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Eighties Trends Make a Classy Comeback

Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Updated: Friday, June 15, 2012 14:06


The upcoming movie release of the Broadway show “Rock of Ages” will have you wishing you could time-travel back to the decade when Guns N’ Roses, Poison, Journey and Pat Benatar ruled the airwaves. It may also have you drooling over the big hair, bright makeup and wild clothes sported by a cast that includes Julianne Hough, Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Mary J. Blige and Russell Brand. 

The release of the movie coincides perfectly with the revival of ‘80s fashion so you can channel the righteous “Rock of Ages” style without having to dig through clothing at thrift stores. 

Ditch the dated looks -- fanny packs, mall bangs and anything to do with Axl Rose – for an updated, classy (but still totally awesome!) ‘80s ensemble. 

The major ‘80s trend in clothing is neon. From Target and Forever 21 to the Gap and Nordstrom, you can find pants, shirts, shoes and accessories in bright hues that will make an outfit pop. Channel leading lady Julianne Hough’s character, Sherrie Christian, with Gap’s off-the-shoulder Harbor scoop T in neon orange or a pair of bitchin’ Mossimo cropped denim pants in lime green at Target.

Hair, much like the clothes and music of the ‘80s, was over-the-top. The mullet sported by Russell Brand’s character, Lonny, is a no-no today but certain hair trends from 30 years ago are once again fashionable.

“The ‘80s haircuts really aren’t coming back, but more the style,” said Chere, a stylist at 2BU Salon in Scottsdale Fashion Square. “It’s all about big hair right now.”

Chere has been a stylist for about 30 years and said the ‘80s look for ladies is reminiscent of Farrah Fawett -- long hair with a bit of feathering.

“We’re creating that same haircut, but it’s more of a style,” she said.

Another trend is hair-dipping, a la Avril Lavigne’s pink tips, similar to Cindy Lauper’s bright do, but obtained with a different technique.

“We would actually put fake extensions into people’s hair that were different colors,” Chere said. “We didn’t really do the whole dipping thing.”   

Chere sites the Victoria’s Secret Models as updated ‘80s hair inspirations.

“Most all of them have that really pretty, long wavy hair,” she said. “It’s ‘80s with way more class.”

The makeup of the ‘80s was colorful and exaggerated. Applied with a heavy hand to the faces of both sexes (Boy George, anyone?), it could be difficult to distinguish between male and female, causing some confusion for Alec Baldwin’s aged rocker character, Dennis Dupree.

The 2012 look is less about gender-bending and about color, according to Megan Taylor, makeup artist at the MAC store in Scottsdale Fashion Square.

“Bright lipstick, hot pink, corals, even hot purples are definitely in trend,” Taylor said. “It’s all about a revival in color.” 

She recommends a very simple, defined cheekbone, a fuller eyebrow and a splash of color, “whether it’s on your nails or on your lips, or cheeks and lips or on your eyes.”

Taylor said MAC’s seasonal line of products is developed based on trends seen in fashion collections from all around the world. Right now, the look is chic ‘80s.

Celebrities who get it right, Taylor mentioned, are the Kardashians, with their sculpted cheeks and bright lips.

 “Jennifer Lopez is a trendsetter when it comes to makeup,” Taylor said. “She’s constantly doing more of the high fashion look, rather than the theatrical look. Katy Perry does the theatrical ‘80s version. Jennifer has incorporated the influence in a high fashion way. It’s better for everyday.”

Whatever way you end up channeling your inner hair metal rock star, the main idea is to keep it classy. Don’t stop believin’ and don’t try to wear Tom Cruise’s backless leather chaps. 

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