You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Skip to main content

The Spring/Summer 2020 Trend That Embraces ’80s Glam and Grit

In terms of fashion, all decades are not treated equally.

While the ’60s has Brigitte Bardot and Jackie Kennedy as fashion icons and the ’70s honed bohemian style, the ’80s—a decade defined by acid wash denim, exaggerated proportions and exercise clothing—often lands on the wrong side of fashion history.

However, Flash, one of Fashion Snoops’ visionary trends for Spring/Summer 2020, sidesteps the decade’s cringe-worthy sartorial choices and plucks out its finest.

At Fashion Snoops’ Trend Immersion Day in New York City Monday, the trend forecasting firm revealed how the ’80s decadent nightlife and underground grit transpires into one of the season’s most energetic and colorful trends.

Flash is an Instagram-friendly trend, noted Michael Fisher, Fashion Snoops vice president of men’s wear. With its “explosive” color palette like red, purple, clover green and celestial blue, plush textures and rock star prints, the trend pops on screen.

Here’s a closer look at how Flash will influence trends in the beauty, home and fashion categories.


Bold, unapologetic fragrances are where Flash excels in beauty. Melissa Hago, Fashion Snoops’ vice president of beauty likened the scent to being in a club, sweating and dancing the night away with champagne being spilled on you. The trend lends itself well to beauty products infused with alcohol, like wine for its antioxidant properties, as well as luxurious ingredients including edible gold and glitter, silk and diamond dust.

Valentino WWD/REX/Shutterstock

Related Stories

Glitter effects (made through new sustainable processes), self-illuminating sparkle and easy glitter applications are on trend, Hago said. Nail art is inspired by street art and hair color takes on cartoon-like vibes. Old school hair techniques, like hot rollers, are modernized with more efficient versions.

And as a trend that speaks to individuality and “living your best life,” Hago added that Flash is key for brands in gender duality and transgender spaces.


For home, Jaye Mize, vice president of creative for Fashion Snoops’ home interiors and design segment urges designers to look through a dream-like lens and merge glamour with science fiction.

The Gallery at Sketch in London Ed Reeve/VIEW/REX/Shutterstock

Soft goods made with plush velvet, silk and other high shine lustrous textiles coexist with marble marquetry, pearlized materials and dark transparent hard goods.

As the season’s most overtly sexy trend, Mize reminds that Flash plays into fantasies. “We’ve been minimalist, we’ve been boho. Now we’re going glam,” she added.


Flash is not for the wallflower. In women’s fashion, Fashion Snoops co-founder and president Lilly Berelovich said the trend is based on excessive luxury, exaggerated shoulder lines, dance culture, punk undertones and grit.

“People want to be bold in their statements,” she said.

One of the main items in Flash is the cocktail top, a dramatic puff sleeve shirt with a sculpted neckline that can be dressed up or down. Peplum silhouettes are updated with softer shapes and metallic colorways. The peplum bodysuit also comes into play. Knits are dazzled with ombre or tonal sequins and gems.

The cocktail dress is also updated with strong shoulders, high slits and waist interest, Berelovich said. Other quintessential ’80s silhouettes due for a return include the skater dress—with exaggerated ruffles and mini lengths—and the slinky sequin slip dress, updated with revealing cowl back details. Even relaxed garments like the T-shirt dress, is refreshed with an asymmetrical ruffle or two.

Balmain dress
Balmain Pixelformula/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

The casual side of the trend is gritty and grunge, Berelovich said. Jackets have destroyed hems. Corduroy dresses down silhouettes. Bike shorts, an ‘It’ item proliferated by a flurry of celebrities and Instagram stars like Kim Kardashian West and Kylie Jenner, will carry on with liquid metallic updates.

Shoes are cocktail ready. Ruffles, jewel tones, metallic finishes and all-over rhinestone embellishments are de facto for Flash. Slingback pumps offer a futuristic look, while bronze—particularly in crinkled leather—picks up traction.

Vanity purses, or acrylic wristlets with mirrors on the inside for touchups, are among the trend’s most important accessories. Chain mail and rhinestones are also go-to embellishments for glasses, hair accessories and retro chandelier earrings.


Richard Gere’s style from the 1980 film “American Gigolo” sums up the luxe leisure look that men can look forward to with Flash, Fisher described.

For tailoring, Fisher said silver grey jackets with a soft sheen, higher button stances and loose-fitting pants with large scale pleats nod to the ’80s. The power suit is redone with roomier fits and collarless blazers add a futuristic vibe. Pieces are inspired by Giorgio Armani staples from the decade.

The robe coat introduces a dapper yet relaxed feeling to men’s outerwear. The classic denim Trucker jacket get a glam makeover with stylized print treatments and rubberized graphics.

Other key items include dressed-up polos, pajama shirts updated in silk, zip-front tops, elevated T-shirts and experimental knits—be it overly boxy silhouettes or elongated silhouettes.

Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani Simona Chioccia/IPA/REX/Shutterstock

To balance, Fisher said bottoms are oversized with extreme pleats and wide legs. Side snap jeans end at an awkward length. And lounge pants are redone in ultra-soft silk and satin. The nylon micro short in bright pop colors is taken out of the gym for everyday wear.

That play on gym attire carries into outerwear, where color block windbreakers, or parachute jackets, and technical layering is featured. Camouflage takes on a “cyber” or digital look, wet finishes update lightweight layering pieces and club knits offer a nostalgic ’80s look and opportunity for brands to bring their logos into the picture.

Oversized readers, Chelsea boots with color contrasting goring and high-shine or pearlescent weekend bags are among the attention-seeking accessories that round-out the trend, Fisher said.


For children, Flash expressed through color and exaggerated details, said Nicole Yee, Fashion Snoops children’s wear director. And the details are not saved for special occasions, she added.

Moque dress
Moque Giovanni Giannoni

Expect to see girls’ sweatshirts, T-shirts and casual pants with one over-the-top embellishment like an oversized bow or puffed sleeve. Ruching, Yee noted, appears in unexpected places like down the leg of a pant or sleeve of a top. And sequins add structure to sport shorts and jackets.

For boys, the trend zeroes in on ’80s hip-hop fashion. Track suits and velour sets are easy sets for boys, Yee said, adding that the pieces are also prime real estate for logos and slogans.