion, it was a decade of androgyny – both men and women wore over-the-top makeup consisting of bright colours and exaggerated hairstyles. In other aspects, it was almost an exploration of how much fun could be had with colours and patterns.
You can see the 80s fashion more in-depth here.
Many interior designers consider the 80s as the last decade of true interior creativity. There are several main influences in the decade creating the typical aesthetic we know today. Homes had floor-sweeping drapes for their windows, with valances, jabot, and all the bells and whistles.
And who doesn’t remember Laura Ashley’s matching floral bedding? Coordinated sheets, pillowcases, duvets, pillows, and more – all to decorate your white enamel bed. A more modern design saw foiled wallpapers, glasses and mirrors, geometric fabrics, and contrasting colours throughout the different accents in the home.
The 1981 Memphis design included elements of pop art and Art deco design, focusing on primary colours and bold graphic shapes. But the 80s colour palette is the famous pastel extravaganza: coral, seafoam green, and mauve. Primary colours and neons made this decade a bright and colourful one.
This decade was an amazing one for music, with some of the best songs still popular to this day. Dance music and new wave emerged, leaving the glorious disco days behind. There was a rise in popularity of glam metal, shred guitar, soft rock, and thrash metal, with whammy bar abuse, heavy distortion, and pinch harmonics.
Digital recording started to make its mark; non-traditional instruments and synthethisers opened the way to synth-pop music and other main electronic genres such as techno, electro, freestyle, and house. In Europe, post-punk, gothic rock, new wave, and new romantics were also extremely popular.
Hairstyles in the 80s were as extraordinary as the clothing and makeup choices. The decade is characterised by flattops, mullets, mohawk hairstyles, jheri curls, and hi-top fades. Women tended to want puffed-up styles with soft curls and permanent waves – the larger the better. Male rockstars in glam metal also wore their hair loud and proud.
Certain chemical treatments were popular, such as dying hair plum-red or burgundy. Other colours were also popular in the punk subculture with women and some men opting for big perms. The perm produced soft, full curls and it gave way to the late 1980s permed bouffant, a hairstyle Princess Diana wore regularly.
“High-concept” films gained fame in the 1980s, with short cinematic plots that were easily summarised in just one or two sentences. Hollywood blockbusters are the modern popular high concept style we still see today. There was also an increase in nudity in films in the 80s, especially in horror, science fiction, and action genres.
Effect-driven blockbusters gained traction thanks to the Star Wars franchise and the new cinematic effects that these films help to pioneer. Teen comedies were also very popular in this decade. The PG-13 rating was introduced in 1984 in the US, walking the line between both R and PG ratings.