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#TBT 1980s Debs dresses

We’ll always have a soft spot for the eighties, when hairspray was an absolute must, lipstick was worn in Crayola-bright shades, pearls were a must-have for any outfit and we were all trying to channel our inner Madonna.

These Debs dresses from 1984 have sent us into a fabulous daydream of starring in Sixteen Candles and listening to Stevie Wonder’s I Just Called To Say I Love You (it stayed number one in Ireland for five weeks, would you believe!) Make sure you press play while you’re having a look at what all these larger than life gowns we wore to our debs that year.

There is nothing that epitomizes eighties’ fashion more than these long cream gloves by Johnston’s of Wicklow Street (which now remind us a little of very glam kitchen gloves to do the washing up with). The dress is a hand-painted bronze organza dress and was at the time exclusive to Richard Allan. Sure at least this one won’t have gone wasted in your wardrobe for years, you could always turn it into a pretty nice pair of curtains.

We love this ‘Russian stranded silver fox coat’ (£8000 by the way) from David Varde on Wicklow Street (and the model’s expression for that matter – she’s clearly had enough). The fuschia pink taffeta sleeveless Eavan Kelly dress though? Not quite as much. It reminds us a bit too much of our shower cap…

This white shadow fox jacket (£2500 in David Varde) is so luxurious that it distracts from the edge-of-the-bed frills at the top of this dress. The midnight blue raw silk boned and sleeveless dress was £129 in Soft Touch on Talbot Street. Does that mean there are real bones hiding somewhere in the fabric? It’s hard to know, the eighties were a strange time.

This red and black silk dress is by Jen Kelly. We can’t be too sure but it looks like it was published alongside a fax number for enquiries as to the price.

You know who this outfit would look really cute on? Marcel, the monkey from Friends.

What is that saying about blue and green not being seen except on a king or a queen? This ‘peacock blue water silk “Scarlet O’Hara” dress with cabbage rose’ by Ib Jorgensen suggests we should have paid more attention to that.

Wearing a skirt, top and glove combo is a pretty daring ensemble for a Debs so we can only salute this. This midnight blue silk harem skirt and matching black lace top with blue sequinned centres are both by Rachel Piggott. The gloves were from H. Johnston LTD on Wicklow Street.

Do any of the above take your fancy or have they been kept in our archive for a reason?

Hannah Popham @HannahPopham

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