Last night I watched Stop Making Sense, the Talking Heads concert film from 1984, directed by Jonathan Demme. Besides being blown away by the music, I was blown away by the fashion.
It’s not particularly memorable fashion, but it defies the fashion sense of the 1980s by not being so, well, 1980s.
The color palette is neutral (no neon!) and the cuts are roomy but also point to things we might see, and actually wear, today. If you watch the concert, you’ll notice that bassist Tina Weymouth (new girl crush) starts out with a roomy jumpsuit and then changes to a miniskirt with arm warmers, patterned tights and suede boots… straight out of the pages of NYLON or a post on The Sartorialist.
Below is my favorite clip from the concert – for the song “Life During Wartime.” [Note: I’m still bummed that director Todd Solondz made a horrible, hard-to-watch movie bearing this title in 2009] Watch the back-up singers in their shorts/jumpers as they dance around having a blast along with David Byrne. I want to learn their moves and do it as a workout in my living room.
Note that they don’t have to have their breasts or asses hanging out to be beautiful and eye-catching. Would these outfits ever fly today? I don’t think so because:
1. They are comfortable.
2. They can move in them.
3. They dont’ show enough skin.
It’s too bad because, when you watch this video, the music and fashion are timeless. The only point during the entire concert when I could say for sure it was 1984 was during the last song, when the cameras turned to the audience, who were definitely rocking their 80’s finery.