’80s Bold Shoulders Come Back in Full Force for Fall

While the ‘80s power-shoulder was best modeled on the era’s equally powerful women — be they real (a young Princess Diana) or fictional (Alexis Carrington, aka Joan Collins in “Dynasty) — their style was heavily influenced by legendary designers like Thierry Mugler and Claude Montana — whose long lasting impact on fashion was felt more than ever in the fall collections.

At the hit Schiaparelli show from Daniel Roseberry, ​​”the proportions were bold and brassy,” observed WWD’s Joelle Diderich, with maxi shoulders carrying a whiff of Montana, who passed away just three days before Paris Fashion Week.

More from WWD

Olivier Rousteing also leaned heavily on the past, referencing the Balmain archives with hefty-shouldered trenchcoats, the epaulets tacked with gold snail-shaped buttons. “We are celebrating women,” Rousteing enthused to WWD’s Miles Socha of his all-ages cast. “She’s powerful, she’s strong, she’s confident and she’s beautiful.”

At Luar, Raul Lopez continued his exploration of different subcultures, empowering the next generation by bringing “the metrosexual” to the fore. “His taste for unabashed flash was laid bare with a new crop of boulder shoulder garments,” wrote Thomas Waller.

Another ultra-hot New York designer, Catherine Holstein, pumped out a stream of sculptural leather coats with big bold rounded shoulders, like the bordeaux one shown here. For Booth Moore, “the message was in the strength of vulnerability, which is Khaite’s way.”

More whimsical takes on the power-shoulder trend included Collina Strada‘s padded rubber “muscle shirts” and Jonathan Anderson‘s ludicrously capacious tweed coats, which Socha suggested could start a firestorm on social media.

Launch Gallery: Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Trend: Big Shoulders

Best of WWD