It’s been one of the hottest summers on record. What better way to cool off than by reveling in the “marine chic” style of the 1984 hit film Splash, starring Daryl Hannah and Tom Hanks? Before there was Ariel, there was Madison…
…and she knew how to use a crimping iron.
Precisely because there were few child-friendly films featuring a sea creature, a fairy tale plot and an all-star cast, I remember being captivated by the preview for this movie about a mermaid who comes to New York City in search of love, specifically Allen Bauer (Tom Hanks). And seeing this film in the theater as a kid was an experience that did not disappoint, nor do present-day DVD viewings. What can beat the comedic banter of Tom Hanks and John Candy?!
Another area that holds up? The design–both fashion and interior. Several key scenes in the film involve Madison (Daryl Hannah) making a shopping trip to Bloomingdale’s. And boy did she rock the long-sleeved turtleneck mini-dresses and tan ankle boots that were the products of her buying spree! Check out the frocks below:
For a sampling of Madison’s style, check out this 80’s Turtle Neck Sweater Dress (shown at the right) from Etsy shop Klub Kid Vintage, which features amazing finds of the ’80s and ’90s variety. Not only can you update the dress with an edgy belt (as shown here), but the flattering fit of its skirt balances the stylishly roomy top, complete with rolled sleeves.
While knit dresses were perfect for exploring NYC, there were occasions for formality, such as the President’s Dinner, which Madison and Allen attend. This dinner turns out to be the setting of the film’s most dramatic scene. Those of you who remember Eugene Levy holding a water hose know what I’m talking about here!
Check out Madison’s dress (to the left, top). Note the shimmer, sparkle, and ocean-evoking hue, then shift your eyes to the ’80s vintage Avant Garde Mermaid Top (bottom, left). This gem of a find is courtesy of the wonderfully-named Etsy shop Trail of Sequins. A cheeky take on mermaid chic!
Since we’ve shifted to fashion with a metallic sheen, let’s take a look at two more fish-inspired items (scroll down). The first is a mermaid-style Vintage 1980s Prom Dress (shown below, left) from Etsy shop Viva La Vintage Shoppe, a source for beautiful vintage clothing, including formals and wedding gowns. This radiant find is from the prom dress-prolific Zum Zum. A ruched bodice combines with metallic flouncing at the bottom to create a true fishtail effect that is undeniably mermaid!
Next we have a scaly accessory from Etsy shop Junkyard Garden, which features vintage purses, belts, shoes, scarves, and more. Their Vintage Metal Fish Scale Belt (below, right) consists of gold-toned scales and a silver-toned buckle. Can’t you see this paired with a sleek ’80s dress in a solid color?
These reflective finds would make Madison proud:
Splash–Inspired Interior Design
Let’s now turn our attention to the sleek interior design showcased on the set of Splash, particularly in Allen’s apartment. What’s not to love about the abundance of fish tanks, including the circular built-in aquarium below? Also note the combination of modern elements (hello geometric bedspread) with more traditional choices (like the seashell botanicals shown in the top middle photo):
Since we’ve just discussed metallic fashion, let’s zoom in on some irresistible metallic interior design choices and finish the post with a true showpiece:
One of Mirror80’s favorite Splash-tastic motifs from Allen Bauer’s apartment is the prevalence of metal accents, brass and other. Check out the gleaming decorative items to the right. For the top image, we have a still from Splash featuring the lovely Daryl Hannah and a stylish lamp (at the far left). For the bottom image, we’ve spotlighted this 70s Glam Cast Metal Table Lamp, available through Etsy shop Retrosymphony. An updated shade (not included in the purchase) adds a contemporary vibe that makes the piece timeless.
A special thank you to my Etsy friends for making this post possible. You’ve helped illustrate how the color and reflective shine of the sea can bring a film favorite into today’s wardrobes and interior spaces!