Heavy Metal Love…….1980’s Rockstar costume!

Unleash your ROCKSTAR!  We have a huge collection of authentic 1980’s rockstar costumes plus lots of accessories, perfect to finish off your heavy metal look!

My mis-spent youth!

My poor girlfriends……….I used to beg to stop by The Venue on Hindley Street on a Saturday night in the 1980’s.

My girls used to hate it, ‘cos they wanted to go onto nightclubs with wealthier men who would buy drinks but I loved hanging out with some (pseudo) and (real) metal heads……….it was the best place at the time to hear some good, old-fashioned metal of the 80’s or a new cover band………..

My friends knew as soon as I got in there I would start to run amuck on the dance floor so we had many arguments and compromises on the street outside to ensure I left in good time……..

White Leather designer Rockstar costume

Eighties Rockstar fashion

Eighties Rock Star fashion was a case of more is more – tighter, louder, more – think Motley Crue, Poison, Whitesnake and Def Leppard for the American white trash influence.  The late 1970’s, early 80’s and beyond saw fantastic DYI fashion from the UK.  There were great fashion moments, not to mention fantastic music by the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, and the whole punk scene in general.  In these photos I have concentrated more on the Glam Rock look……

Red PVC 1980’s Rockstar costume
Black studded Lawless Rebel jacket – 1980’s Rockstar costume

Eighties Rock Star is more concerned with glamour than the UK punk movement.  Both love studs and black leather but use them in different ways.  Eighties Rock Star loves tumbled curls, dreads, sensual hair while UK Punk has love-less spikes, tufts and clumps of hair.

Rock Star is an androgynous term, boy, girl, girl-boy, boy-girl – who knows?  The whole ambiguity is the sexy point.

Silver apocalypse-1980’s Rockstar costume
Pink mullet, pink pvc 1980’s Rockstar costume

This wasn’t a cheap look!  I remember paying crazy prices for the latest designer look of Rock Chick cheapness!

1980’s Rockstar costume – black and silver studs
1980’s Rockstar costume – silver and black sequins

The UK look was much more DIY with lots of creative uses of paint, denim and safety pins/chains/hardware – no laundry required.

It wasn’t a shy look or one for those lacking the self confidence to make an entrance.  One thing those high platform heels did, they made you strut like an empress just to get into a club.

I’ve never really been shy to dress up – I’d rather be overdressed than underdressed any day!  There’s nothing worse than feeling you’ve fallen under the line, and nothing better than feeling you’ve done the best job with what you’ve got to work with!  Nowadays I hear the young girls shriek with laughter when they uncover some of my vintage 80’s wear and yes, we really did used to wear that!

Thank God there weren’t cameras around then to record all our antics!

Rock Star is a pretty popular theme now and easy to nail.  Black leather, PVC, denim, snakeskin or animal prints are all good bases.  Throw on some silver chains, attitude sunglasses and hunt down some studded accessories.

You can’t overdo belts with this look, pair them with armbands, chokers, fingerless gloves and chunky jewellery for a Rock Star appeal.

1980 Rockstar costume
1980’s Rockstar costume – blue velvet bodice, PVC pants

Furry or fringed jackets are great if the weather could be cold, boots with buckles are a practical choice for stomping the dance floor all night, teased wild hair is mandatory.

Let your inner Rock Goddess out!

1980’s – an excess of fashion!

I was a teenager in the 1980’s and totally, utterly obsessed with fashion  I started my first job and my first pay was immediately spent on a turquoise cable knit “sloppy joe” oversized jumper .

(I received the handsome sum of $18 for working weekends at my Mum’s video store).

Once I was older and moved to the city my girlfriends and I lived for clubbing.   Shopping was our most competitive and consuming past time.  Now, I look back and thank the fashion gods that cameras didn’t proliferate like now.  Thankfully, photos of our most bizarre fashion moments are few and far!

I’ve been collecting vintage clothes and costumes since I was about fifteen years old.   Along the way I’ve gathered a huge inventory of fashion gems………here are some of my most favourite outfits from the fabulous, naughty, excessive, crazy Eighties!

80's festival dress
1980’s Festival skirt and blouse by “Mr Simon”

I love this outfit above – it is a crisp cotton material with heaps of gathering on the flounces of red, yellow and bright blue.   I’ve added a blue sash and gauze headscarf – it is by “Mr Simon”.

Pink and blue tulle 1980's dress

This cute gauze dress is another great example of early 1980’s blasts of colour.   The tiered skirt is bright hot pink and bright blue while the bodice is hot pink with blue spaghetti straps.  I’ve matched it with a soft blue lace top and white lace gloves and the mandatory beads plus doubled belt.

Red and black peplum 1980's cocktail dress Black gathered sequin cocktail 1980's dress 1980's peplum red satin cocktail dress

Soapies glamour!


Those synthetic cocktail/bridesmaids dresses are difficult to take seriously now but they were as popular as Dynasty and all the 80’s soapies stars with big hair, long nails, sharp heels and masses of hairspray manes.  Big hair and big attitude mandatory.

Styles included shoulder pads, peplum waists, gathering, elastic waists.  Chuck on some sequins for good measure.  If you were feeling too understated don’t hesitate to reach for some statement jewellery either.

