Long before Madonna worked that fuchsia leotard, Pat Benatar was honing a look that incorporated dancewear, colorful eye shadow, and spandex, spandex, spandex! It’s pretty remarkable that one trendsetter with legions of copycats inspired another to follow suit, but here’s what’s even more amazing: A generation that was barely in high chairs when ”Love Is a Battlefield” topped the charts is now rocking Benatar’s signature leggings and waist-cinching belts. ”I was never a fashion person,” demurs the singer. ”I was just putting together things I thought were nuts. And that I could afford.” Here, EW’s first Fashion Hall of Fame inductee talks about some memorable early-’80s getups.
ON THE FRINGE
”I saw this shirt with the fringe on it and I loved it! Of course, I had to have it and I thought, ‘I can make this!’ This was the original [fringed shirt I bought], but from then on, I cut all my shirts up. I looked like Peter Pan or Tinkerbell. Bad Tinkerbell.”
”Ah, yes. We called it Pat Bettina Turner. That was for the MTV Video Music Awards. Never take medication and let someone do your hair. Someone talked me into this. This was when the stylists came, see? It was a big mistake, but I love the shoulder pads.”
”This came from a Halloween costume I wore. I was dressed as a character from this ridiculous B movie called Cat-Women of the Moon. When I saw [Madonna in] the outfit…I thought, ‘You silly girl!’ This was ridiculous then; it’s so ridiculous now.”
”This was always one of my favorites because it’s a clip of that era. It’s coming right out of the late ’70s, when the punk thing was happening. That lovely red belt — it’s fabulous. I did have a good waist. The whole outfit probably cost 60 bucks.”
”It looks like Star Trek to me. The leather part was attached to the pants. I hated it — it was uncomfortable to wear because it moved too much. I didn’t like that because I was jumping around a lot and the shoulders slipped down. It was a nightmare.”