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80s, 90s, 00s, Now - Fashion in Music Videos Through the Ages

Posted on July 05 2020

80s, 90s, 00s, Now

By Laura Copley
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Each era had it fads and faux pas, yet nowadays it seems we’re so nostalgic for the past we’re willing to bring not only the best, but also the worst choices back to life… anyone else imagining Frankenstein’s monster in a Juicy velour tracksuit right now? Fashion comes and goes, yet having style (or a lack of it) lasts forever. So let’s take a trip back in time through the medium of music videos to see which looks we’re happy to resurrect and which ones should be left to lie.

Walk This Way - Run DMC - 1986

 

Perhaps the most ambitious crossover to ever grace Music TeleVision, our first video is already spoiling us rotten with style. Rap and Rock were entirely different worlds in the 80s, and the idea of bridging the two together had been tried, tested and kicked to the curb years earlier when the Beastie Boys sampled AC/ DC’s Back In Black on their track Rock Hard (if you haven’t heard it, ignorance is bliss). Yet this crossover just works. It revived Aerosmith’s sinking sales and pushed Run DMC into the mainstream, and both their styles had everything to do with it. The iconic laceless Stan Smiths paired with the blacked out baggy suits and bowl hats opposite Steve Tyler’s forever bare chest, skin tight trousers and random tufts of hippie dippie fabrics proved that the 80s had been the most versatile decade for combining styles and spanning genres. Elements of both are still clear staples of style today, and we have these legends to thank for that.

Shop classic tracksuits here - https://www.thrifted.com/collections/vintage-tracksuits-joggers

 

I Wanna Dance With Somebody - Whitney Houston - 1987

Up there amongst the most quintessential pop songs of its time, Miss Whitney serves us look after look of classic 80s staples, from the bodycon neon green all-in-one to that little black dress… ask your mum nicely because we are ready to bring this whole wardrobe back! But while the colour pop makes our hearts stop, the pièce de résistance of the video and perhaps of the whole decade is of course, the leather jacket. Never before has one item of clothing been so widely celebrated or widely worn, and it’s probably one of the only items of clothing you love as much as your dad does. The 80s made many mistakes clothing-wise (the words ‘leg warmers’ should come with a trigger warning) but leather jackets will stand the test of time, figuratively and literally.

Shop iconic jackets here - https://www.thrifted.com/collections/vintage-womens-coats-jackets

 

Champagne Supernova - Oasis - 1995

 

Ah, Oasis. Whether you love them or really, really (really) hate them, there is no denying that they ruled over the 90s with dodgy hair cuts and Stone Island jackets, encased in a cloud of cigarette smoke at all times. The track is quite obviously a classic but the video is just ridiculous. Liam looks like the love child of Steve Jobs and John Lennon, Noel is just sitting there letting Liam once again slowly suck the life out of him, they’re all wearing about five layers too many and there are some trippy ladies flaying their arms about manically in what seems to be a drug-fuelled haze. Yet, for all of their loud madness, the brothers’ style has stood the test of twenty years and even though I don’t want to, I shall admit it’s still a pretty good look. Let’s ave it!

Shop all thing Stone Island here - https://www.thrifted.com/collections/vintage-mens-stone-island

 

Wannabe - Spice Girls - 1996 

 

Tell me what you want what you really really want! I really really really wanna live in Spice World and dress like a different Spice Girl every day of the week! The variety! The styles! The nicknames! Girl groups do not exist like this anymore! This video is glorious, and is definitely one of the greatest pop vids of all time. It’s super nostalgic with its setting in the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel as well as the clothing - the 90s saw the beginning of women expressing themselves however they wanted in terms of what was womanly to wear and what wasn’t - if like Mel C you wanted to rock sportswear comme des garçons or, if like Baby Spice you want to wear sweet lil dresses, everything was A-OK. No matter what you want to wear, there is a spice in all of us just waiting to ziggazig aaaah.

Find your spice style here - https://www.thrifted.com/collections/womens-festival

 

Babycakes - 3 Of A Kind - 2004 

The ultimate chav anthem and you best believe I still know every word! I think it’s fair to say that we are all still cringing about many of the fashion choices made in the noughties, and the bright white farmers cap worn by Liana in this video is categorically no exception. Everything about this video is just so… noughties. From the over-sexualisation of absolutely everything (speaking of, who remembers the video to Call On Me by Eric Prydz? Oh, and Somebody to Love by Boogie Pimps? Honestly the horniest decade of all time) to the freshest matching trackie sets, we love to hate it. Or hate to love it.

Shop women’s hella fresh tracksuits here - https://www.thrifted.com/collections/vintage-womens-shell-track-sport-jackets

 

Survivor - Destiny’s Child - 2004 

 

The noughties is when music videos began to get real stupid. CGI was in an exciting place and storylines really tried to depict that with their outlandish narratives, for example, Destiny’s Child are shipwrecked in this one (it’s honestly really funny, harmonising takes place in a life boat, mid-storm). Now this isn’t the easiest music vid to look towards in terms of style, seeming as they’re mostly just wandering around in literal scraps of fabric and what I hope is fake fur, but. Then the video moves on to the aztec-themed (??) dance scene and we are treated to a feast of camo, bandanas and low rise booty shorts, which in all honesty is a real look and you wouldn’t blink twice if you saw it on your IG feed.

Get your booty shorts here! - https://www.thrifted.com/collections/vintage-womens-shorts

 

 

Written by Laura Copley

Check out her catalogue of articles here! laurajanecops.wordpress.com

 

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