I’m the first one the defend ’80s fashion, to write about all the good stuff. But that doesn’t mean I’m willing to turn a blind eye to what I call The Awful ’80s. It’s a look not defined by just one thing — it’s not defined at all, but you know it when you see it. I saw it plenty uploading scans from my vintage fashion magazines to the Periodicult Tumblr blog for what’s been nearly two years now. Here’s a look at a few of those special looks that fit the Awful ’80s bill and make me cringe a little every time I see them.


1. Jeanne Marc, Harper’s Bazaar, December 1981.

2. Marc D’Alcy, Elle , September 1989. Photograph by J. Ivan Rubin.

3. Sebastian International Cellophanes, Vogue, November 1982.

4. Yu-No/Merry Go Round, Seventeen, May 1984.

5. Norma, Vogue, July 1982. Photograph by Benjamin Kanarek.

6. Bonnie Boerer, Elle, September 1989. Photograph by Trudy Schlachter.

7. JouJou, Glamour, December 1981.

8. Flirtations, Seventeen, March 1984.

9. “Cats,” photographed by Richard Avedon for Vogue, November 1982.

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