In an AI-assisted fashion editorial, I pair the two extremes that 80s fashion had – conservative preppy fashion with rebellious rock styles.
Hello, lovely readers! It’s the second part of my AI-generated or rather, AI-assisted fashion editorial series. And everyone’s still talking about ChatGPT and other AI tools, so perfect timing!
I introduced my idea behind the AI fashion shoot series in the first part, so if you want to know more about the concept and process, please read Burlesque X Modesty: AI Fashion Editorial Series – 01
Preppy X 80s Rock
Preppy was athleisure before athleisure was a thing. But for the old money, upper-class people of the East Coast, an Ivy-league education was important (still is, if you’ve watched Gossip Girl, and let’s be honest – who hasn’t!).
So they sent their kids to prep schools to focus on the college applications. For these Blair Waldorfs and Nate Archibalds, everything was a uniform – from the prep school dresses they wore during the weekdays to the luxury casuals they wore on weekends. In fact, prep school uniform-inspired fashion is popular as ‘preppy aesthetic’, and even the aforementioned weekend fashion is trending these days on social media as ‘old money aesthetic’.
While preppy fashion may give the feel of old money and Ivy-level smarts, it also represents the feeling of suffocation that these kids have, feeling forced to follow their parents’ footsteps or fulfil their dreams instead of their own. As Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character said in Cruel Intentions, “Do you think I relish the fact that I have to act like Mary Sunshine 24/7 so I can be considered a lady?”
But 80s was not just a time for people-pleasing. The invention of cable TV made rock stars and bands like Bon Jovi, Metallica and Guns N’ Roses the idols, for music, lifestyle and fashion. As I write in our article on Fashion Photography, 80s was “all about themes like youth rebellion, college fun, dance, freedom and inclusivity.”
So to me, 1980s fashion is about experiencing extremes, and I think this would be the perfect ode to that decade. Mixing the immaculate, conservative preppy styles and the free, rebellious rock fashion. Think Madonna going to prep school.
Think lapels with piping, plaid, button up shirts and pleated trousers. Now add fluffy curtain hair, leather jackets, ripped faded denims and colorful graphic tees. Rich cotton, tweed and silk paired with leather, denim and suede. Color palette can include cinnamon brown, mustard yellow, azure blue, steel grey, navy and hints of red. Wow, I wanna!
Shilpa Ahuja the editor-in-chief of ShilpaAhuja.com, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion. Other than defining the direction of the magazine, she also writes about fashion & beauty trend forecasts, industry analysis, and opinions.
Shilpa’s work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times.
Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book “Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India”. Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University.
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