Everyone Loves a Theme: Ladies of the 80s

Continuing in the Theme series, here are two ensembles I came up with for two dance parties.

The first was was back in December 2013. Theme: Holiday: 30 years of Madonna.

 I actually have the components of a ‘Boy Toy’ era outfit, but knew that a crinoline would become uncomfortable pretty quickly on the dance floor. Instead I made myself a very versatile stretch suiting black miniskirt that sits at my natural waist (good for retro looks 60s-80s) and a very simple cotton mesh top. Miraculously I found a brand new old stock ‘Corselette’ with a bullet bra top to wear underneath. To preserve the shaping I stuffed the points with some nude tone stretch mesh I had leftover from another project. A subtle mashup of early era Madge and the famous Jean-Paul Gaultier Look from the Blonde Ambition tour. I had a great time – a fabulous way to celebrate my 30th birthday/the 30th anniversary of Madonna’s career…

80s-fashion-madonna-pictures

‘Lucky Star’ look c. 1983

madonna-lucky-star

My look was heavily influenced by the ‘Lucky Star’ video.

Madonna Madonna Blonde Ambition Tour - Japan - April 20th, 1990 Nishinomiya Stadium Osaka,  Japan April 20, 1990 Photo by George Chin/WireImage.com To license this image (7619604), contact WireImage: U.S. +1-212-686-8900 / U.K. +44-207-868-8940 / Australia +61-2-8262-9222 / Germany +49-40-320-05521 / Japan: +81-3-5464-7020 +1 212-686-8901 (fax) info@wireimage.com (e-mail) www.wireimage.com (web site)

Madonna
Madonna Blonde Ambition Tour – Japan – April 20th, 1990

Madonna Inspired Ensemble. Skirt and Top by HLB.

Madonna Inspired Ensemble. Skirt and Top by HLB.

The studded belt and chains were in my closet/costume stash already. I love the rhinestone cross and the excuse to incorporate it.

Madonna Ensemble Belt detail. Found chain necklace and rhinestone Maltese cross pendant.

Madonna Ensemble Belt detail. Found chain necklace and rhinestone Maltese cross pendant.

Full Maddona inspired look for the 'Holiday' dance party 2013.

Full Maddona inspired look for the ‘Holiday’ dance party 2013.

I also made some stretch mesh wrist cuffs.

Scrunched hair and a big headband completed the look.

Scrunched hair and a big headband completed the look.

Much more recently, the same DJ duo had one of their annual “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” parties – All Divas, All Night. Previously, I’d made an all purpose Diva Dress, but I wanted to be more nerdy and specific, so I re-watched the music video and went with this look:

Whitney Houston (from the 'I Wanna Dance with Somebody video 1987)

Whitney Houston (from the ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody video 1987)

2cdce9ce05b34ec65c239998882bca22I started by constructing a tiered petticoat with two layers for volume. This kind of project is pretty simple but very time consuming and tedious with endless gathering and hems. A wide spandex waistband sits smoothly and was comfy for dancing. The white stripes are strips of twill tape topstitched on after the skirt was assembled. To make the edge ruffle, I cut strips of a sheer knit fabric and hand gathered it as I stitched it to the lower hem.  That’s about 480″ of lower hem.

IMG_2361

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody” Skirt by Heather Lee Bea 2015

IMG_2368

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody” Skirt: underlayer detail.

IMG_2371

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody” Skirt: ruffle hem detail.

The top was a quickie build from some black t-knit in my stash with a wide top band that can be work off the shoulder or on.

IMG_2374

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody” Ensemble by Heather Lee Bea 2015

This was actually the same purse I wore with the Madonna look. It’s a great 80s piece that’s a good size and has a zip closure.

IMG_2375

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody” Ensemble by Heather Lee Bea 2015

Completing the look: perm roller curls and a leopard satin print headband (made from some leftover fabric). And my fave dancing heels…

IMG_4098

Perm rollers in damp hair to get the look.

IMG_4119

Early on in the evening my hair was in tight ringlets.

IMG_4184

by the end of the night the do relaxed and I liked the effect better.

The complete look: "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" ensemble 2015 by HLB.

The complete look: “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” ensemble 2015 by HLB.

 

***Bonus: This Cyndi Lauper outfit I made years ago as a Halloween costume. It was inspired by the cover photo for She’s So Unusual. IMG_2380  One day I hope to break it out again, with an updated top…

IMG_2388

“She’s So Unusual” Cyndi Lauper outfit c. 2005?

Hope you are digging these “Theme” posts. It’s fun to finally document these things.

~Heather

4 Responses to Everyone Loves a Theme: Ladies of the 80s

  1. Tyren Veasley says:

    Hello my name is Tyren Veasley, I am competing in the Miss Beta Epsilon Scholarship pageant at Langston University. I have been on a search to find the same outfit that Whitney wore in here “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” video and it has lead me to you! I need it for the talent part of the pageant because I am dancing to that song. Are we interested in selling??

    • Heather Lee Bea says:

      Hi Tyren,

      Sorry, but I’m keeping this one! It’s fairly easy to recreate – a tiered skirt with white trim over the seams and red ruffle on the bottom. You could probably find an existing skirt and add trim for a less involved costume. The one she wears in the video looks more like a square dance crinoline which are pretty widely available and are much fuller (more layers) than mine is. I kept it lighter for dancing all night. Mine is also shorter since I’m a shorter person. Hope that’s helpful!

  2. Kelly Parker says:

    Just found out about an 80’s fundraiser in November–You’re Whitney Look officially inspired me!!
    #awesome

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of you company name or keyword spam.