The Fashion World on Your Shoulders

by Ivana Markotic 

Since I am a product of the 1980s (albeit 1989), I am more than certified to comment on the big, or rather broad trend for Spring/Summer 2009…SHOULDER PADS! 

In January, at fashion shows in Europe, designers presented their Spring/Summer 2009 couture collections, giving us all a little hope that the winter snow will soon thaw and we will be able to leave our houses without layering.  Every fashion season seems to be a throwback to another decade, so it should come as no surprise when designers decided to revisit the 1980s.

Shoulder pads are the stereotypical portrayal of the 1980s: Melanie Griffith in Working Girl or the ladies of Dallas and Dynasty.  Perhaps shoulder pads were intended to give a working woman the stature of a man, subliminally making them equals in the workforce.  But how does one explain incorporating shoulder pads into t-shirts and sweatshirts?

Before you start panicking about your head not being proportional to your upper body in the latest trend, the modern day designers were inspired by shoulder pads, but took them in a new direction.  Couture shows featured tailored suit jackets with enhanced shoulders. But what sets the 2009 from the 1989 shoulder pad is the fine detail in tailoring, therefore giving the shoulder a sharp angle, unlike the bulky shoulders of the 1980s.  Jean Paul Gaultier, whose career was in its early stage in the 1980s, is a fine example of carefully crafted suit jackets from his Spring/Summer 2009 collection that incorporate the shoulder pads.  Beyond suit jackets, Givenchy presented equally inspiring looks featuring puffed sleeves and shoulder pads in blouses and shirts made of softer materials. 

As for ready-to-wear designs, Spring 2009 designs were presented in early October with Louis Vuitton leading the ‘80s reprisal with padded shoulders accented by bold colours.

Besides your padded bra, suit jackets with padded shoulders will help add definition to your outfit.  Before you brush off this trend, give it a try, because it may just elevate the status of your wardrobe for the spring.  

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