Family Photograph, 1980’s


‘Photograph of my mother, 1984’ (figure 1)

This photograph of my mother is from the winter of 1984, on a skiing trip in Poiana Brasov, Romania. Here I will be focusing on my mothers ski wear and style. As this was a ski holiday, she is wearing a retro styled all in one Rodeo suit from the store ‘C&A’.


‘C&A advertising print’ (figure 2)

C&A was and still can be quite a popular brand, my mother was proud to have owned something from there, reports show; ‘85 per cent of skiers once owned skiwear made by C&A. In many cases respondents had to think back quite a long way, because the C&A outfit was commonly their first.’ (Stephen Wood), this shows how popular it was and probably why my mother wore it.

Stephen Wood went on to say in his report; ‘One of my interviewees, the producer of the website, recalled that British racer Graham Bell once almost missed a World Cup event at St Anton through tending a young British skier knocked out in a fall: Bell figured from the C&A “Rodeo” brand skiwear that the child must be British’, this again suggests that not only C&A were popular, but also Rodeo, and it was a very common brand to see in British skiers such as my mother.

C&A now has more than 200 stores in Germany, but unfortunately none in the UK, however the Rodeo clothing range can be available in other stores such as Asos and Argos.

My mother had also accessorised her ski wear with large pearl earnings as apparently the bigger the better back then, however, I can’t imagine them being very suitable for skiing, they were just more of a fashion statement in the 80’s, ‘You know how cute Christmas ornaments look on a tree? During the 80s we thought the same would apply to our ears. Huge earrings from various costume jewelry collections were all the rage and if your earrings didn’t touch your shoulder, they weren’t big enough.’ (Alli Denning). Here is something of a similar style which also date back to the 1980’s.


‘1980’s Pearl earrings’ (figure 3)

My mother also had a crazy 80’s style hairdo, it was wild, big and curly, ‘The earrings were big and the hair was bigger’ (Samantha Escobar), even though she claims to have ‘hated it’ she went on to say; ‘It didn’t suit me, but I still had it done because it was fashionable, that’s what everyone did.. that’s what I like about it now, there are so many different styles, you can have your hair how you like..’, I can understand that, fashion seemed to be so set in it’s ways, there was no variety, it was all the same style in certain era’s, now there are so many different styles available, it shows how far different trends have come.

Here is another image of my mum from the same day in Poiana Brasov, Romania. I went on to ask my mother, ‘why were you wearing an all in one, rather than a jacket and trousers?’ and also, ‘did the clothing have any specific meaning to you?’, her response was ‘a one piece suit was just  fashionable to wear back then, it wasn’t very convenient or comfortable, but that was what everyone wore, it didn’t have any valuable or sentimental meaning to me, just a memory of a good ski holiday’. This shows it was more of a fashion statement than something which is just supposed to protect you from the winter ski conditions.


‘Photograph of my mother 1984’ (figure 4)

One piece suits became more and more popular in the sports field. Not only was there a wider range of skiwear, but there were a variety of catsuits and swimsuits available. ‘In the 1988 Summer Olympics at Seoul, South Korea, Florence Griffith-Joyner (known to fans and sportscasters alike as Flo-Jo) made headlines not only with her world record-breaking sprinting but also with her fashion statements which included one-legged and hooded catsuits’ (Joy Mckenzie),  although this talks about catsuits, it also shows that one piece suits were more of a fashion statement than just convenient sports wear.


‘Florence Griffith-Joyner, 1988 Olympics’ (figure 5)

‘One of the main similarities between fashion and sport is that they both strive for pleasure and play’ (Ligaya Salazar), I find this quote very true, and can relate it back to what my mum wore in the photo. You need to be able to feel good in something you wear whether it be for sport or not. Sports wear should be able to look fashionable whilst wearable for the type of sport you are doing. I think as time has gone on, people have been more experimental with this idea, creating fun and playful, but suitable outfits for us to wear in all kinds of sport conditions.

Fabletics is a company that launched in the UK June 2014. It specialises in designing sportswear to be ‘Fab’, making it more appealing on the eye. ‘The lifestyle sportswear brand, co-founded by Kate Hudson and Just Fab, offers clothing and accessories which focus on fitness, function and style. The collection, which is inspired by Kate’s wardrobe and active lifestyle, is designed for today’s busy woman who wants a gym kit she can feel good in’ (Rebecca Gillam). Not only are sports becoming more popular, but sports clothing in general, making them very common to see in everyday life.


1 – figure 1 – photograph of my mother, 1984

viewed on 6/11/15

2 – figure 2

viewed on 6/11/15

3 – The Independent

Every skier should have one: A C&A Jacket, By Stephen Wood

Wednesday 2nd October, 2013

viewed on  6/11/15

4 – Like totally 80’s

By Alli Denning, 2006

viewed on 10/11/15

5 – figure 3

viewed on 10/11/15

6 – GH GoodHousekeeping

The 13 Most Embarrassing 80’s Beauty Trends

By Samantha Escobar

viewed on 14-11-15

7 – figure 4 – photograph of my mother, 1984

viewed on 14/11/15

8 – Joy Mckenzie (1997)

the best in sportswear design

P NO. 98

viewed on 17-11-15

9 – figure 5

viewed on 17-11-15

10 – Ligaya Salazar

Fashion V Sport, 2008

Performance V Performativity

P NO. 62

viewed on 17-11-15

11 – instyle

6 Brilliant Sportswear Brands That Won’t Break The Bank…

By Rebecca Gillam, 2015

viewed on 17-11-15



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