Shoulder pads bring '80s style to Fashion Week

Posted by MaggieYang on 18. Feb 2009

NEW YORK – Remember the '80s, when big hair and even bigger shoulders were the height of chic? The designers at New York Fashion Week won't let you forget.

Yes, the shoulder pad is back.

Add that to power suits, Robert Palmer-style second-skin dresses, dark lipstick and even, at Miss Sixty, acid-wash jeans.

It's probably safe to say that there were more shoulder pads at Goodwill drop-off bins than at fashion boutiques in recent years. But big shoulders edged onto the runways of Donna Karan, Alexander Wang, Miss Sixty, Diane von Furstenberg and others as Fashion Week entered its fourth day of fall previews Monday.

"Shoulder pads scare people but remember, runway is a fairy tale," said Gloria Baume, fashion director at Teen Vogue. "Now we have to figure out how to make it real."

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week runs through Friday.


There's more to seduction than skin and sin. Donna Karan's smoldering fall looks left the audience wanting more after a glimpse of bareness from a back-closure keyhole opening or a slit on the back of a skirt.

There was very little that was overtly sexy — and that's what was so tantalizing: The clothes draped the models just the right way and were made of slinky-yet-sophisticated fabrics. Karan captured strength that has become a trend here, but there was also a womanliness that not every designer has embraced this season.

The crowd included White House social secretary Desiree Rogers, who had one of the best seats in the house next to Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour.


While everyone else might be obsessed with the 1980s, Carolina Herrera looked to the decorative elements of the 18th century for the fall collection she debuted Monday.

And the copper hardware that mimicked those old architectural details added the most modern touches to the dominant fitted shape with a tight, high waist.

The mixing of textured silk, reflective jacquard, lace, suede and a recurring floral motif created a luxurious patchwork quilt, and she also created an eye-catching draped wrap with long sleeves that was worn over gowns, many of which had a corset peeking out from underneath.


The soundtrack to Jill Stuart's fall runway show could have been "Leather and Lace." The designer cited French singer Francoise Hardy as an influence, but it was hard not to see at least a little Stevie Nicks in the mix of billowy, sheer chiffon with tough-as-nails motorcycle leather.

The most dramatic a


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