As they renamed it “Strong shoulders” for SS18, the shoulder pads are making their comeback. I remember these days in the early nineties watching my mom making her power suits. She always added shoulder pads to them. She would tell me that they empowered her. As a strong intelligent woman working in an all male environment, it seemed her shoulder pads gave her the emotional support she needed to reaffirm herself.
This fashion tool, hated by most after the 80’s trend was over, was invented by a Princeton football player named L.P. Smock in 1877. But in 1931 designers Elsa Schiaparelli and Marcel Rochas brought it to the fashion scene. Still it wasn’t fully accepted until a year later when Joan Crawford appeared in the movie Letty Lynton in a dress with massive shoulders. Shoulder pads were officially in.
In essence, in the fashion world shoulder pads fetch confidence and all things female empowerment. Lady Gaga herself has made it a feminist symbol by adopting the look. It may look unflattering, heavy and outdated in day to day life, but wearing shoulder pads on an amazing jacket while going out or to a special event can definitely convey this edgy trendy fashionista statement. It has something of a feminist history sort of sending a message to the guys.
Like I always say, fashion is a constant mutation of the past; on this it seems like the MC Hammer overdone shoulder is back, at least for now but we’ll find out for how long soon.
Below are the looks for SS18 shoulder pads revival shown in Paris Fashion Week from Jacquemus, Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Gucci.
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By Marie Caroline