Clash of the Decades – the 80s vs. the 90s

The age of big hair and funky leggings is forever immortalized in our culture. But which decade would win in a battle?

One of the biggest trends in pop culture right now is nostalgia for the decades past. Those were definitely simpler times, but then again each decade had its own ups and downs.

Fashion in the ‘80s was more than just punk clothing and sequined outfits. The eighties also saw the rise of the padded shoulder – Princess Diana popularized this power look. Cindy Crawford and Brooke Shields had quickly become the most popular models of the age, and Shields’ iconic eyebrows were imitated by many women. Action flicks, teen sagas, and sci-fi adventures like Back to the Future captured the collective imagination of Hollywood. On television, popular sitcoms like The Wonder Years and Seinfeld aired at the turn of the decade. The emergence of Madonna and Prince as true style icons was in this period. Teased and permed hair, frosted eye shadow and the signature glam punk look inspired the youth.

After the over-the-top indulgence, the ‘90s came as a breath of fresh air. The age of supermodels had just begun – Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista et al ruled the industry. Hair and makeup became more minimalist and stark, with dark lips reigning through most of the decade. The mid-nineties saw the emergence of the “Rachel” haircut, which is still popular to this day. Television series like Beverly Hills 90210 and F.R.I.E.N.D.S. were popular as much for their fashion as for their storylines. The movie Clueless can be credited with creating some of the most iconic ‘90s fashion moments, and for bringing Azzedine Alaïa into common parlance. Pop music really exploded with Michael Jackson, the Spice Girls, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and many more.

In this battle of excess and minimalism, the round goes to the ‘90s for being more adaptable and relevant than the somewhat cringe-worthy moments the ‘80s gave us.

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