'80s Excess Meets the Rich Mom—This Is the Niche Aesthetic Gaining Momentum
TikTok has a fascination with wealth, or at least what it "looks" like. The ongoing conversations and debates about "quiet luxury" and the "old money aesthetic" have taught us that. Around this time last year, the internet became hyperfixated on looking like a rich mom. A few months later, it was emulating older women who own beachfront villas. Emerging from the dust is a more elaborate fashion identity, marrying the glamour of the rich mom with the over-the-top kitschiness of the '80s through padded shoulders, ostentation, and flamboyant power suits. If you look like the wife of a Texas oil tycoon, you've nailed the part.
There was no such thing as too much in the '80s. The more the sequins and the bigger the fur coat, the better. Nothing reminds us more of the era's flamboyance than Dynasty reruns. Sure, it was melodrama at its soapiest, but Alexis and Dominique's quick-witted exchanges in padded-shoulder power blouses with the most conspicuous of statement jewelry was the show. More than 30 years later, the show's influence in fashion is unwavering.
Arguably, there are some designers who can be credited as helping usher in the revival. Just take a look at Saint Laurent's big gold clip-on earrings and Alessandra Rich's prim tweed suits. But it's worth noting that a subset of fashion people have long been carrying the torch of '80s extravagance—including model Zizi Donohoe, designer Rowen Rose, and content creator Anna Vitiello—giving the aesthetic a 21st century twist within their personal style. In a moment when uniformity and restraint have become fashion's modus operandi, dabbling in the world of high glamour is a nice reprieve.
The '80s are back, and you better get ready. Keep scrolling to discover the key pieces to get yourself prepared.
Looking inaccessible is an art form, but the easiest way to block out the demands of the world is via a pair of sunglasses. Besides lending an air of mystery, the accessory feels extremely glamorous, especially with the addition of a bold red lip or a slicked-back bun. Aviators were a defining silhouette of the '80s, but today's spin involves more angular shapes with gold-tone details for extra pop.
For once, we can do away with the notion of being "quiet" and "understated." If no one is noticing your jewelry when you walk into a room, you're likely doing it wrong. That means jumbo pearl necklaces, big bow accessories, and earrings that take over your whole earlobe. But for the sake of everyday practicality, these statement accessories are still supremely chic with a simple white tank top and jeans.
When Anthony Vaccarello gave us a runway full of exaggerated shoulders during Saint Laurent's S/S 23 show, it was the signal that the power shoulder has fully arrived. Vaccarello's version included floor-length leather coats and minidresses, but designers like Rowen Rose and Sergio Hudson have adopted the '80s hallmark with cool graphic blazers.
A wealthy woman of leisure has people to see and things to do—including lunch at The Beverly Hills Hotel and a facial at The Peninsula. And when she's doing it, you better believe it's in a statement suit (a skirt version preferably). In the '80s, the skirt suit was a wardrobe essential, but with the rise of utilitarianism and menswear-inspired trends, pants have prevailed as a more "serious" option. Thankfully, the skirt renaissance is here to fully revive the skirt suit, and we're buying them in multiples. But should you prefer handling business in a pair of pants, Dundas makes a great hot-pink statement suit.
Photo:@rowenrose; @bettinalooney; @zizidonohoe; @annarvitiello
Ostentation may be taboo within some genres of fashion, but here, you can leave your neutrals at home. The '80s Beverly Hills Barbie is no stranger to a good black tweed jacket, but ultra-saturated color remains the central point here. And perhaps no color symbolizes the boldness of the era more than fuchsia (hence why there's a lot of it here).
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