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Fashion Meets Film: “Flashdance”

I love spring! Mostly because spring is when I usually decide to give up my New Year’s resolutions for Lent. But this year I am dusting off my running shoes, washing my gym clothes and sticking to my resolution to start working out. But let’s be honest, the real reason for all this fitness enthusiasm is my recent viewing of the Flashdance. Talk about a motivator!

For those of you who have been living under a rock or haven’t checked your Netflix streaming lately, Flashdance is the classic 80’s romance/hero movie about Alex Owens (Jennifer Beals), a rising young dance star. This film is famous for the iconic silhouette of Alex pulling a cord that releases a bucket of water on herself at the climax of a sassy dance number.

In the daytime she runs with the boys, working as a welder. In the evenings, she’s what they call an “exotic dancer.” Don’t call her a stripper because Ms. Owens and her fellow dancing buddies have more class than that. They’re inspired by all types of dance: breakin’, tap, jazz, and especially ballet, because all Alex really wants is to get into her dream dance school where she can study ballet.

Alex is a tomboy with a banging body. So her style is all about that. She can make a welding mask, dirty work boots, and sooty cover overalls look sexy. How many welders can can say that? I guess there’s a reason they make calendars filled with firemen and not welders.

When working out though you need a high-rise body bathing suit preferably in a bright neon color, leg warmers, sexy sweatband, and of course the indispensable baggie off-the-shoulder sweatshirt which Alex puts to great use in the famous scene where she pulls off her bra while still wearing that sweatshirt. In front of a guy. Really, isn’t that what we do the moment we get home at the end of a hard day welding at the gym?


Her dance numbers are where Owens really expresses her true calling with all that very modern dancing, crazy over-dramatic make up, suspenders, pounds of glitter (or sweat), sequins, strobe lights, and, that best friend of every dancing diva, a big fan. (Pun intended)

My favorite part is when sexy Alex appears to be wearing a three-piece suit during a sexy lobster dinner with her sexy guy. But when she takes off her jacket you she that she is wearing shirt cuffs and a halter-top inspired tuxedo number. Sexy!

But, to be fair, this movie has inspired its share of other fashion trends and performances. The Jennifer Lopez music video “I’m Glad” is a tribute to the film and all the sex appeal it created. And who can forget Flashdance The Musical? Well, plenty of people, I suppose. But the next time you want a quick flashback to the 80’s, put Michael Sembello’s “Maniac” on repeat, get up, and get moving. Splash!

(Layout by very talented Feesh)

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