Blue glamour cocktail dress 1980's Floral tribute like this didn’t come cheap – this bright blue cocktail dress had a designer price tag.

1908's green tartan outfit black floppy hat 1980's spotted overalls Kath Yellow and pink 1980's rockstar costume

My dream day outfit was probably the pink pvc miniskirt, black net top, lycra singlet and neon leg warmers.   What I ended up wearing would have been more like the middle outfit of a spotted pair of overalls!

White and tartan bubble dress 1980's Black silver dotted 1980's cocktail dress

Classic Eighties isn’t always huge pops of colour – it can be more subtle!  This cute white bodice combines perfectly with the tartan bubble skirt.  The black cocktail dress has silver dots, front gathering and a keyhole neckline plus heaps of attached petticoats.

1980's pop star dress

Too much?

Sometimes people ask me “Is this too much?”  and I always have to tell them I am not really the person to ask!  All these years of collecting vintage clothing has destroyed any perspective on dressing too over the top.  I’ve combined a strapless taffeta dress, tulle petticoats, studded belts, tons of bracelets, beads plus a fur stole with brooches……channeling my favourite Cyndi Lauper film clip, you know the one!  If this is too much, you could easily tone down by taking off some kilos of jewelry.

Some characterise the Eighties as a time of “greed is good” and excessive consumption – which I agree it certainly was – but there is a quality I really like about this era – the bravery!  Designers, music, pop culture, all served to push the boundaries of the fashion of the moment forward.

Glamour Eighties Style – how to get the Eighties look!

Eighties fancy dress shows are always popular and hugely fun!  We constantly have people asking for eighties fashion – when I show it to them they are usually aghast and proclaim things like “I can’t believe people wore that!” and “OMG that is the ugliest thing ever!”

Now I grew up partying in the eighties so let me assure you, at the time we thought massive hair, bold coloured make up, synthetic fabrics, shoulder pads and plastic accessories were the height of fashion – that is, when we weren’t ripping up our clothes, going all Mad Max, or then changing completely for the cotton “I’ve been to Bali” look.

The Eighties was all about excess and the “look” changed constantly and quickly – that was what made it such a fun decade to be fashion conscious in, really no rules went and strict rules applied, all at the same time.

What is really funny now is that some of the trends that the younger generation now associates with the eighties, fluro tutu’s come to mind here, were not really around, not that I saw.  Fluro colours were, but not head to toe fluro outfits generally.   That’s cool though, it’s all fun and we have heaps of options for those who just wanna have fun (equals wear fluro)!  Options now for Eighties fancy dress include lots of fluro such as fluro gloves, pantyhose, tutus, leg warmers and even make-up!

Purple dotted bubble dress - Eighties fancy dress
Purple satin dotted bubbled skirt dress with poodle perm wig and lace gloves
80's red satin ra ra dress
Red satin and lace ra ra dress with pearl details, poodle perm wig

Here are some more examples of real eighties, authentic vintage fashion:

80's white draped dress80's silver ruffle dress80's pink satin tuxedo80's rara80's cotton onesie

Note lots of synthetic fabric!  I think the only remotely natural fabric is the green boiler suit, replete with coloured zips at strategic spots! Everything else is in a shiny, satin, synthetic!  Also, lots of strong colour.

Now, it is getting harder to buy authentic 80’s vintage fashion – it is quite in demand at the moment, especially designer pieces.  Fortunately for Eighties fancy dress shows, there are now heaps of imitation items around as all us Generation X’s have had kids who want to recreate the look (although I can’t figure out why still!).  So, I’ve put together a few outfits from modern items, just to give some inspiration – bear in mind this isn’t exactly how we would have really dressed, it is more what we saw in the music videos that had just debuted……..but oh how we wanted these clothes!

80's pink tutu
Lace top, elastic belt, hot pink tutu, leggings and fluro green leg warmers
80's fluro copy
Fluro yellow net top, beads, orange tulle tutu, pink leggings, hot pink mesh armwear
80's fluro punk
Pink mullet wig, fluro necklaces, black lace singlet top, elastic waist belt, blue leather bodice top, hot pink mesh armwear, dotted ra ra skirt, lots of bangles!
80's fluro skirt
Fluro lace singlet top, studded hip belts, pink wig, pink net skirt, green leg warmers

So it is basically about layers and don’t be shy with colours!  Lots of bangles, lots of beads, and of course those accessories!  Below are some easy options available for purchase – you can throw these on over a couple of singlet tops and leggings, crimp and tease that hair, slap on some over-bright make up and you’re good to go!

5c888ff16bbca848dbc20bafe851b1d98cbeb59558fc39d8a72574cfeffb1d4f6eff9e0a51bf2c28 924c90cec251606aa5fd1f5ef008c2dd9975e357 ec112bf9fcbec30310b2b4a4f8868d1c4d827b44 ed0a9a93ff529a85998c1ffea60c8e0c5ae1bedc f07a9372ec2cf5b22b1dae61ac38f1bdb8607122 f88eb86c2e4447dbd757afa00cf858b9e32db5ca f4278e41fb03cfbe525c8544de11f6d0fe9453fb blue 38 green 38 646552dc0b5ded6162fb0cac58fafaf8237be212 pink