Eighties fashion makes a comeback

It is almost 35 years since US soap Dallas first appeared on telly. It had everything - conniving oilmen in cowboy hats, adultery, alcoholism and high fashion.

At its peak, Dallas had the attention of the world. Famous storylines included the dream sequence, a final-episode appearance by the devil and the Who Shot JR? cliff-hanger. But now, with a new series underway, there has been a spike in sales of Dallas inspired fashions, according to department store Debenhams.

This, of course, is all rather alarming to those of us who remember the big hair, puffy sleeves and shoulders so wide you couldn’t fit through the door - but since the relaunch of the hit eighties show, hordes of women have been snapping up the kind of clothes that might have been worn by Linda Gray or Joan Collins in their heyday.

Sales of tailored dresses and jackets, similar to those worn by the actress have more than doubled since Sue Ellen began to appear on the Channel 5 programme, says Debenhams. A €95 J by Jasper Conran tartan shift dress and €82 J by Jasper Conran jacket are amongst the best sellers. Some evening dresses from its Designers at Debenhams ranges in bold metallics and velvet, that wouldn’t look out of place at the TV hit show’s glamorous Oil Baron’s Ball, have also seen a jump in customer demand of 120%.

Glam 80’s trouser suits are also flying out of stores. The Betty Jackson black jacquard trousers priced at €57 and matching jacket priced at €48 proving to be the most popular. The same goes for pointed toe, stiletto heels, which customers are buying in favour of the chunkier platform sandals of the summer months. “Power dressing is back! Women are wanting to look a million dollars and are going all out to make an impression by heading straight for the tried and tested power-dressing tools made famous by the notorious Texans” says Michelle Dowdall, Debenhams spokesperson.

There seems to be a real trend for big, bold, impactful fashion going on, which could have spilt on to the high street from the small-screen. High heels are more popular than ever, in bright jewelled colours with embellishments. Sales suggest that the 80’s trend of matching your shoes and bag is also making a big comeback, says Debenhams. There has been a significant rise in sales of costume jewellery, with big crystals and pearls selling well.
“Customers are piling on the bling and splashing out on all sorts of costume jewellery to make a big 80’s style statement with their outfit. It’s as though Dallas reminds people of a time when the economic outlook was bold and bright – just like the cast’s wardrobe! “says Michelle.

Whilst the fashion in the new Dallas series is definitely softer and more classy than the original, they have retained the slightly brash, high-roller look, which may well be a welcome antidote to the more subtle trends and muted colours of recent years.