Looking for Snowdown inspiration from the 80s?

by David Holub

It seemed a totally awesome idea to highlight some of Sideshow’s vintage collection in a photo shoot for inspiration for the upcoming Durango Snowdown: Back to the Eighties. The idea evolved and expanded into a serendipitous and fun networking project. My vintage-freak colleague Tirzah Camacho, jewelry designer Brande Thorpe, gorgeous girl-about-town Molly Ferrer, Susan Livingston of Magic Brush face painting, and myself joyfully collaborated to promote our businesses, talents and endeavors all in support of Snowdown.

’80s urban

Tirzah (left) channels early hip-hop in red faux-vinyl pants (high-waisted, pleated, pegged) with leopard and lace blouse under a pimpin’-fresh vintage leather and rabbit fur cocoon coat. Skinny-brim fedora (eeeh-heee insert Michael Jackson shriek here), iconic rapper glasses, Brandelyon retro chain and leather necklace and earrings complete her look except for a baby leopard on a leash. Google “Dapper Dan Harlem” right now for a fascinating look into the history of ’80s early urban and hip-hop style and the businessman who started it.

Molly was backstage at Mötley Crüe in this cropped, wide-shouldered shiny vinyl motorcycle jacket and leopard top, ’80s “trifecta” skirt (short, tight, shiny) and wrapped-scarf wristband (do this on your thigh or calf, too: Americana bandanna a la Springsteen, sparkly Steven Tyler and pop-bright Punky Brewster styles were all happening). Madonna/Ozzy cross and leather necklace and earrings made locally by Brandelyon Designs. Stacked-heel brown suede sandals contrast with dark hose (the ’80s say it’s OK if there are rips and runs, because goth and post-punk). Her shoes are off because it’s 5:30 a.m. and she’s been dancing onstage at the Crüe show all night, remember? But Molly’s look still holds like the silver-can Aqua Net in her gorgeous, video-vixen-sized bighair. Bold, bright eye makeup continues onto the cheekbone in multicolored leopard spots, applied by Magic Brush face-painting of Durango.

Feels like: Run DMC, Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa with Spinderella, Tawny Kitaen, Whitesnake, Lita Ford, hair bands.

Rainbow Brite

Brande is a futuristic New Wave Rainbow in a white leather mini with teal tights, rainbow laser pleated top with low-slung wide, white leather belt and silver headband.

She could just as easily wear a scrunched-down flat boot, ankle-socks and pumps, or colorful high-tops with this. A perfect outfit for roller skating to the “Xanadu” soundtrack. Brande’s leather and multi-chain necklace and wristband are of her own Brandelyon Designs and are locally made and available in Durango. Makeup by Susan Livingston of Magic Brush. Feels like: Jem and the Holograms, Rainbow Brite, valley girls, Boy George and Missing Persons.

Breakfast Clubbin’ in a spectrum of styles

Here I am in ’80s-trendy, daywear mode: little round brimmed hat, strong-shouldered Sassoon blazer with lapel-flair (the more the better), plaid crop-top over high-waisted jeans, leopard wristband, vintage ivory leather booties with neon laces and no socks. She’ll just read the Cliffs Notes, instead of that whole Gremlins book. Feels like: Any heroine in a John Hughes movie, Debbie Gibson.

Molly’s scarlet-red post-disco boho jumpsuit looks bitchin’ with suede scrunch booties and a ’70s ultrasuede snap jacket (because she didn’t just stop wearing last year’s garments once Reagan was elected). A skinny metal stretch belt and a chunky gold chain bring the required ’80s gleam and are a rich contrast to the suede. Feels like: Stevie Nicks, post-hippie/pre-New Age bohemian, Janice from the Muppets, Sloane Petersen in “Ferris Bueller.”

Tirzah’s ensemble is volcanic with the oversized graphic ’80s bigshirt with a popped collar, tightly-belted over a stretchy pencil skirt. Hot pink was de rigeur, even on a Lady Dundee-fabulous wool fedora. Preppy elements like Wayfarer-style shades and shiny loafers looked even cooler, because smoking cigs was cool back then. Feels like: Extras in any John Hughes movie, the movie “Mannequin,” the shopping montage (post-apocalyptic edition) from the movie “Night of the Comet,” ladies in the Benson & Hedges ads.

New Wave Brande popped on a neon green fanny pack to hold her Walkman so she could roller skate and listen to the Psychedelic Furs on cassette while kissing Richard Butler’s pic on the record cover. Side-swept hair, silver headband (also wear while aerobicizing!), multiple long dangle chains (or use pearls or beads a la early Madonna) over a batwing-sleeved top (a nice element that’s still being designed now), leather mini, studded belt stolen from the punks, and elaborately asymmetrical makeup almost guarantees a marriage proposal from any ’80s eyeliner’d rocker you may be crushin’ on.

When purple rained

Splashy, oversized prints were a must in the Age of Exaggeration. A flattering fit-and-flare shape in bright, romantic florals, tiered miniskirt and off-shoulder cap-sleeves make this the perfect ’80s party dress. Shiny satin opera gloves and big round shades (in popular purple – all seen on both Prince and Madonna in the ’80s) are making Heather just wanna have fun until she gags on the proverbial spoon. Chokers were as popular as headbands; this one is sequins with a romantic satin rose. Eighties-out your head by pushing your short hair into a faux-hawk, spike it out with crunchy gel or slick it back like the ladies in Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” video. Long hair? Make it big! Tease, crimp and then sculpt a Jersey Claw out of those bangs, hairspray, then hairspray again. Then spray one more time, because … ’80s!

Photo shoot styling credits: Clothing and accessories from Sideshow Emporium; face painting and makeup by Susan Livingston of Magic Brush; handmade retro ’80s jewelry by Brandelyon Designs; styling by Heather Narwid and Tirzah Camacho. Photos by David Holub/DGO, shot in downtown Durango and at Sideshow Emporium on Sunday.

Heather Narwid owns Sideshow Emporium, a vintage and second-hand clothing store recently relocated to downtown Durango from Dolores. She thinks you look nice today. Ask her anything at [email protected]

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