From structured shoulders to the iconic blazer-over-turtleneck look, Paris made 80s fashion classic and wearable through decades to follow.
ByKendall Cornish on August 13, 2019
The rather garish, oversized style of the 1980s found its refinement in Paris. In the United States, the 80s meant extra-large perms, lamé, sparkle, and color. But as we move closer to Europe, 80s style becomes classier––structured shoulders and collars met vintage hats for a less rebellious (but just as powerful) feel.
Elegant silhouettes and Renaissance-inspired designs (velvet and bustiers) adorned shop mannequins and fashion moguls alike. While shine and sparkle were definitely present, it was often complimented by matte materials, offering ensembles an approachable balance. The high-waisted "mom (or dad) jean" as it's fondly known today was often paired with a turtleneck and a blazer. This look, prevalent among men and women at the time, became ubiquitous and is definitely still recognized as a Parisian staple ensemble.
The Parisian woman, officially known throughout the world for her confidence and poise, often drew inspiration from menswear. Low heels and fitted trousers became a fashion mainstay in the 80s—a look that is still copied today across the globe. In the early 1980s, the late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was hired by Chanel when the brand was in dire need of a design revival. He took Coco Chanel's eponymous fashion house and lead it to become the icon it was meant to be and remains today.
Here, we pay tribute to a defining decade in Parisian fashion.