Sunday, 25 August 2013

The Plane!

Wendy Brandes recently issued the challenge to try wearing just one earring. For some of us the word "again" would apply here, and this arrangement also lately cropped up on Advanced Style. Here's my version with a homegrown vintage '80s airplane earring, decidedly not missing its mate which I gave away or lost years ago:

multi-colour feather print blouse with bell sleeves: Joseph A., gift from dear friend
wrap belt: thrifted at the Kitty Cat Store, worn here (2nd look)
pencil skirt: Urban Behaviour, thrifted, worn here
tremendously awesome orange shoes: Cydwoq Instinct, ebay, worn here

As previously demonstrated, I usually feel over-decorated if I switch out my constant set of mis-matched silver hoops (2 plain on the right, 4 ornate on the left, most visible here and here) for a pair of larger earrings - but wearing just one felt just right. 

airplane earring: lone survivor of the '80s
antique orange amber bracelet: a gift from my mother, worn here
black watch and other bracelets: detailed here

I remember '80s style as quite wonderfully campy - a time of greater connection with the concept of daily wear as costume. The incorporation and explicit re-imagining of all kinds of symbols (religious and otherwise), including elements of uniform (across eras, military and otherwise), was directly referential to world and pop culture events of the time. There seemed much greater scope for creatively developing one's unique version of image rather than selecting from among a few narrow branded and pre-packaged looks.

I also loved the rampant asymmetry - one could even buy mismatched earrings in "pairs." I've been on a few hunts through various stashes of stuff, but sadly haven't come across these floral cloisonné earrings - one is a moon and the other a star:

winter 1984/5 (slightly earlier than these photos)

I didn't find a picture of myself wearing the airplane(s) either, but we were walking hieroglyphs as a matter of course - here is a fake diamond stud and a silver snake from the post-Mohawk Year of the Hairband:

spring 1986 (same time period as here)

Back to single earrings - remember the soap opera affectation of taking off one giant earring to answer the phone? And how they wore clip-on instead of pierced earrings all the time when barely anyone in real life did anymore? Do they still do that earring-off-to-get-the-phone thing? Do they have cell phones yet? Do they take off an earring to answer their cell phones? And have they ever put the earring back on after? (I don't have TV, help!)

Is there an aspect of style from any era that you miss? I'm taking my nostalgic self over to Patti's Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday. See you there!

*EDITED to add P.S. guess what else! It's '80s week at Spy Girl too!


  1. Oh, Amber, we have something in common! Well, besides loving clothes and red shoes. I don't have a TV either. LOL. But I do remember the scenes where women would pull that earring off to answer the phone!


    PS -- I nearly forgot to comment on your old pictures!! Oh my, look at your hair! I love it!!

  2. Funny post. And you gave me several ideas since I wear clip-ons.

  3. Lovely post! And ... it's your birthday today, right? You look better than ever. Have a great day!

  4. I didn´t recognised you with hair, ahhhhhhhhhhhh
    You have always been sooooooooo beautiful.
    Love the top, the belt and gorgeous plane earrings are so up my alley.
    Happy birthday, Amber.

  5. I remember asymmetry and I miss it - let's revive it! Love the way you've styled one fabulous earring, and of course the red and black outfit is divine. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday!

  6. I was right there with you in the 80's with the asymetrical ear adornments! I either wore just one earring (I remember a long chain with a silver ring on the end that didn't fit on my finger), or mismatched sets like your moon and stars. You had the perfect hair for that era! Sadly, I have nothing left of my accessory stash from that time period.

    Those are the most marvelous shoes - you and Megan are inspiring such serious shoe envy these days.

  7. I didn't see that post of Wendy's, but I do like mismatched earrings. I tended to do it with my second earholes, just wearing one usually. I hadn't worn double earrings for years, but I'm rediscovering that trend so I can use my little post earrings more often.

    I love that little airplane! And I really enjoy seeing those old photos - what fun stories there must be behind those...

  8. Love your outfit--and those shoes are freakin' amazing!!

    Ah the 80's--the giant earrings, the giant shoulder pads.....

  9. I had big hair in the 80s! big fat perm! i loved it at that time
    It's in 80s that i started to be a little more creative with my clothes, i loved what was out there at the time -
    My earrings are missed match - i always wore one earring or miss match earrings, that's the way it should be worn i think!
    I love you younger, you look amazing! but i love your buzz hair now!

