How Olivia Newton John’s Style Infected A Generation Of GenX Women

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The late, but legendary Olivia Newton-JohnBorn in 1948, this might have been TechnicallyBoomers may have been an influence on GenX, but they were the only generation that loved and admired the Australian superstar. Her place in childhood memories was also confirmed as she rose to stardom as an actress and singer.

This is partly due to Sandy, her iconic role in the 1978 movie Grease. Newton-John was our first style icon, with her elegant looks and black leather bodysuit in the finale.

But her influence didn’t stop with Grease. The star served even Continue reading iconic looks throughout her career, blazing trails and setting trends through the ‘70s, ‘80s, and beyond.

Sandy was not the first. Sing Sing Sing. In 1964, Newton-John was 16, and won the TV talent competition. This gave birth to a successful music career. The singer embraced the hip fashion of the early ‘70s, including oversized glasses, fur-lined polo coats, and a wolf cut—decades before we would even call it that.

Newton-John was a pioneer in the use of vivid colors and eschewing neutral earth tones. This shimmery lilac leather combination is just one example of her stunning onstage looks. She also grew out her shaggy chop into a voluminous golden blonde that was perfectly on-trend for the mid-’70s.

1978 GreaseNewton-John was made famous, and she became an international icon. How could she? The bouncy perm, the catsuits, the scarves, the bold lips—she encouraged us to embrace our femininity in all its daring, sexy, timeless glory.

Then came XanaduThe equally charming movie musical musical, ” is often overlooked by Rydell High’s predecessor. Newton-John had her fair share of iconic looks in this film, too—including this fringe and knee-high boot ensemble. It was campy, flirty, and fun: three major style points of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.

With the ‘80s came Olivia’A classic hit. Physical. In her music video, she wore neon and classic sweatbands. She kept her 1980s style on-screen as well. Newton-John wore a teased, textured style to Chicago’s 1982 show. She swapped her sweatband with blue eyeshadow.

Newton-John continued to embody the trends of the day into the ‘90s, trading in her spandex for loose-fitting leisure suits and a more subdued, shoulder-length haircut. (Complete with her iconic bangs, of course—when you know what works, you know what works.)

The chaotic fashion of 2000s was a constant theme in the early 2000s. Even Olivia Newton-John wasn’t immune. She managed to make these asymmetrical, mismatched trends look chic, elegant, and classy. 

After a long battle with breast cancer, Olivia Newton-John died peacefully at her California home. We’ll not only remember her for her classic movie roles, music videos, and fashion, but we’ll also remember her activism, compassion, and that trademark, million-watt smile.

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