A fashion SNAP! moment happened earlier this year when a fellow editor friend of mine wore the same Dries Van Noten t-shirt as me at Paris Fashion Week—hers, a simple white version and mine, in that signature Van Noten navy blue. It was nothing extraordinary really, save for the extended pads that spanned across the shoulders. We laughed and quietly acknowledged that we’ve both come full circle, having lived through and worn shoulder pads in the ’80s, and now, wearing them again sans irony. It was that knowing laugh and smile that sealed it for me, a recognition that, yes, the ’80s and all its sartorial fabulousness is back with a vengeance.
Many who have lived through the ’80s are running back to shops to buy what they wore more than 30 years ago, while their kids are discovering the joys of large belted bags, oversize blazers and chunky sneakers. This ephemeral moment has extended for more than a year now, and it has crept in via hypebeast kids, fashion runways and social media influencers toting their bumbags and flaunting athleisure fashion on Instagram and #IRL.
This issue celebrates all the glitz and glamour of the ’80s, when style icons as diverse as Madonna and Princess Diana shared headline-grabbing covers. Turn to pages 40 and 42 to see their fashion style. In a camp, OTT remake of the iconic TV series Dynasty, Kris Jenner and Yolanda Hadid play Alexis and Krystle Carrington to hilarious effect on page 184—reminding us why soap operas from the ’80s were just so good.
Not everything is a look back on that era of style though—our Harper’s BAZAAR Asia NewGen Fashion Award winners, Rena Kok and Zoey Zhao, are making cool, new designs for the 22nd century, as seen on page 66. But even then, they gave stylistic nods to Grace Jones and Madonna: Kok’s hyper-modern use of latex, body-hugging dresses and bodysuits hark back to Ms Jones’ love for latex and cling, while Zhao’s glossy structured trouser suit bears resemblance to Jean Paul Gaultier’s sublime tailoring on Madonna during her “Blond Ambition” tour. Designers elsewhere are also referencing and updating elements from the ’80s. Which begs the question: Why are we all craving something from this magical era? Our fashion feature, “Fash-back”, on page 70, explores nostalgia’s grip on fashion and why the past has become a leitmotif for today. Just look at Nicolas Ghesquière’s most recent outing for Louis Vuitton cruise 2019, where he melds an ’80s silhouette with Art Deco graphics and Elizabethan opulence. See cover model, Stella Maxwell, in this standout collection on page 178.
And if you want to look like you haven’t aged a day since the ’80s, our beauty editor Dana Koh has all the potions, lotions, tricks and advice to keep you looking your permanent best in our annual Beauty Awards on page 130. Enjoy this era of excess—cos glamour never goes out of style.
—Kenneth Goh, Editor-in-Chief
Photographer: Yu Tsai
Stylist: Windy Aulia
Model: Stella Maxwell/The Lions New York
Makeup artist: Tatyana Makarova/Lowe & Co.
Hairstylist: Danielle Priano/The Wall Group
Manicurist: Martha Fekete/Bryan Bantry
Producer: Trever Swearingen/88 Phases
Digital technician: Jaime Magnifico
Photographer’s assistants: Nick Parisse, Drake Patton
Styling assistants: Jessica Murray