  10. Just say YES to NO TV! :-) Those pictures of you when you were young, I LOVE THEM!!! I see you have been styling since back in the day... I was the girl wearing the asymmetrical bob with the one long earring on the short side. :-) xo

  11. very cool outfit, love all your accessories

  12. I just love it when you post pictures of Amber that was then. So very beautiful, then and now.
    Yes, I do indeed recall the one/asymmetrical earring look of the 80s, I have one ear with a single piercing and the other has three, from that very era! I got the second hole put in specifically for wearing a single long dangly earring.
    I do love your soft and delightful blouse with the amazing sleeves, and the orange shoes are certainly both tremendous AMD awesome.
    I can't vouch for the soaps of today (don't watch any) but I was always fascinated by the removal of the clip-on earrings for phone-answering purposes in Dallas, etc. I thought those women were SO glamorous. I was equally intrigued by how they managed to kiss their menfolk (or other people's menfolk) with all that lipgloss on, and not smear it all over their perfect faces. Any ideas how they managed it? Perhaps I just didn't do enough snogging in the 80s to learn the correct technique, though heaven knows I tried! xxxxxxx

  13. Gah! Love the 80s pics and all that hair! And the airplane earring is wonderful as it flies so close to your head. I DO remember the affectation about taking off the earring to speak on the phone. While my ears are pierced, I rarely wear earrings and kinda like the clip-ons BETTER.

  14. "I remember '80s style as quite wonderfully campy - a time of greater connection with the concept of daily wear as costume."
    Oh but that some of that would come back!
    Enjoyed the trip down memory lane and the photos of you from the eighties! I remember the one earring thing. Also remember wanting to be a new romantic (with no chance of finding any of that type of gear living where I did at the time - it's why I got into sewing probably).
    Wonderful top and belt! I do enjoy the silhouettes you create with an obi belt and your clothing xx

  15. I am smiling looking at the eighties picture. I could have been your twin sister! I do remember the one oversized earring trend and wore it with pride. Your comments about the the 80s fashion were right on. Gosh I do love anything asymmetrical. Just bought a snake skin asymmetrical jacket with black graphic lines.....digging the 80's redo. This is such a pretty outfit especially for the summer. I love the shoes, comfortable and red. How can you not like that combination. I think the wrap belt looks so great on you, it feels like a signature piece of your style.

    blue hue wonderland

  16. Beautiful then. Beautiful now!

    I continue to wear clip on earrings, and I sometimes take them off when talking on my cell phone. Vintage earrings are another category of accessories to be adored.

    Yes, your shoes are tremendously spectacular. But I don't remember a time when they're not!

    Wearing one earring is a great idea, which would mean that I could wear the earrings that have lost their mate.

  17. I think I had a pair of those cloissonne earrings! I definitely do miss the "anything goes" of the 80s. It really freed me to express myself.

    Love this outfit, Amber!

  18. I had those same sun/moon earrings! I had lots of those mismatched pairs of earrings. I always ended up liking one better than the other. :)

  19. I love it all!! Your beautiful pencil-skirted outfit, jewelry, and shoes, plus the adorable, sweet picture of you with the earring. I also wore singles and i'd do it again, just hadn't thought about it. The multiple holes in my ears have long since closed up, too. The pierced nose and shaved head that I contemplated in the late '70's /early '80's never actually happened, for better or worse. Given the shape of my skull, it's probably better. I still have a Commes Des Garcons dress from back then, a very simple black jersey piece, and I remember knocking off some of those early styles. I loved my giant oversized clothes in black, my first pair of DM oxfords before most people knew what they were, all this in contrast to the sequins, spandex, and pumps that I wore on-stage while singing in a top 40 band. (Shhh-don't tell anyone!)

    The soap opera/movie earring affectation you mention is hilarious! It became such a sign of glamor, in a way. Thank you for such a delightful post. I love the way you look now, with references to the past. XXXXXOOOOO

  20. Black accents can jazz up a blouse pretty fast! I love this slimmer, less twirly silhouette on you, just for fun. Very chic ... you single cross. I had similar moon, star earrings, only in brass ... but rarely wear them anymore.

  21. Love the airplane earring!!! I have way more single earrings than sets. I never match my earrings.

  22. gawd, for some reason I don't remember the 80s...other than I crimped my hair, same cut as now, just crimped - so I had an Egyptian, Cleopatra look going. Maybe I don't remember because I've never really dressed in style...
    Anyway, you kimono-y top and obi look gorgeous and what's not to love with orange-red shoes!

  23. Love the feather print top with your Obi, and the airplane earring tops it off, as for those wonderful photos of you from the 80s how fun are they!

  24. OMG I HAD those moon and star cloisonne earrings! I think I may still have them stashed somewhere. Bought at a street fair in San Francisco back in the 80's. Now I'm going to have to go dig for them!!! Love your plane earring too. It's perfect on its own.

  25. Lovely post! Love seeing your photos when you were younger, what fabulous style! I love the airplane earring, it's so sweet, even if it's companion is now gone.
    As I was reading your words I was thinking how much you would have loved the exhibition I saw in London at the V&A museum
    I also got the book
    If you like New Romantic style of the 80's as much as me you're going to LOVE this book.

  26. Love seeing you in all your 80's Big Hair glory! Thanks for linking up with my 80's party!

  27. Your old hairstyles are killin' me! So, so good.

    I came along at the tail end of the '80s, but I was wearing some prodigiously long tassel earrings the other day and I had to take them off before eating lunch so that I wouldn't accidentally dip them in my curry. Daily wear as costume can be fun, but it can also be impractical!


Thank you for your comments!
- Amber