Dick Clark — the host of American Bandstand and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve — died yesterday at age 82. You’ve probably seen his famous Bandstand chat with Madonna a thousand times in the past 24 hours, but I’m going to link to the clip again anyway. I was glued to the television when this originally aired in 1984. I even mentioned Madonna’s big moment in this 2008 interview with gorgeous blogger Jill of Trend de la Creme.
Keep your eyes on her earrings!
On Monday, I showed you a coat and a newspaper clipping that I saved from the ’90s. You shouldn’t be surprised that I have most of my ’80s jewelry too. That includes the Madonna earrings.
I’ve shown them on the blog before; I occasionally wear them to Madonna concerts.
In the photo above, I’m also wearing the neon guitar-pick earring given to me by the first boy I ever kissed.
He wasn’t exactly a boy. As I recall, he was 22 and I was 15. I told him I was 18. He was a nice, polite fan of The Fixx who later mailed me sweet, hand-written letters from his college in Connecticut. He wanted to take me for a ride on his motorcycle, but my mother put a stop to that. I met him — and kissed him — on the plane on a high-school trip to England when Mom wasn’t around.
A few important pieces of ’80s jewelry are missing. I probably threw out the bright plastic earrings from 1983. My 80 black rubber Maripolitan bangles – the same kind Madonna wore — were tragically lost in a move in 1986. I’m still sad about that. I would happily wear them now. I also seem to have misplaced the black rubber circle earrings you can glimpse in the photo below. Note that I’m only have one on. I often wore just one earring even if I had a pair.
Based on my hair color and makeup, that photo is from 1985-86. For many years, I’ve looked at pictures like this and thought, “Oh God, that ’80s hair.” Suddenly, I love that hair again. Get me a teasing comb and hairspray — I’m ready to give it another go!
Here are two earrings that I bought as singletons. I liked the watch-parts earring but I preferred the torso. I visited that one at a store in SoHo for weeks before I could afford it. It must have been about $15. I’m pretty sure both of these are from ’85-86.
I got this clanky, 3D earring as a pair around the same time.
I think it was from a street vendor in SoHo. I liked to go to SoHo to browse the sidewalk sales and the cool little boutiques, especially a jewelry store called Details. There were no big corporate stores like Victoria’s Secret and Prada in SoHo back then. I also liked to window-shop at Trash & Vaudeville (still on St. Mark’s Place). Fiorucci, in midtown, was where I got my rubber bangles. I saw Michael Hutchence, the late lead singer of INXS, at Patricia Field’s store in 1984. I hung out with my gay friends on Christopher Street. I bought a tiny pink triangle earring at the now-closed Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop there to show solidarity and bother my parents. My parents were occasionally bothered by my hair, including my bleached bangs and the long blonde “tail” I had in high school, but the pink triangle didn’t get a reaction.
I’m convinced the pink triangle is here somewhere, but I haven’t located it yet. I do have my pink rhinestone heart earrings. I probably got them at Bloomingdale’s.
I got the gold-colored earrings below at a store called Hartly in New Jersey, around 1987. I had regrets because they were much heavier than what I was used to. Most of my earrings were featherweight even though they were big. I did like the satin finish. I use that for nearly all my designs now.
These hand earrings came from SoHo.
I don’t remember where I got these clear plastic earrings, but they were my favorites in 1986-87. I felt like Edie Sedgwick in them and wore them for all “fancy” events, like birthday celebrations.
I’m crazy about this rubber-tipped single earring to this day. I want to reinterpret it for my line.
I felt more iffy about these earrings but I wore them anyway.
Initial jewelry was popular while I was growing up. I usually wore just one of these rhinestone “W” earrings. I have a vague recollection of wearing them pre-1985 with pink stirrup pants and my dad’s oversize white shirt. I also liked to wear them with the cartoon shirt here, because the shirt had words on it. Words on my shirt and a letter in my ear! I felt well-coordinated.
Earrings were obviously my favorite jewelry category but I wore these giant rhinestone brooches on my denim jacket.
I got the New York City brooch at Serendipity 3 or a neighboring hair salon before I went — unwillingly — to Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., for my freshman year of college in 1985. I wanted to be in New York so badly. Even my ears wanted to be there.
I transferred to Columbia University in New York in 1986 and I’ve been here ever since.
I never had NYC rings, so it’s fitting that I made a three-ring, sterling-silver set for my WENDYB by Wendy Brandes line.
That old earring makes me feel that I should do an earring version of my rings.
What do you think?