’80s style, icons return

By Gus Bode

The Reveille (Louisiana State U.)

(U-WIRE) BATON ROUGE, La. – Break out the jelly bracelets and dust off the Duran Duran tapes — the 1980s are back. The music, fashion and toys of the decade are returning to stores this fall.

Cartoons from the 1980s such as Hello Kitty, Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake have recently been remade and remarketed.


Merchandising includes dolls, stuffed animals, key chains and entire bedroom collections.

“I bought Care Bears sheets for my dorm,” says Sarah Ferenczy, a marketing sophomore at Louisiana State University. “But they look different than the originals, so it’s kind of weird.”

Not everyone is a fan of the retro cartoons’ refound popularity.

“I liked [the cartoons] when I was little, but now they are redone and it seems like it is corrupting my childhood memories,” says art freshman Lacie Lovelace.

The cable channel VH1 recently created the “I Love the 80s” television specials that featured celebrities waxing nostalgic on everything from fashion to music from that decade.

Celebrities have jumped on the retro fashion bandwagon. Jennifer Lopez was recently in legal trouble for her “I’m Glad” music video that copies scenes from the ’80s movie classic, “Flashdance.”

Fashions like those worn by Lopez in the video appeared during this year’s New York Fashion Week. Retail stores have copied the designs of the large scoop neck shirts, sheer tops, frilled skirts and stiletto-heeled Converse boots.


“Those clothes were not attractive then, and they are not attractive now, but I wouldn’t mind a pair of those boots in purple and gold” says English junior Amy Lovelace. “As long as they don’t bring back acid-washed jeans, I don’t mind it.”

In another fashion direction, vintage punk clothes are making a comeback. Musicians such as Avril Lavigne and Good Charlotte have popularized the “Goodwill chic” style of wearing old or seemingly old clothes — especially T-shirts.

Mall stores have stayed current with the retro trend. Clothiers such as Express and Bebe carry new designs featuring the retro look. Pacific Sunwear and Goodwill itself cater to the vintage style crowd, and other stores such as Abercrombie and Fitch are purposefully creating name brand clothes with a worn out look.

“It’s all just a fad,” Ferenczy says. “The 1970s were cool in the 1990s and now they’ve run out of stuff to copy from other decades. Nothing is original anymore.”

Radio stations, especially Top 40 stations, have begun to put 1980s music back in rotation. Some stations have hourly blocks of only ’80s music.

Classic ’80s movies, such as the “Back to the Future” trilogy, are back in digitally re-mastered DVDs. Cable channels, such as TBS and AMC, frequently have ’80s movie nights and show such memorable films as “Pretty in Pink” and “Say Anything.”

“Those teen movies are classics and are much better than the stuff we have now,” Amy Lovelace says. “It’s better that those make a comeback rather than the mullet hairstyle.”