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The Influencers: The original 'nude' dress and the 80s rebels

28 May 2021
Ally Sheedy And Molly Ringwald In 'the Breakfast Club'
Ally Sheedy and Molly Ringwald in a scene from the film 'The Breakfast Club', 1985. Photo by Universal Pictures/Getty Images

From the start of haute couture to the disaster of double denim, we take a look at fashion through the decades and the stars with influence. Today we take a look at the 70s and 80s.  To view them all check out Style's digital edition out now.


Think Cher, Joni Mitchell and the notorious Studio 54, where all sorts of delicious disco-clad scandals went down. And Cher did the nude dress way before any of the Kardashians did.  Her 1974 Met Gala dress, designed by Bob Mackie, was almost completely sheer with a few feathers, beads and no pasties. It caused a bit of a storm. When she wore it on the cover on Time magazine again, some cities went as far as to ban it. It was also the era of Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, David Bowie, Diana Ross and, of course, Sir Elton John. And we all sighed in collective relief when Diane von Furstenberg designed the wrap dress in 1974. Two years later, five million dresses had been sold.

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Mark Sullivan 70's Rock Archive

Cher, Elton John and Diana Ross at Rock Awards Santa Monica Civic Auditorium 1975. All had their own distinctive style, that went on to influence fashion. Photo by Mark Sullivan/Contour by Getty Images


Romantic And Glamorous Hollywood Design Exhibition

Cher's and designer Bob Mackie created a storm with the original 'nude' dress. Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images


Pin Ups

Model Twiggy poses with singer David Bowie in Paris for the cover of his 'Pin Ups' album, 1973. Both were fashion icons in the 1970s. Photo by Justin de Villeneuve/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Farrah Fawcett

Actor and model Farrah Fawcett rose to fame in the TV series Charlie's Angels. Her famous hair 'flick' brought her recognition, but also her love of high waisted denim flares. Posters of her were popular. One of Fawcett in a red swimsuit has reportedly been purchased 12 million times. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Andy & Entourage

14th May 1974: Left to right: Artist Andy Warhol, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, and actor Monique Van Vooren, star of Warhol's 'Flesh for Frankenstein,' at the film's premiere at the Trans-Lux East Theater in New York City. Von Furstenberg is wearing one of her own famous wrap dresses. Photo by Tim Boxer/Hulton Archive/Getty Images


Madonna owned this decade. She wasn’t just a force of fashion, but created a social-cultural whirlwind. She spurned convention and brought sexuality to the stage in a way perhaps not seen since Elvis’s hip thrusts had people clutching their pearls in horror.
Cyndi Lauper was also fond of throwing out the rule book – though we shan’t forgive her for our grim DIY hair-colouring disasters.
We can’t forget (nor forgive?) the TV show Dynasty (1981–1989)for the power suit with shoulder pad situation. It was also the era of the Reebok worn with a slouchy sock, oversized everything, and did someone say Jane Fonda workout videos? And, of course, The Breakfast Club (1985) and Molly Ringwald.

Madonna In Detroit, 1985

Madonna was a force on the stage and in fashion. May 25, 1985, at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Ross Marino/Icon and Image/Getty Images

2nd Annual American Video Awards

Cyndi Lauper's fearless hair and clothes influenced the 80s. Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Fleetwood Mac

Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac not only was a force on stage but also in fashion. Her evolving style, with signature layered lace, corsets, and even a top hap, always had a rock'n' roll meets gothic/hippy vibe. Photo by Paul Bergen/Redferns


Jon Cryer And Molly Ringwald In 'pretty In Pink'

Jon Cryer, Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy starred in 'Pretty In Pink', 1986. The over-sized jackets and thrift store contrasted against the preppy look, and created the 'outsider' look.  Photo by Paramount/Getty Images

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