In the early 1980s, my mother had a hot pink, silk, after-five dress from the Australian label Covers.
It was the pink of Marilyn Monroe’s evening dress in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but it had the sleeve-shape and tight skirt of Krystal Carrington in Dynasty.
It shared equal status with her pale blue Prue Acton maxi from the mid-1970s as my favourites in her wardrobe. She wore the pink Covers dress with multi-coloured carnival glass beads hat shimmered blue, green, purple or pink depending on the light.
I coveted that Covers dress. My sister got to wear once in the late ‘80s. Alas, it never fitted me.
Why am I thinking about ‘80s fashions? The Victoria & Albert Museum, in London, has just opened an exhibition called Club to Catwalk showcasing London's clubbing and fashion scene in the ‘80s.
A picture gallery from the exhibition by The Guardian got me reminiscing about what I wore here to the likes of Toucan Two and Limbo’s, in the West End, to Leon’s, on the Parade, and Doug Govan’s My Place, in Hyde St, Le Rox, in Light Square and later the Venue, in Hindley St.
Although I lived in London at the end of the ‘80s, and even went to some of the clubs captioned in The Guardian, it’s not the mainsteam ‘80s fashions I mostly remember wearing. It’s styling straight out of the era’s video clips.
When I think of ‘80s fashions, I think of high-waisted Corfu jeans, made right here in Adelaide. And Canterbury rugby tops.
Yes, I had leg warmers but never stirrup pants.
I loved my dusty pink thick cord jodhpurs – Stuart Membery from memory. Or were they Jag? A white lacey shirt worn with a grey-striped taffeta skirt from Cream, on Unley Rd; and shopping across the road at Naffine’s with my mother.
What about the giant Cherry Lane store in Rundle Mall that you had to ride an escalator down to? Most of my work clothes came from there during 1986-88. And the funny-shaped Sportsgirl store at Burnside – was it a hexagon or a pentagon? Oh, and Demasius.
K-K-Katies seemed so much more stylish back then, although it’s the reverse with Witchery. Did you follow the advertising call to action that jingled “this goes with that at Sussan’s”? Now that’s an excuse to watch this blast from the past.
I’d love to hear what were your favourite outfits and labels from the 1980s. Maybe this slideshow below with jog the memory (click to open full gallery with captions).