When it comes to ’80s fashion, it’s hard to beat the album cover art of Duran Duran’s 1982 release Rio and Heaven 17’s 1981 release Penthouse and Pavement. Using the artwork of Patrick Nagel, Duran Duran spotlights big hair, big ruffle and extra big earring trends that graced the fashion realm of the “more is more” decade. And how perfectly does Heaven 17 evoke the empty yet style-filled world of ’80s corporate life through the artwork of Ray Smith?
Today we transition ’80s album fashion from the cover to your closet with the help of some awesome Etsy shops. Let’s start with Duran Duran’s Rio. Patrick Nagel’s dark-haired beauties had the fairest of skin and the most mysterious of eyes. And the most fashionable of ensembles. The one-shoulder dress pictured on the album cover below is channeled with the help of a plum taffeta one shoulder dress from DiscountDressShop.com, available in XS-plus sizes (shown below, bottom left).
WARNING: Attempting to wear the earrings from the Duran Duran Rio album cover can result in harm to yourself and others. Which is why we were delighted to find a more proportional version from Etsy shop Down East Attic, which offers an array of lovely decor pieces, fashion selections and collectible items from New England. How amazing are these ’80s modern Isle of Skye triangle earrings (shown below, bottom right)?! They capture the essence of the Rio album, from their purple color to their diagonal stripes.
Don’t think we’ve forgotten about the men… The young upwardly-mobile professionals on the cover of Heaven 17’s Penthouse and Pavement are as fashionable as they are busy. Practical yet willing to take wardrobe risks, they embody the spirit of the ’80s executive, and so can you with the items below! Ponytails are optional…
We’ll start with the vintage Oscar de la Renta pink tie (shown below, top right) from Etsy shop Preaimé Vintage, which offers an eclectic selection of stylishly-presented fashion, decor and kitchenware items. The necktie’s rosy hue pops against the backdrop of classic jackets, like the gray 1980s Christian Dior jacket from Etsy shop Old Stuff for Dudes (shown below, middle right). This shop’s offerings transcend the fashion realm, veering into electronics, games and other vintage finds of interest to the male gender!
We just had to include the retro hot pink telephone by Johnny Egg from ThisNext (shown below, bottom right), because what ’80s businessman didn’t match his phone to his necktie? Pinstripes convey sophistication and a sense of playfulness, as shown in a 1980s Clan Hall black pinstripe blazer (pictured below, bottom left). This ’80s fashion find comes from Armor of Modern Men, an Etsy shop with offerings as intriguing as its name!
Thanks for joining us as we recreated the looks of two high-fashion ’80s album covers! And a SPECIAL THANKS to Etsy shops Down East Attic, Preaimé Vintage, Old Stuff for Dudes, and Armor of Modern Men, who took this blog post from concept to reality!